PBS are guided by key principles:
Prevention: Considerable effort is dedicated to ensuring individuals are provided with positive, preventative, proactive and responsive environments in which they are less likely to engage in problematic behavior due to lack of access to preferred activities, boredom, frustration or an unrecognized health problem.
Teaching: Teaching adaptive, functional skills plays a central role in all PBS work. The focus of PBS is on teaching or strengthening adaptive, functional behavior rather than diminishing challenging/problem behavior.
Treatment integrity: PBS has an ongoing emphasis that all interventions are implemented as planned. Continuous effort is made in the assessment of treatment integrity in a PBS program.
Evidence-based clinical practices: Strategies based on procedures, assessments and interventions that are validated through peer-reviewed research. Extensive research has identified practices with evidence of success with similar populations. PBS embraces available evidence-based practices that do not have coercive elements.
Data-based decision making: Objective data based on important behaviors, practices, outcomes will be reviewed and used for decision making with the goal of improving outcomes overtime.
Team-supported process: PBS is a team-based system where contributions from all members (individual, involved family direct, support staff, etc.) are valued and welcomed.
Willingness to change physical or social environments: Environmental redesign can be a key component of PBS. Environments should be safe (e.g. free of physical obstacles, provide clear visual paths, and adequate lighting, etc.) and appealing (e.g. clean, attractive, etc.).
On-going monitoring of individuals: Regular and frequent screenings identifying individuals who may need additional supports possibly at the Targeted or Intensive Support level are critical components.
Person-centered emphasis: PBS include persistent emphasis on involving the person in the planning process and focusing on the individual’s goals rather than identifying goals in the context of resources that are available.
Staff as a key resource: Engaging staff in PBS work requires a commitment to including, training, monitoring and problem solving with staff in an open, respectful way.
Value-based clinical practice: PBS interventions are selected on the basis of their fit for the individual’s preferences, consistency with prevailing cultural norms and with an emphasis on avoiding any that include coercive elements.