Behavior Analyst Application Process

Online Applications

All applications for a license to practice behavior analysis are now available online! To get started, go to the Applicant Portal. The Board is no longer accepting PDF or paper applications. If you have a PDF you downloaded previously but have not submitted before the cut off date - January 17, 2023 - please use it as a reference as you complete the online application. 

Which Application to Submit: This is a simpler question than you might think. Answer two (2) questions and you will know which application is  best for your current professional status/history. 

  1. Do you have an active license as a behavior analyst in another state that was issued one or more years ago? If "YES", go to the next question. If "NO", you do not qualify to apply by universal recognition. Instead, use the application, Behavior Analyst Application for Licensure, found online via the Applicant Portal. Remember, a state-issued BA license is NOT the national BCBA certification. Not all states offer licensure for BAs. Check the BACB's website here for the most up-to-date list of states that offer licensure for BAs. If this is a confusing question for you, most likely you are from a state that does not offer licensure for BAs. 
  2. Have you "established residence" in Arizona? If your answer is "NO", you do not qualify to apply by universal recognition. Instead, use the application, Behavior Analyst Application for Licensure, found online via the Applicant Portal.   Acceptable evidence regarding having established residence may be a copy of your AZ driver's license, or AZ motor vehicle registration, or rental, lease or mortgage contract for an AZ dwelling (with evidence of payment for rent or lease), or banking services in your name with an Arizona address, or proof of enrollment of your children in an Arizona school, etc. See the Board's substantive policy statement regarding residence determination. A list of acceptable evidence is on page 2. 

If you answered "YES" to both questions, above, you may qualify to apply for licensure by Universal Recognition under A.R.S. Section 32-4302. See the BA Applications page for more information about this pathway to licensure. Go to the Applicant Portal to start your application. 

Yes Answers to Professional Conduct Questions:  If an applicant answers "yes" to one or more professional conduct questions, specific documents and a detailed written explanation regarding the event(s) must be uploaded with the application, or emailed separately to [email protected] if the documents are not yet available to the applicant and must be ordered. The document, "Appropriate Documentation for 'Yes' Answers", lists each professional conduct question in the application and what documents are needed for each question.  PLEASE use this tool and strictly adhere to the list of documents for the question to which you answered "Yes" to prevent unnecessary delays in processing your application. 

For example, if you were charged or arrested for a criminal or misdemeanor offense, such as a DUI, any and all law enforcement (police) records AND any and all court records are REQUIRED, regardless of outcome, current status, or how long ago the event occurred. There may be one or two pages of a police record included in the court record, however, the Board still needs the ENTIRE police record. Please be aware that Board staff is familiar with these types of records and is aware of what documents should be in the record. If expected documents are not included in the record the applicant sends, such as an officers's report or narrative, sobriety tests, etc., Board staff will then ask for certified copies of these records, which will further delay substantive review of your application. An application is not administratively complete until ALL the records are received. 

Checklist - Am I Ready to Submit My Application?  There is a very high rate of mistakes occuring on applications. This checklist, available in the standard BA application, was developed to assist applicants in doublechecking that all materials for an application for licensure have been completed. Please read (for comprehension - don't just scan!) each item on the checklist and make sure you have everything ready to submit. Taking time before submitting your application will prevent unnecessary delays. Applications that are carefully prepared have the potential to be approved by the Committee on Behavior Analysts and the Board in just a month or two!  Sloppy applications require a lot more time by staff to assess, communicate about deficiencies, get corrections returned, and confirm that everything is completed. These are the applications that can take as long as 5-6 months or more to complete the application process. 

Submitting Your Application and Application Fee:  The $350 application fee will be required via credit or debit card before you can submit your online application.  Go to the Applicant Portal to get started. 


May be sent before the application:  Applicants may request verifications or other documentation sent to the Board in advance of their application. supervised fieldwork verifications, official transcripts, and any other documents received in the Board's office are retained for 12 months and are matched to the application once the application is received. All applications are now online.  You will be given opportunity to upload supporting documents as you go through the online application. Please have them ready on your computer to upload.  Documents that must be sent by verifiers should be emailed to [email protected]. Do not give your login information to anyone else! Only the applicant may submit an application. 

Supervised Experience or Fieldwork:  Supervised Experience hours cannot be verified by the BACB. First, the BACB does not disclose this information to third parties. Second, the BACB is not the primary source for this documentation - the primary source is your supervisor.  Third, the BACB's retention schedule is seven (7) years for application and license files, which is problematic for those who did not maintain their own records after certification.

