Progressive Behavior Analyst Autism Council – Credentialing Autism Professionals in a Progressive Approach to ABA

Given the growing need to provide specialized, high-quality intervention for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Autism Partnership Foundation (APF) has announced that they’ve built the Progressive Behavior Analyst Autism Council™, who provides credentialing programs that preserve and promote a progressive approach to applied behavior analysis (ABA) as a treatment method for ASD. These programs use a rigorous and defensible combination of assessment formats to recognize individuals who meet a high standard of practice.


Progressive ABA is a philosophical approach in which interventionists, supervisors, and applied researchers employ a structured yet flexible approach to behavior change. All efforts are contingent upon and responsive to the individual’s progress. To do this, the Certified Progressive Behavior Analyst – Autism Professional™ uses the best available evidence in combination with advanced knowledge of basic principles and constant in-the-moment assessments to inform effective and caring intervention. This results in an approach that is grounded in science, socially-valid, and always progressing.


This certification program is designed for professionals with a substantial amount of experience in ABA as it relates to individuals diagnosed with ASD. Experience may include direct implementation, supervision, training, education, or research.

The applicants need 10,000 hours (approximately 5 years full-time) experience in ABA with a concentration in autism. A minimum of 8,000 experience hours must be accumulated after obtaining a master’s degree.

Of the 10,000 required hours,

  • • at least 8,000 hours must include providing supervision, training, or education to others working with individuals diagnosed with ASD. Hours must consist of any or a combination of:
    • o Conducting and supervising applied research
    • o Direct training (i.e., clinical or academic settings)
    • o Clinical supervision
  • • the remaining 2,000 hours can include any of the options listed above and/or:
    • o Providing direct intervention for individuals diagnosed with ASD
    • o Conducting applied research


Multiple-choice examination and
A content presentation (15-20 mins) evaluation.

Exam Content Outline


The Progressive Behavior Analyst Autism Council™ (PBAAC) was established in order to provide an elite credential in the field of ABA as it applies to intervention provided to individuals diagnosed with ASD that serves both stakeholders and certified persons.
Autism Partnership Foundation (APF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is identifying effective methodology to improve behavioral treatment of individuals diagnosed with ASD through research and training. APF established the PBAAC to help meet this mission.
The PBAAC is currently providing the Certified Progressive Behavior Analyst-Autism Professional™ (CPBA-AP) credential. This certification program identifies individuals who have met a high standard of expertise regarding the provision of progressive ABA intervention to individuals diagnosed with ASD.

PBAAC Members

John McEachin

John McEachin, a licensed clinical psychologist and BCBA-D, has been providing behavioral treatment to individuals with autism for more than 40 years. He received his graduate training under Professor Ivar Lovaas at UCLA on the Young Autism Project. During his 11 years at UCLA, Dr. McEachin served in various roles including Clinic Supervisor, Research and Teaching Assistant, and Acting Director. His research has included the long-term follow-up study of young autistic children who received intensive behavioral treatment, which was published in 1993. In 1994 he joined with Ron Leaf in forming Autism Partnership, which they co-direct. In 1999 they published A Work in Progress, a widely used behavioral treatment manual and curriculum for children with ASD. Dr. McEachin has lectured throughout the world and co-authored numerous books and research articles. He consults regularly to families, agencies, and school districts nationally and internationally, assisting in the development of treatment programs and providing training to parents staff, and classroom personnel. Dr. McEachin’s dedication to the advancement of behavioral treatment through research and quality training led to the co-founding of the Autism Partnership Foundation with Dr. Ron Leaf.
Shahla Ala’i
Vice President

Shahla Ala’i received her B.S. from Southern Illinois University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis at the University of North Texas. Shahla and her students collaborate with Easter Seals North Texas to serve vulnerable populations through caring and science-based interventions. Shahla is also a member of an interdisciplinary social justice collective, a collaboration with faculty and students from Woman’s and Gender Studies, Applied Anthropology and Behavior Analysis. Shahla teaches ethics, autism intervention, parent training, behavioral systems, applied research methods, behavior change techniques, assessment, and a capstone course in ABA. Shahla served on the governing board of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). She has also served as a representative/subject matter expert on topics such as, culture, early intervention, supervision and ethics with various organizations, including the CDC and TEA. She is currently on several boards and disciplinary committees, most notably the ABAI Practice Board, ABA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Board. Shahla has published and presented research on social justice, ethics in early intervention, play and social skills, family harmony, mentoring and supervision and the relationship between love and science in the treatment of autism. Shahla has trained hundreds of master’s level behavior analysts who have gone on to serve families and communities with honor. She has over four decades of experience working with families, particularly those from non-dominant cultural backgrounds. She travels and presents her work nationally and internationally to both professional and lay audiences. She was awarded an Onassis Foundation Fellowship for her work with families, was the recipient of UNT’s prestigious, student selected “Fessor Graham” teaching award, received the 2019 TXABA Career Contributions Award, and the 2020 UNT Foundation Community Engagement award.
Toby Mountjoy

