Frequently Asked Questions
On this page:
1. Who can use the title “behavior analyst?"
There are only three groups that can use the title “behavior analyst” in Texas as of September 1, 2018:
- Behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts licensed by TDLR
- Exempt professionals as specifically listed in the law
- Unlicensed persons who do not provide any direct services to individuals, including:
- Animal trainers
- Instructors or researchers
- Professionals providing general services to organizations
2. Is there a grandfathering period for persons who do not meet the requirements to hold a license?
No. Beginning September 1, 2018, you may not practice applied behavior analysis or use the title “Licensed Behavior Analyst” or “Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst” in Texas unless you qualify for, and hold, the appropriate license.
3. I have my Qualified Autism Service Practitioner (QASP) certification. Do I qualify for Texas licensure as an assistant behavior analyst?
No. Texas law requires that a behavior analysis certifying entity must be either the Behavior Analyst Certification Board or another certifying entity that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Entities (NCCE) or the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Currently, the QASP certification issued by the QABA Credentialing Board is not accredited by NCCE or ANSI.
Persons who hold the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® (BCaBA®), Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®), or Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral™ (BCBA-D™) are eligible for Texas licensure.
1. Does TDLR need to approve me to supervise? Does TDLR need to approve my supervisor?
No. The certifying entity is responsible for approving supervisors.
1. Does my criminal history make me ineligible for licensure?
If you are concerned your criminal history could prevent you from getting this license, Texas allows you to have your criminal history evaluated before submitting your application and non-refundable fees. Visit the Criminal History Evaluation Letter pagefor more information and to download the necessary forms.
2. Why do TDLR applications include questions about criminal history?
TDLR asks about criminal history because some criminal history may be grounds for denial or revocation of a license.
TDLR's Licensing Division runs a criminal background check through the Department of Public Safety (DPS) on each original license application and each renewal application filed. If the application or the DPS check reveals a conviction that could be a basis for denying the license, the Licensing staff will refer the matter to TDLR's Enforcement Division for further review.
Requirement to Display License
1. When do I need to display my license so that it is visible to the public, and when can I just carry my wallet card?
Display your license certificate at your primary location of practice, if you have one. You must display the original license certificate, and not a copy. If you have more than one office, you may order a duplicate license certificate. The license card may be carried and presented at locations other than the primary location of practice.
Filing a Complaint
1. How do I file a complaint against a licensed behavior analyst or a licensed assistant behavior analyst, or report unlicensed activity?
Please file a complaint online.
2. How soon do I have to file a complaint?
You must file a complaint within two years of the event described in the complaint. TDLR will not accept complaints filed after two years unless you can show good cause for late filing to TDLR’s Executive Director.
3. I don’t want the licensee to know I filed a complaint. May I file a complaint anonymously?
Yes, TDLR accepts anonymous complaints. To file anonymously, be sure to leave the “Complaining Party” space blank on the complaint form. Keep in mind, if you file anonymously, you will not be able to provide any additional information TDLR may need.
4. Does TDLR open and investigate every complaint received?
No. If the information you provide in your complaint does not contain enough information for TDLR to determine that a violation may have occurred, TDLR will first seek additional information from you (if you did not file anonymously). If TDLR does not receive enough information following that request, your complaint may not be opened for investigation.
5. What happens after I file my complaint?
Please see our Complaint Investigation and Resolution pagefor a detailed explanation of the complaint process.
6. How can I find out the status of a complaint I filed?
TDLR will inform you of the resolution of your complaint. Please keep your address and phone number updated with TDLR.
7. How do I know if disciplinary action was taken against a licensee, or an unlicensed person or business?
If a complaint results in disciplinary action taken by TDLR, it will be posted in our Administrative Orders Search for three years following the signed order.
Exemptions from Licensing
1. Who is exempt from the license requirement to practice behavior analysis?
The following individuals are not required under the law to obtain a behavior analyst license:
- A person licensed to practice psychology in this state is exempt from licensure if applied behavior analysis services provided are within the scope of the licensed psychologist’s education, training, and competence.
- A paraprofessional technician who delivers applied behavior analysis services is exempt if:
- the applied behavior analysis services are provided under the extended authority and direction of a licensed behavior analyst or licensed assistant behavior analyst; and
- the person is designated as an "applied behavior analysis technician," "behavior technician," "tutor," or "front-line therapist."
Other Licensed Professionals:
- A person licensed to practice another profession in this state is exempt if the applied behavior analysis services provided are within:
- the scope of practice of the person’s license under state law; and
- the scope of the person’s education, training, and competence.
Family Members and Guardians:
- A family member or guardian of a recipient of applied behavior analysis services who is implementing a behavior analysis treatment plan for the recipient under the extended authority and direction of a licensed behavior analyst or licensed assistant behavior analyst is exempt from licensure.
Teacher or Employee of School District:
- A teacher or employee of a private or public school who provides applied behavior analysis services is exempt if the teacher or employee is performing duties within the scope of the teacher’s or employee’s employment.
A teacher or employee of a private or public school must not:
- represent that the person is a behavior analyst, unless the applied behavior analysis services provided are within the person’s education, training, and competence;
- offer applied behavior analysis services to any person, other than within the scope of the person’s employment duties for the school; or
- receive compensation for providing applied behavior analysis services, other than the compensation that the person receives from the person’s school employer.
Students, Interns, and Fellows:
- A college or university student, intern, or fellow is exempt if:
- the activity or service is part of a defined behavior analysis program of study, course, practicum, internship, or postdoctoral fellowship;
- the activity or service is directly supervised by a licensed behavior analyst or an instructor in a course sequence approved by the certifying entity; and
- the person is designated as a "student," "intern," "fellow," or "trainee."
Person Pursuing Supervised Experience:
- An unlicensed person pursuing supervised experience in applied behavior analysis is exempt if the supervised experience is consistent with the requirements of the certifying entity and commission rules.
Temporary Services of Behavior Analyst from Another State:
- A behavior analyst licensed in another jurisdiction or certified by the certifying entity is exempt if the activities and services conducted in this state:
- are within the behavior analyst’s customary area of practice;
- are conducted not more than 20 days in a calendar year; and
- are not otherwise in violation of this chapter.
A behavior analyst from another state shall inform the recipient of applied behavior analysis services, or a parent or guardian of the recipient if the recipient is under 18 years of age, that:
- the behavior analyst is not licensed in this state; and
- the activities and services provided by the behavior analyst are time-limited.
Persons Who Do Not Provide Direct Services:
- A behavior analyst who practices with nonhumans, including an applied animal behaviorist or an animal trainer is exempt.
- A person who teaches behavior analysis or conducts behavior analytic research if the teaching or research activities do not involve the delivery or supervision of applied behavior analysis services is exempt.
- A person who provides general applied behavior analysis services to organizations is exempt if those services are for the benefit of the organization and do not involve direct services to i