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Recognizing Quality Providers

A Checklist for Parents

For parents pursuing ABA treatment for their child, it can be difficult and overwhelming to wade through the vast array of providers, agencies, clinics, and programs. It is important to be a knowledgeable and cautious consumer when choosing an ABA provider for your child. Unfortunately, there are unethical, unprofessional, and potentially harmful companies and providers out there who are not in this field for the right reasons.


So what steps can a parent take to thoroughly evaluate the quality of a potential ABA provider? How do you know if the provider you are working with is of poor, good, or excellent quality?

Things to Look For:


  • The company/individual provider has a positive reputation in the local area among other families or other companies
  • The company/individual provider has a clear process for conducting background checks, reference checks, and pre-employment screening, and can explain this process to you
  • The company has credentialed staff (BCBA or BCaBA) supervising and overseeing direct staff
  • The direct staff receive initial training, as well as ongoing training (from a credentialed person) on a consistent basis, e.g. bi-weekly
  • The owner of  the company/individual is accessible to families, and can be contacted with questions, concerns, or inquiries (there may be a recommended chain of command to follow, but the owner is not completely unreachable)
  • The direct staff are professional, polite, and take the time to form a positive relationship with the client before beginning to teach
  • The direct staff (not just the supervisor) can knowledgably discuss the treatment plan, behavior plan, and basic ABA strategies (such as reinforcement)
  • The direct staff collect data during treatment sessions, and explain this data to you (in language you can understand) before ending the session
  • The company/individual provider makes you feel as if you are part of the team, and your contributions, thoughts, and ideas are welcome
  • Your emails or phone calls are responded to promptly (typically within 24-48 hours)
  • The company/individual provider regularly reviews data and progress reports with you, as well as updates you on important changes to the therapy plan or treatment goals
  • Billing practices are upfront and clearly explained. You are aware of how much you are being charged, how many hours are being billed, direct vs. indirect hours, etc.
  • The direct staff show up to work on time, stay for their entire assigned shift, and there is continuity of care (staff is not constantly changing, as people repeatedly quit or are fired)
  • The business practices and ethical conduct of all company employees (or of the direct provider) are in compliance with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Guidelines for Professional Conduct, which can be found on the BACB website:


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