Positive Behaviour Support Plans: Content and Quantity

Nick Gore BCBA Co-Director Tizard Centre University of Kent

Suzi Sapiets, Tizard Centre University of Kent

Behaviour Support Plans are a key element of Positive Behavioural Support (PBS). They provide a range of bespoke strategies to guide how caregivers and staff can best support an individual to maximise quality of life outcomes and reduce the risk of behaviours that challenge. Behaviour Support Plans should be based on a prior functional assessment, constructed in partnership with key people, aligned with the goals and aspirations pertinent to the focal person and suited to the context in which they will be implemented. The Behaviour Support Plan Content Appraisal Tool (BSP-CAT) has been created to appraise the quality of Behaviour Support Plans in ways that reflect the conceptual underpinnings of PBS in the UK, to help to guide and shape better plans in practice.

Learning Objectives:

  • Gain an understanding of key elements of a values-based and effective Behaviour Support Plan
  • Understand the major categories rated in the BSP-CAT and method of scoring
  • Reflect on how ratings in the BSP-CAT correspond to group member’s professional experience
  • Consider ways of using the BSP-CAT in practice to support better quality service delivery over time

In this workshop, we will describe the importance of an effective BSP in care delivery, describe key elements and share an overview of the recently developed BSP-CAT tool for appraising the quality of Behaviour Support Plans and helping to guide and shape better plans in practice. We will present the rational for developing the tool, provide an overview of its dimensions, and share early data concerning reliability. We will invite workshop members to take part in exercises to explore how the tool can be used and how categories relate to personal professional experience.

Nick Gore is a Clinical Psychologist, Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and Researcher based at University of Kent. He has a special interest in supporting people with learning disabilities, their families and staff teams in the context of behaviours that challenge. He has led and contributed towards a variety of research studies and the development of practical resources to support the implementation of PBS in the UK and internationally. 


Background Reading:

Gore, N. J., Sapiets, S. J., Denne, L. D., Hastings, R. P., Toogood, S., MacDonald, A., Baker, P. A., Allen, D., Apanasionok, M. M., Austin, D. and others. (2022) ‘Positive Behavioural Support in the UK: A State of the Nation Report’, International Journal of Positive Behavioural Support. Available at:

Browning Wright, D., Saren, D., &Mayer, G. R. (2003). The Behaviour Support Plan-Quality Evaluation Guide. Available at

Chaplin, J., Hastings, R.P., & Noone, S. (2014).Improving the quality of behavioural support plans through service development initiatives. International Journal of Positive Behavioural Support, 4 (2), 14-23