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BCBA licensing has passed!

The Minnesota Legislature has passed the BCBA Licensing Bill and has been signed into law by the Governor. It will take effect on January 1, 2025. Minnesota will be the 38th state to license Applied Behavior Analysis.

This new law will require anyone who wishes to practice applied behavior analysis and use the title of Behavior Analyst, to be licensed by the Minnesota Board of Psychology, unless they are exempt for the reasons listed below. Their title in Minnesota would become "Licensed Behavior Analyst."

To qualify for licensure as a behavior analyst, the individual must have a current and active national certification as a board certified behavior analyst, and pass a background check.

The practice of Applied Behavior Analysis means the design, implementation, and evaluation of social, instructional, and environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior. The practice of applied behavior analysis includes the empirical identification of functional relations between behavior and environmental factors, known as a functional behavioral assessment and analysis. Applied behavior analysis interventions are based on scientific research, direct and indirect observation, and measurement of behavior and environment and utilize contextual factors, motivating operations, antecedent stimuli, positive reinforcement, and other procedures to help individuals develop new behaviors, increase or decrease existing behaviors, and emit behaviors under specific social, instructional, and environmental conditions.

The following is a list of exceptions to the licensing requirement:

  • An individual who is providing behavior analysis services under the authority and direction of a licensed behavior analyst.

  • An individual who is licensed to practice psychology.

  • An individual who is practicing under the supervision of a licensed psychologist.

  • An individual who is licensed, certified, or registered by the state to practice within their own scope of practice.

  • An employee of a school district who is employed to provide behavior analysis services.

  • An employee of a program that is licensed under chapter 245D and is employed to provide behavioral support services.

  • An individual who is teaching behavior analysis or conducting behavior analysis research in an accredited school.

  • A family member of the recipient of behavior analysis services.

Click here for the detailed law passed by the legislature.

Click here to see the HF 5247, the big overall bill that the BCBA license is part of. You can find the record of the vote and governor's signature here.


MNABA, as an organization, is working to support bills that will establish licensure for behavior analysts in Minnesota.

Why is licensure important to Minnesotans?

A bill that licenses behavior analysts will create protections for members of the public who receive behavior analytic services by creating more oversight and establishing state-level credentials for the minimum level of competency required to deliver behavior analytic services. Currently, there are no such standards in the state of Minnesota that guarantee all members of the public a basic level of service quality. MNABA is working to change that. 


A bill that licenses behavior analysts will also ensure that more people have access to behavior analytic services, while still maintaining the quality of services as the field grows. MNABA believes and supports that all people deserve to have access to high quality behavior analytic services, for those that choose to receive ABA therapy. Currently, there is a large deficit in the number of individuals who need and desire behavior analytic services and the number of service providers who are currently eligible to provide those services. 

What should I say to my legislator for licensure?

So you want to talk to your legislator in support of legislation, but you're not sure what to say...Check out these tips below! Check out our "How to talk to your legislator" for general tips for meeting with your legislator.

A recommended script of how to advocate for licensure to your legislator...

"The Minnesota Board of Psychology and the Minnesota Association for Behavior Analysis ar working to establish a license for behavior analysts in Minnesota; like the ones that alread are in place in 37 other states. We're hoping that you could help make this happen by signing on as a co-author of this bill. In the House, the bill is (to be determined). In the the Senate, the bill is (to be determined)."

Tips for discussing licensure with your legislator:

Be prepared with the resources and info sheets we've shared on thn bills we're watching page to answer questions your legislator asks.


Each legislator already understands how licenses work, so they won't need technical answers. If they ask how this affects you, emphasize protection of the public. For example, you are aware of some specific practices that are being used that should be regulated. Or you are aware of a practitioner who is claiming to be a skilled behavior analyst, but they are providing substandard services.

Note that every one of Minnesota's bordering states already has a license.

How much is this license needed?

The Minnesota Department of Health estimates that there are 100,000 children in Minnesota with behavioral health needs.

32,000 children in Minnesota have Medical Assistance for behavioral health needs.

Only 6,700 children have been able to access Early Intensive Develomental and Behavioral Intervention (EIDBI).

Currently, there are 470 BACB certificants in Minnesota, which is nowhere near the number needed to treat all of those children.

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