Ontario Consults on Regulation of ABA Behavioural Clincians

In August 2019, the Ontario government announced its commitment to regulate behavioural clinicians who provide Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA).  These services are delivered by ABA clinicians to a wide range of clients, including children, youth and adults with developmental disabilities and autism, those with mental health challenges or behavioural difficulties, seniors with dementia, and those in substance abuse treatment, brain injury rehabilitation and rehabilitative programming in correctional facilities.   The goal is to set standard expectations for quality therapy across the province, specifically:

  • Consistency in ethics and professional standards to promote a higher level of trust between families and practitioners.
  • Clearly defined educational and ongoing quality assurance requirements for clinicians to improve consistency in treatment.
  • A mechanism for families to report complaints about providers to reduce the risk of harm.

View the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services announcement.

The Ministry of Health and Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services are conducting a consultation to inform decisions about the regulatory framework for behavioural clinicians.  The deadline for submissions is March 2, 2020.

Implications for Occupational Therapists

OSOT and the College of Occupational Therapists of Ontario (COTO) are participating in the government's consultation process.  Occupational therapists work with ABA behavioural clinicians in a variety of settings and may also have credentials to practice ABA themselves.  It is important to understand the implications (if any) of proposed regulation of behaviourial clinicians on occupational therapists' practice.

COTO has circulated an important survey to assess occupational therapists' use of ABA in their practice, where OTs may practice ABA and with what type of client, and how occupational therapists work with behavioural clinicians.  If you practice ABA or work with clinicians who practice ABA please be sure to complete the survey by the deadline of February 26, 2020.

Access the COTO Survey here.

As OSOT develops input for the consultation we welcome your comments.  Please direct these to Marnie Lofsky, Manager Professional Practice by February 24, 2020.