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Soft Skills for BCBA's

Do you teach soft skills to your supervisees?


Many people aren't aware of this, but it is actually a required responsibility of BCBA's providing supervision to BCBA/BCaBA candidates. According to the BACB Supervision Curriculum 2.0:

Supervision of Trainees

1) The supervisor should be able to comply with relevant BACB fieldwork requirements when supervising a trainee pursuing BCBA or BCaBA certification.

i) Model and teach professionalism

i) Time management (e.g., measure planned activities vs actual activities, adherence to deadlines)

ii) Organization (e.g., measure client programming, meeting preparation)

iii) Prioritization (e.g., measure appropriate allocation of time towards tasks based on criticality)

iv) Social skills (e.g., evaluate posture, adaptation to audience)

v) Interpersonal skills

2) The supervisor should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of supervision of the trainee.

e) Evaluate professionalism using objective or subjective measures as appropriate

i) Attire

ii) Social interactions

iii) Attendance

iv) Time management

v) Organization (e.g., measure client programming, meeting preparation)

vi) Flexibility (e.g., evaluate problem-solving and responsiveness to change in tasks)

But how do we teach something so subjective as "flexibility"?

According to Andzik, N. R., & Kranak, M. P. (2021), there are 6 steps to follow to ensure we are teaching, evaluating, and maintaining soft skills throughout supervision.

Step 0: Needs Assessment

  • Interview and directly observe supervisees skills

  • Take inventory of their understanding of

    • BACB policies and codes

    • BACB task list items

    • Company-specific policies

Step 1: Provide a Rational

  • Establish clear expectations

  • Provide rational for the expecations

  • Get buy-in from supervisees

Step 2: Provide a Checklist

  • Create a task analysis of list of skills needed for each area of need

  • Focus on training ONE skills at a time

  • Use Behavioral Skills Training (BST)

Step 3: Demonstrate/ Role-Play

  • Focus on modeling correct behavior

  • Role-play contrived situations

    • Include examples and non-examples

Step 4: Practice Professionalism

  • Independent practice in real-life situations

  • Continue to use the checklist from previous steps to evaluate

  • Provide frequent observation and monitoring

Step 5: Feedback and Evaluation

  • Feedback should be

    • Specific and detailed

    • Immediate

    • Frequent

  • Consider video modeling

  • Receive feedback from supervisee as well

Have you been training soft skills in your supervision?

  • Yes

  • No, but I will now!

Do you want to learn more about including soft skills in your supervision training?


Check out our Soft Skills of Supervision CEU!

You will learn:

What are the BACB requirements for training and evaluating soft skills? What ARE soft skills? What are the barriers to training soft skills and how do we

overcome them? What are the 6 steps to effectively teach and assess soft skills? What tools do you need to make soft skills an easy addition to your supervision practice?

**PLUS** 4 worksheets to help you include SOFT SKILLS TODAY! Worksheet 1: Soft Skills Assessment Worksheet 2: Soft Skills Evaluations Worksheet 3: Soft Skills Expectations Worksheet 4: Soft Skills Individualized Summary

1.0 Supervision CEU Recorded access that NEVER expires Don't miss out on teaching these REQUIRED SKILLS to your supervisees!


Don't forget about this...

Soft Skills Workbook for Behavior Analysts

The ONLY Soft Skills Workbook for Behavior Analysts to use in supervision OR with current BCBA's. Includes:

  • In-situation assignments

  • Scoring rubrics

  • Role-play activities

  • Critical thinking assignments

  • Checklists & task analysis'

  • Evaluations ...and MORE!

**PLUS** Online worksheet companion for easy fill and print Brought to you by Melissa Druskis, M.S., BCBA with ABC Behavior Training, the creator of The Behavior Analyst Supervision Curriculum 3-book set AND online curriculum. Over 10 years of experience teaching, training, and creating resources for the field of ABA!



Behavior Analyst Certification Board. (2018). Supervision training curriculum outline (2.0) Littleton, CO: Author

Andzik, N. R., & Kranak, M. P. (2021). The softer side of supervision: Recommendations when teaching and evaluating behavior-analytic professionalism. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice, 21(1), 65–74


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