Ambitious about Autism

Improving the educational expertise available for children with autism

With strong evidence that an education based on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) has the best results teaching skills to children with autism, we need to ensure there is a shared competency framework for practitioners. TreeHouse is working in partnership to develop a professional infrastructure for ABA practice in teaching children with autism.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from to

Registered Charity in England and Wales (1063184)




  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Health/WellbeingHealth/Wellbeing


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)



There has been considerable recent growth in ABA-based education for both pre-school and school aged children with autism in the UK. This interest in using ABA methods to teach relevant skills to children with autism is based on strong research evidence to support the effectiveness of the methods. Given this growth and evidence base, there is a need to professionalise and ensure UK-wide competencies for practitioners using ABA methods with children with autism. Establishing an infrastructure in terms of qualifications and professional development for ABA practitioners will also go some way to addressing considerable misunderstanding about ABA in the wider educational community. The ABA Competencies Project is addressing these issues through the establishment of a shared framework of competencies, training and practice for ABA practitioners in the UK. As a result of this: 1.More children and young people with autism will benefit from high-quality, evidence-based education delivered by competent professionals practitioners will benefit from professional development and occupational standards 2. Parents and Children’s Services Departments will be able to employ practitioners with a greater degree of certainty about competence and quality 3. Education providers and the academic community will have a greater understanding of the nature and use of ABA in educational practice for children with autism The project is hosted and managed by TreeHouse and supported by Professor Richard Hastings, Professor of Psychology at Bangor University. ABA service providers in the UK are partners in the project, and an Advisory Group draws upon the experience and expertise of all stakeholder groups, including parents. Budget (3 years): Salaries & on-costs: £180,000 Travel & administration: £43,000 Dissemination & evaluation: £11,000 Equipment: £2,000 Total: £236,000 We have received seed funding from four trusts and we are seeking a further £125,000 to complete the three year project.