As of September 2, 2018, behavior analysts in Texas now require licensure. The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) regulates and administrates the Behavior Analyst Program.
Applied behavior analysis is a clinical practice that requires extensive training and ongoing professional development. The regulatory framework created to oversee behavior analysts is intended to protect consumers, employers, and state agencies from individuals who would otherwise practice applied behavior analysis, but who in the State's opinion, lack adequate training or adherence to the profession's ethical standards.
Behavior Analysts in Texas
Under the new program, there are three groups that can use the title "Behavior Analyst" in Texas. Those three groups are:
- Behavior Analysts and Assistant Behavior Analysts licensed by TDLR.
- Exempt professionals as specified by law, including:
- Licensed psychologists;
- Paraprofessionals; and
- Certain other licensed professionals, if the applied behavior analysis services provided are within:
- The scope of practice of the individual's license under state law, and
- The scope of the licensee's education, training, and competence.
- Unlicensed individuals who do not provide direct services to other individuals, including:
- Animal trainers;
- Instructors or researchers; and
- Professionals providing general services to organizations.
Complaints Filed Against Behavior Analysts
With professional licensure comes the risk of having a complaint filed against you with your regulatory agency. Complaints against behavior analysts will be handled by the TDLR Enforcement Division.
The TDLR has the authority to impose disciplinary action against its licensees. The commission "may deny, revoke, or suspend a license or may otherwise discipline a license holder" in accordance with other laws. Tex. Occ. Code § 506.151(c).
Grounds for imposing disciplinary action on a behavior analyst include:
- Violating the law governing Behavior Analysts, a commission rule, or an order of the commission.
- Obtaining a license by means of fraud, misrepresentation, or concealment of material fact.
- Selling, offering to sell, or otherwise bartering a license.
- Engaging in unprofessional conduct that endangers or is likely to endanger the health, welfare, or safety of the public, or violates the code of ethics adopted by the commission.
Tex. Occ. Code § 506.351. No matter how fastidious you are in your clinical practice of behavior analysis, a complaint may be lodged against you. If the TDLR notifies you of a filed complaint or pending investigation, act quickly to mount a defense against the allegations. You do not want to face the licensing board alone. Administrative Law and license defense is a specialized area of law. You want a professional license defense attorney with a history of success arguing before the TDLR. You need an experienced professional license defense attorney by your side, to advocate for your rights and protect your license.
BERTOLINO LLP has been defending Texas licensed professionals for years, and we use a creative, results-driven approach to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
We proudly represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. If you are facing licensure issues or disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.