Acceptable Means of Verifying Supervised Hours: 
  1. BACB Final Experience Verification form: If you wish to use the same hours for licensure that you used for your BCBA certification, you may have your supervisor submit a copy of the BACB Final Experience Verification form the supervisor signed for your BCBA certification. This is a primary source verification and any copies received from applicants are not valid in most instances (see #3, below for the rare instances when it may be valid). These should NOT be included when submitting your application. 
  2. Supervised Experience or Independent Fieldwork Verification: Your supervisor may complete and submit the Arizona verification form, "Supervised Experience or Independent Fieldwork Verification", which can be downloaded from the BA Applications page. This is a primary source verification and any copies received from applicants are not valid. These should NOT be included when submitting your application. 
  3. If the applicant demonstrates to the Board that a supervisor cannot be located, the applicant may submit a copy of the BACB final experience verification form signed by that supervisor which the applicant submitted to the BACB when the applicant applied to the BACB for certification. Historically, applicants have needed to include but are not limited to documentation of phone calls, emails, texts, social media, and using BACB's contact form linked from the supervisor's BACB online certificant registry entry before the verification form has been accepted from the applicant. Just one or two types of attempts have not been sufficient to demonstrate that the supervisor cannot be located.  
Mulitple Supervisors at One Organization:  

If your supervisor submits your BACB Final Experience Verification Form and there are multiple supervisors listed, the Board requires the applicant to submit a list of supervisors and the start and end dates for which each supervisor was responsible in order to determine if the supervised experience complied with A.A.C. R4-26-404.2(C)(4). Please do this using the Arizona Multiple Supervisors at One Organization form, downloadable from the BA Applications page. PLEASE NOTE:  The applicant is also responsible to submit a copy of the BACB online Certificant Registry info and a copy of the online state License Loookup for each supervisor (see the form's instructions - page 1 - at 3b and 4b for more details).  

Official Transcripts:  

Official transcripts are required for your graduate degree(s) completed from an accredited institution of higher education and for your ABA coursework that meets the requirements specified by the BACB. 

Official transcripts may be sent several different ways: 

  • Digitally by the educational institution or its contracted third-party distributor to [email protected], or 
  • By mail or delivery service directly from the education institution to the Board's office.
  • Applicants may also mail or drop off an official transcript if it is in its original, sealed envelope. Opened transcripts cannot be accepted as official. 

Administrative Review

When an application is received in the Board's office, Board staff must review all answers and all documents that have been received for that application, and determine if all materials needed have been received. This is the administrative review stage of the application process and may take a significant amount of time, depending on the complexity of the application. Multiply that by the number of applications received each week, and you'll understand why applicants cannot expect to submit an application and expect Board staff to give them a comprehensive update in a matter of days. 

Please be aware that staff has up to 100 applications open in various stages of completeness at any given time, and applications and documentation are processed in the order they are received.  It may take up to 30 days due to a record number of applications being received and several other factors. 

If any item has not been received, the applicant will receive a notice of incomplete application by email, listing all items that have not been received, any revisions to the application that are needed, and any clarifications needed.    

It is the applicant's responsibility to request an update after the initial notice of incomplete application has been emailed to the applicant by Board staff.  For updates regarding your BA application, please email Zakiya Mallas, the Board's behavior analyst licensing specialist, at [email protected].  It is up to the applicant to keep track of when documentation has been sent, and request an update regarding the Board's receipt of that documentation.  If you do not receive a response to your email within three (3) business days, please call Zakiya at 602-542-3022.

"Administratively Complete" means that all required application materials (i.e., transcripts, verifications, etc.) have been received and processed by Board staff. Once Board staff has assessed an application is administratively complete, it will be placed on the next available Committee agenda, and a notice will be sent by email to the applicant that includes the date and time of the Committee on Behavior Analysts (Committee or CBA) meeting at which their application will be substantively reviewed. 

Next Scheduled Meeting vs Next Available Meeting:  A.A.C. R4-26-201, "Application Deadline", states:

A. The Board shall consider a license application at the Board’s next scheduled meeting if an administratively complete application packet . . . is received by the Board office at least 18 days before the date of the meeting.

B. The Board shall consider a license application that is received fewer than 18 days before a scheduled meeting at a subsequent meeting.

Depending on when an application is administratively complete, the next scheduled or calendared meeting is not necessarily the next available meeting.  Because of this 18-day rule, an application that is administratively complete, for example, ten (10) days before the next scheduled meeting will be considered at a subsequent meeting, or the next available meeting, which could be a month or more after the next scheduled meeting. In other words, applicants should not expect to be on the next meeting listed on the calendar when they've submitted an application the week before. 

Once Board staff has assessed an application is administratively complete, a notice will be sent by email to the applicant that includes the date and time of the Committee on Behavior Analysts (Committee or CBA) meeting at which the application will be substantively reviewed.

