Functional behaviour assessment

Functional behaviour assessment (FBA) is a systematic approach that helps identify and understand the following aspects of behaviour:

  • Form - the observable behaviour - What are they actually doing?
  • Function - the underlying cause - What is the goal of the behaviour?
  • Context - the setting - Where does it occur? What happens immediately before and after?

Collecting a range of information directly via observation and indirectly via interviews and surveys, assists with determining the goal or function of the behaviour and developing strategies to address or support the problem behaviour. For example, assessment may indicate the goal of a particular behaviour is to gain attention. The intervention would then be developed to provide the student with the attention they are seeking, but only for appropriate behaviour.

While this approach can be time-consuming, conducting an FBA can help:

  • identify the triggers and the goal of disruptive behaviour
  • decide on a new approach to try
  • set targets, benchmarks and evaluation strategies
  • implement and monitor progress
  • assess outcomes.

FBA results enable interventions which lead to significant improvement in problem behaviour. They can help identify additional programs to put in place for students or whole classes, where positive behaviour support strategies are needed.

More information

Fact sheet – Functional behaviour assessment (PDF 208.88KB).

Personalised Learning and Support Signposting Tool (PLASST) helps teachers identify student strengths and areas where they may benefit from personalised learning and support.

Queensland Government online Guided Functional Behaviour Assessment Tool takes 10-15 minutes to complete. It generates a range of strategies to consider to address the problem behaviour.

Student Behaviour Analysis and Prompt Sheet is a guide to identify, analyse, assess, plan, monitor and review student behaviour in a context of risk assessment (Staff only).

Professional learning

Be You has professional learning modules to assist teachers with student behaviour and provide appropriate support. The modules provide one hour of NESA accredited professional development.

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