Toby Mountjoy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and holds a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis with over 23 years of experience working with individuals with ASD. His main role is overseeing the Autism Partnership operation in Hong Kong, Korea, Philippines and Singapore with over 240 staff, including psychologists, consultants and therapists, he has also provided consultations to school districts, agencies, and families worldwide. Mr. Mountjoy has also contributed chapters to publications such as “Sense & Nonsense” and “It’s Time for School”. In 2007, he founded the charitable Autism Partnership Foundation and Aoi Pui School to offer more services for children with Autism.
Pegeen Cronin

Dr. Pegeen Cronin is a licensed psychologist who has been working in the field of developmental disabilities for over 20 years. Her career began at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. under the expert instruction and guidance of Dr. BJ Freeman. At UCLA Dr. Cronin became an Assistant Clinical Professor and Director of the Autism Evaluation Clinic (now the UCLA CAN Clinic). In addition to providing comprehensive best practice evaluations to individuals suspected of having a development disability, during her tenure she trained and supervised many psychology and psychiatry trainees. She also co-authored successive center grants for the UCLA Center for Autism Research and Treatment (CART) including for the Simons Simplex Consortium. Her work in research also included recruitment and diagnostic evaluations to provide well-characterized participants to the variety of CART research projects.
Now in private practice, Dr. Cronin continues to provide diagnostic evaluations for individuals of all ages and supports families to navigate access to intervention and services. She also provides consultations, presentations and trainings, including for the gold-standard measure, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-2nd Edition (ADOS-2), and most recently enjoyed the opportunity to provide a book chapter to Dr. Justin Leaf’s Handbook of Social Skills and Autism Spectrum Disorder (2017). It is a pleasure to be a member of this council to support others’ professional development to learn and to work with individuals and families affected by ASD.
Joshua Pritchard

Dr. Joshua Pritchard is currently a faculty member at the University of Central Florida program in Orlando, Florida. After earning is PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno, he joined the faculty at Florida Institute of Technology and built the Hybrid Master of Arts in Professional Behavior Analysis that he chaired until the spring of 2017. While he loves teaching graduate students, he also believes it is important to keep a foot in practice as this experience helps guide his research and instruction. As such, he founded the Lodestone Academy in Orlando which serves children with behavioral disorders. Additionally, he has a clinical team providing services to children and adults across multiple states. He has consulted with state facilities under federal DOJ review and provided international consultation on behavioral programs, business development and practicum experience. Most recently, he has focused his behavior towards entrepreneurship, business mentoring, OBM, and instructional design.
He has published across a range of topics including professional behavior analytic licensure, systems within OBM, diversity and inclusion, and a variety of clinical treatments. Josh is focused on the development of systems of training, credentialing, and professional development that enhance the quality of service by the profession.
Robert Ross

Dr. Bob Ross is the Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Research at Behavioral Education Assessment and Consultation Inc. (BEACON Services of Massachusetts and BEACON of Connecticut). BEACON Services provides intensive behavioral educational services to children diagnosed with PDD/autism and behavioral and learning challenges. Dr. Ross received his doctorate in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University and his master’s in applied behavior analysis from Northeastern University. Dr. Ross is the co-director of the BCBA certification programs at Cambridge College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth. In addition to his teaching and research roles at BEACON, Dr. Ross consults with programs and works directly with individuals diagnosed with autism as part of his caseload responsibilities at BEACON. He has presented more than 100 applied research poster presentations, workshops, and symposia at ABAI conferences and authored articles on topics such as instructional practices in autism treatment, activity schedules, and application of ABA beyond autism treatment
Michael Gerbosi
Public Member

Michael Gerbosi is a professional writer living in Los Angeles. An active advocate for ABA, he serves as President of the award-winning non-profit Autism education, ABA advocacy and service referral portal His son was diagnosed with ASD before age 3 and has received ABA therapy since 2016

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