IBCCES-CAS Industry Standards of Practice 

Certified Autism Specialist 

Since professionals that work with individuals on the autism spectrum profoundly affects their life it is the purpose of the CAS program to protect individuals and their families by setting standards of qualification, training and experience for those who seek to work or volunteer with individuals with autism spectrum disorders. IBCCES promotes high standards of professional performance for those working with individuals with autism.  
As used in this act, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section:

(a) “IBCCES” means the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. IBCCES has not been funded by a third party and operates as an independent accrediting body to professionals in the area of Family Studies and Human Services.  IBCCES mission is to establish an industry standard for autism professionals. CAS standards are ethical, practical and attainable.

(b)  “CAS” represents “Certified Autism Specialist” and is a professional that meets  pre-qualifications, career experience and earns continuing education every two years. The term CAS signifies that the professional has invested in a lifetime of learning in order to better the lives of those with autism.

(c) “Reliable Research” means research that is creditable in nature and that written resource materials are accurate, clear, fair, researched based.  Research dimensions shall include creditable research, verification of credentials, verification of authorship, competencies of researchers and verify the limitations of the research. CAS suggests that resource information that is distributed to clients and families in both verbal and written form be from www.nih.gov. or CDC.  The CDC and National Institute of Health (NIH) and NIH Institutes provide a wide variety of information that is written in the public domain and available at no cost. The IBCCES is not associated with the CDC or NIH and does not receive funding from either party.

(d) “Continuing Education” means the continued study for current information. CAS continuing education is required for a more effective practice and encourages the center to remain knowledgeable about current issues. Conferences and other education experiences presented by professionals with a Master’s degree, Ph.D. , individual or parent of a child with autism qualify for CAS continuing education.  Conference or workshops that hold a continuing education provider number that directly relate to autism qualify for CAS continuing education. Topics may include but are not limited to the  areas of competency

(e) IBCCES Autism Program Standards “Areas of Competency” An IBCCES autism program shall address one of the following core areas.

  • Autism Overview: Characteristics/Red Flags/Related Conditions/ Transitioning
  • Communication Competency (Speech and Language)
  • Behavior Competency (Reinforcement/Video Approaches/Third Person/ABA forms of therapy approach)
  • Social Skills Competency (Includes Play)
  • Environment Competency (Includes Self-Care and self advocacy)
  • Emotional Awareness Competency (Mental Health/Bullying)
  • Sensory Competency (Sensory Processing)
  • Program Development Competency
  • Aptitude Competency (Academics, administrative, Spec Ed Directors)

(f) “Diagnose” Only qualified professionals may diagnose and treat mental disorders specified in the edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders of the American psychiatric association designated by the board by rules and regulations.

(a)  no person shall use the CAS mark without authorization

(b)  failing to complete continuing education requirements

(c)  acts of unprofessional code of ethics

(d)  intentionally and knowingly violate one or more CAS practice standards

(e)  refusing to submit requested documentation

(f)  making a false statement in connection with any application

(g) no professional shall engage in diagnosing or treatment outside of their licensed scope of practice

(h) no professional shall practice outside the state laws within their jurisdiction

(i) no personnel shall conduct services outside of their legal scope of practice.

(j) personnel shall not conduct an IEP or assessment without first stating their credentials to the client.  Diagnosis of ASD must come from a Medical Physician or Licensed Psychologist.  The client’s family shall be informed that an assessment is not a diagnosis.  The client’s family may be informed to see a physician for further evaluation based on early signs of detection.

(k) nothing in this act shall be construed to permit a diagnosis by anyone who does not have legal authority to do so.

(l) nothing in this act shall be construed to prevent qualified persons from doing work within the standards and ethics of their professional scope of practice and callings provided they do not hold themselves out to the public by any title or description that represents a profession they are not. (Name tags and credentials shall be worn)

(m) any violation of this section shall constitute IBCCES to suspend or revoke CAS certification

(n) the use of restraints shall be avoided for children under 120lbs, and only when in immediate danger harm to self or others persists,  parents shall be contacted immediately (see IEP request) and placed in a safe area with a staff who best connects with the individual to help defuse the crisis.

(a) The CAS program is available to an applicant who:

(1) has earned a Masters degree from an accredited university in Special Education Special, Education, Educational Psychology, Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Human Development, Early Childhood Education, Speech/Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Social Work, or closely related field.  Professionals with a BA Degree and ten years consecutive field experience are eligible to apply.

(2) has two years consistent experience working directly with an individual(s) with the autism

(3) earns 14 hours of continuing education that directly relates to autism in any of the 9 core areas of competency

(1) conduct themselves in a professional manner using reliable research and without fraud or deceit. (CDC, NIH, NIMH)

(2) takes measures to ensure that the safety of the individual with autism is being met

(a)  provides education training for direct staff including but not limited to paraprofessionals

(b) has a protocol and disciplinary action plan in place when a report of bullying has been made against an individual with autism. (ie. Inform parents, document any witnesses, provide an anonymous way for students to report bullying)

(3) takes measures to ensure safeguarding privacy and executing confidentiality measures

(4) requires the CAS to wear name badges that includes personnel credentials

(5) requires the CAS to abide by the CAS code of ethics

(6) operates a school, center or practice  that maintains records and proof of the staff’s resumes, continuing education or training, organization chart, articles of incorporation and bylaws including the tax identification number

(7) operates a center that has a screening process to for staff that works directly with clients.

(8) Supports Keeping All Students Safe Act (KASSA)

a. KASSA will ban restraint/seclusion except in emergencies where someone is in danger of physical harm.