Substantive Review

Once the Administrative Review is completed, the Substantive Review begins.  "Substantive review" means the review of all application materials to determine if all requirements in statute and rule have been met to qualify for licensure. Board staff cannot and does not make this assessment. This stage of the application process is conducted by the Committee. The Committee consists of five (5) actively licensed Arizona behavior analysts, two (2) of whom also serve on the Board. The Committee meets about twelve (12) times a year. These meetings are formal, following Robert's Rules of Order.  Applications that are administratively complete and ready for substantive review are added to the Committee's next available agenda by first and last name of the applicant, as they are completed. Agendas are posted to the Board's website on the Upcoming Meetings page at least 24 hours before the meeting is scheduled to begin.

Attending the Committee Meeting: 

All Committee meetings are held virtually via Zoom, and the attendance information is included in the meeting entry on the Upcoming Meetings page.

Applicants are not required to attend the Committee meeting at which their application is substantively reviewed, but the Committee encourages applicants to do so. If your application includes a Yes answer to a professional conduct question, or some other aspect of the application is irregular or unusual, attending the meeting in case the Committee has questions can prevent delays in the substantive review of your application.

Committee Recommendations

The Committee does not make final decisions regarding applications or complaints. Instead, it makes recommendations to the Board regarding an application or complaint.  Recommendations that the Committee can make include but are not limited to approval, denial, or something in between, on a case by case basis.

Formal Additional Information Requests: 

If the Committee is unable to make a recommendation to the Board due to a lack of information, it can make a formal additional information request, and table the application until the requested information and/or documentation has been received.

  • A Formal Additional Information Request (FAIR) letter from the Committee chair will be emailed by Board staff to the applicant, usually within a few weeks of the meeting. This letter will list the Committee's concerns and the additional information and/or documentation requested during the Committee meeting.
  • Once all materials requested in the letter have been received, the application will be added to the next available Committee agenda for a second review.
  • If upon review of the FAIR letter and additional materials, the Committee still lacks the information needed to make a recommendation, it may request a second FAIR letter, go through the same process again and may even make a third request.
  • Typically, historically, after the third request is reviewed, the Committee has made a recommendation to the Board - approval, denial or substantive review by the full Board.
Committee Recommendation for Approval & Board's Consent Agenda:  

Statistically, for the majority of applications, the Committee finds that all requirements in statute and rule have been met and forwards them to the Board with the recommendation of approval. 

Applications recommended for approval are placed on the Board's "consent agenda".  The consent agenda is one item on the Board's agenda for the next scheduled meeting, which is held about a week or so after the Committee meeting. This agenda item lists the names of all applicants for which the Committee recommended approval of the application. The consent agenda lists both psychologist and behaivor analyst applications each month.

Board Meeting & Consent Agenda: 

Typically, the "consent agenda" item is addressed very early in the meeting. When this agenda item is announced by the Board Chair, the chair will ask the Board members if any member is recused from reviewing any item on the consent agenda. Once this has been answered, it will be noted on the record.

The Chair's next question is if any Board member wishes to remove an item from the consent agenda for individual discussion. Once this has been answered, it is noted on the record. 

The Chair then calls for a motion on the consent agenda. A member of the Board makes a motion to approve the consent agenda, another member seconds it. The Chair usually calls for a voice vote, the vote is recorded, and the Chair moves on to the next item to be addressed.

Names of Applicants are NOT read out loud during the meeting or the motion to approve the consent agenda.

The names of the applicants are recorded on the agenda and in the minutes, which is the official record of the meeting. With the vote of approval by the majority of the Board, the applicants listed on the consent agenda are now eligible to have their license issued (see the section, "Board Approval-Issuance of the License", below for further details). 

Applications Removed from the Consent Agenda for Individual Discussion: 

When this occurs, typically, the Board chair will call the application for individual discussion right after the consent agenda is approved. The Board members will discuss, consider and possibly take action regarding the application. The Board may approve the application, issue a denial, or may make a combination of approval with an action. If the Board is undecided, it may instead ask for additional information (FAIR letter) and table the application until the requested information has been received. Once received, the application is placed on the next available Board meeting agenda for substantive review.


Board Approval - Issuance of the License

It may take up to three (3) business days, not including the day of the Board meeting or subsequent holidays, for Board staff to complete all the associated data entry and issue licenses for approved applicants.

Issuance of the License:  

This is first processed in the database and entered into the Board's Great Register.  An issuance letter will be sent by email to approved applicants.  Instructions are given in the issuance letter for the self-serve wallet card download.  At this time, wall certificates are not available.  

Once the license has been issued, a licensee can verify their license and make sure their information is correct in our database by searching their last name in the directory which is linked from our website. The path is Directory Search > Directory Search. The second Directory Search will take you to a search engine powered by the Board's database. All data in the directory is in real-time. Any changes made to the database are immediately reflected in the directory.