2.0 Ethics Case 2

Problem-solving step Your response Response example
Identify the problem

behavior analysts are responsible for the professional activities of their supervisees that occur as part of the supervisory relationship

The supervisee’s unresponsiveness has halted the progression of an effective supervision program.
Relevant ethical standard(s)

4.04 accountability in supervision

4.08 Performance Monitoring and Feedback
Consider dimensions of the problem

determine if the client is still being successful/if the programming and activities are demonstrating client progress
determine employee performance based on evaluation criteria established at the onset of supervision

Christine has a responsibility to create a supervision program that engages supervisees in progress toward goals and identify barriers to effective supervision. The supervisee also has a responsibility to respond to feedback and actively participate.
These responsibilities and standards for communication and responding to feedback are stated in the contract for trainees and BCaBA supervisees, but there is no contract for RBT supervision.
The supervisee cannot continue to work if Christine refuses to continue with supervision, which might cause conflict with her employer.
Consider courses of action & potential consequences

consult with HR to determine effective employee support
refer to supervision contract established at the outset of supervision and follow the guidelines that were agreed upon by both parties
refer to client progress as a measure of the supervisee’s performance, in addition to the evaluation/checklist of time management
document and provide feedback accordingly

Christine can deliver a written warning and plan for remediation with consequences outlined, but she does not have the authority to terminate the RBT’s employment.
Christine also fears for her own employment if she pursues the matter further.
If she continues with supervision, Christine is certain she will be violating the ethics code by signing off on supervision hours that have no effect on the supervisee’s service delivery.
Select a course of action

covers my responsibilities as a supervisor and ethical obligations to clients and the BACB

Christine decides that her BCBA certification is the most important thing and that continuing with an unethical situation will jeopardize her credentials. She writes a memo to her employer, citing the relevant codes from the BACB, attached a copy of the code, and then proceeds with a plan for remediation. She cannot fire the RBT but she can refuse to provide his supervision.
Implement and evaluate course of action

supervisee improves or moves to the next level of documentation
client progress is prioritized

Christine’s course of action was not the easiest option but it was the only option for her to continue to work as a behavior analyst in the future. Also, putting her foot down will send the message to her employer that she answers to the ethics codes first.