The KASSA will require that parents be informed if their child was restrained/secluded on the same day that the event occurred. Parents should be notified very quickly so they can seek medical care for concussions, hidden internal injuries, and trauma, and to work with the schools to create positive environments for their children.

b. The KASSA will ban restraints that impede breathing, mechanical restraints, and chemical restraints. These include chairs and other devices that children are locked into; duct tape and bungee cords, ties, rope, and other things used to restrain children; and other devices.

c. The KASSA will prevent restraint/seclusion from being used when less restrictive alternatives, like positive supports and de-escalation, would eliminate any danger. It would require them to end when the emergency ends.

d. The KASSA will require that if children are placed in seclusion rooms, school staff must continuously visually observe them.

e. Instead of restraint and seclusion, the KASSA seeks to promote positive behavioral supports for all children. The bill will shift schools toward preventing problematic behavior through the use of de-escalation techniques, conflict management and evidence-based positive behavioral interventions and supports. This shift of focus will help school personnel understand the needs of their students and safely address the source of challenging behaviors – a better result for everyone in the classroom.

f. The KASSA will also ban dangerous aversive practices that threaten safety; require the collection of data; and require appropriate training of staff.

(a) It is the responsibility of each CAS to stay abreast on the laws in one’s state and/or jurisdiction. Schools or centers that have legal actions pending may have CAS suspended or revoked.

(d) A professional who holds CAS status shall inform IBCCES within 24 hours if they, the school, or center has been found in violation of any law(s)

Conviction of any of the following shall constitute an unlawful act.

(a) Obtaining or attempting to obtain CAS renewal by bribery or fraudulent representation;

(b) Knowingly making a false statement in connection with any application under this act;

(c) Representing yourself as CAS status without authorization

(a) IBCCES may suspend, limit, revoke, condition or refuse to issue or renew a CAS to anyone upon proof that:

(1) has a staff member that has been convicted of a felony and, after investigation, the IBCCES finds that the individual has not been sufficiently rehabilitated to merit the public trust; (requires a referral letter from a mental health professional)

(2) has been found guilty of fraud or deceit in connection with services rendered

(4) has been found guilty of unprofessional conduct as defined by rules established in CAS code of ethics

(5) has been found to have engaged in a diagnosis of autism without legal authorization

(6) has been found guilty of negligence or wrongful actions in the performance of duties; or

(7) has had a license to practice revoked, suspended or limited, or has had other disciplinary action taken, or an application for a license denied, by the proper licensing authority of another state, territory, District of Columbia, or other country, a certified copy of the record of the action of the other jurisdiction being conclusive evidence thereof

(b) Proceedings to consider the suspension, revocation or refusal to renew CAS status shall be determined by IBCCES

(a) Accreditation issued shall be effective upon the date issued and shall expire at the end of 24 months from the date of issuance

(b) (1) CAS may be renewed by the payment of the renewal fee set forth in 22-2021 and submission of a signed statement, on a form to be provided by IBCCES, attesting that the applicant’s certification has been neither revoked nor currently suspended and that center has met the requirements for continuing education established by IBCCES including not less than three continuing education hours of professional ethics, privacy or confidentiality

(c) The application for renewal shall be made on or before the date of the expiration, of CAS status, on or before the date of the termination of the period of suspension

(d) If the application for renewal, including payment of the required renewal fee, is not made on or before the date of the expiration, CAS is void, and no status shall be reinstated except upon payment of the required renewal fee established under 22-2021 and amendments thereto, plus a penalty equal to the renewal fee, and proof satisfactory to IBCCES the completion of 14 hours of continuing education within two years prior to application for reinstatement. Upon receipt of such payment and proof, IBCCES shall reinstate CAS status. CAS shall be reinstated under this subsection, upon receipt of such payment and proof, at any time after the expiration of such center

(e) In case of a lost or destroyed certificate, and upon satisfactory proof of the loss or destruction thereof, IBCCES may issue a duplicate certificate and shall charge a fee as set forth in 22-2021 and amendments thereto for such duplicate certificate

(a) The following fees shall be established by IBCCES rules and regulations in accordance with the following limitations:

(1) Application review which includes certification for first time is $495.00 subject to change.

(a) new AC status shall consist of an interview by means of, telephone interview, or conference interview to discuss standards and code of ethics

(2) Application renewal after 24 months with proof of continuing education is  $199.00 subject to change.

(a) CAS reinstatement can be processed on-line and does not require further action unless a complaint has been filed against the CAS during the renewal period

(3) Replacement fee for re-issuance of a certificate due to loss or name change shall be not more than $40.

(4) Application fee for approval as an CAS approved continuing education sponsor shall be as follows:

(A) initial application fee for one year provisionally approved providers shall be not more than $1,000;

(B) two-year renewal fees for approved providers shall be not more than $500; and

(C) application fees for single program providers shall be not more than $1000 for each separately offered continuing education activity for which prior approval is sought

(D) non-profit associations:  CAS continuing education providers may be eligible for reduced fees or waived fees

(E) Fees paid to IBCCES are not refundable once CAS has been approved

(a) No CAS may disclose any information such person may have acquired from the person’s professional capacity or be compelled to disclose such information except:

(1) With the written consent of the client

(2) CAS shall contact a social service worker if: the person is a child under the age of 18 years and the information acquired indicated that the child was the victim or subject of a crime

Only qualified professionals may diagnose and treat mental disorders specified in the edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders of the American Psychiatric Association designated by the rules and regulations.  


(a) When a client shows red flags of a mental disorder, (www.nimh.gov) they should be referred to a medical physician, psychologist or psychiatrist to determine an accurate diagnosis