Photo by Cole Keister on Unsplash

By Michal Hirschmann, Einav Cohen, & Judy Lazar

The Israeli Applied Behavior Analysis (IABA) affiliated chapter—2020 a year to remember
2020 will be a year to remember, not only because of the COVID-19 pandemic that impacted many aspects of our personal and professional lives, with IABA’s activities being no exemption, but also because of a wind of change in the field of behavior analysis in Israel. Alongside routine activities to disseminate the field of behavior analysis in Israel that included annual conferences, workshops, and other initiatives, IABA—in collaboration with the “Mentha” organization (an organization of the Israeli board-certified behavior analysts)—launched an initiative to promote Israeli licensure and certification. The activity of the designated licensure and certification committee was most notable in 2020 and is the focus of this report.

Following the BACB’s announcement concerning the limiting of certification to behavior analysts who practice in the United States and Canada, IABA—in cooperation with Mentha organization—established a new Regulation Committee with the aim of achieving official recognition of the field of behavior analysis in Israel under the health professions law. With this important goal in mind, 15 members who lead the field in Israel in different sectors, including public, private and academia were drafted. These members were assigned to various subcommittees with the expectation to set high professional standards for the practice of behavior analysis in Israel and to create initial guidelines needed for the regulation of the field. Seven subcommittees were formed that include the following: task list, practicum, certification exam content, exam administration, ethics, continuing education and a support committee. Each subcommittee had five members and held several meetings. Progress reports were provided at regular monthly committee meetings. The work of these committees concluded in 2021, with the goal to administer the first Israeli certification exam by 2024.

In February 2020, IABA held its annual conference titled “Environment that Creates Reality.” The conference included lectures by leading behavior analysts allied with experts in different fields such fitness and nutrition and received very positive reviews by the participants. Other activities of IABA included recruitment of new members and active use of social media communicating progress with regulation and various updates relating to the field.

Finally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IABA held fewer activities in 2020 than planned. Accordingly, IABA decided to offer free membership renewal in 2021 for behavior analysts who were members in 2020. IABA increased its number of members in 2020 to about 400 members. Besides pursuing the organization’s regular committee activities, IABA’s goal is to vigorously continue promoting regulation of the profession in Israel and to advance the merger with the Mentha organization to the benefit of the behavior analysis community in Israel.

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