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'Behavioral Analyst' May Become An Official Profession In Florida


Julie Steward advocates the bill.

Florida lawmakers are looking to add licensure requirements for a group of clinical psychologists known as behavioral analysts.  

A House bill, passed through the Health Quality Subcommittee Monday morning, would create a board within the Department of Health dedicated to overseeing behavioral analysts. They’re currently certified through a private institution called the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Bill sponsor Rep. Pat Rooney (Republican - Palm Beach Gardens) says it would further ensure practitioners’ qualifications.

“Anything that lends legitimacy to this and can help those folks who are out looking for this profession and understand they’re gonna get what they’re looking for would be helpful,” he said.

Rooney says, as more Floridians—especially parents of autistic children—seek behavioral analysts for health care, concerns of malpractice have arisen.

“I understand that behavior analysis is a distinct profession and I feel that there is a need for these professionals to be licensed so that the consumer can be certain these people have passed a background check, and have the appropriate training and skills to be providing these services,” Steward said.

Steward and several parents of autistic children also told the committee they want a statewide registry of behavioral analysts to be added to the legislation so they can easily seek registered analysts’ services