Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPS)


If you have any questions regarding Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPS), please contact us for a Free Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPS) Consultation.


If a student’s behavior keeps interrupting his or her learning, or the learning of other students, the school district and parents should work together to understand the reason for the behavior, and plan ways to help the student learn more appropriate ways of behaving. One way of doing this is for the IEP team to develop a Behavioral Intervention Plan. A BIP is a tool that can help to:

• Understand the meaning, or function, of behavior,
• Understand what may be causing the behavior to happen,
• Understand ways to change environment to support student’s needs,
• Plan how to teach the student appropriate behavior.


Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)

The first step in developing a good behavior plan is to conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment, or FBA. The FBA is a process to improve understanding of problem behavior in order to identify what skills need to be taught, and to develop a better behavior plan. The process includes observation, interviews and data collection to identify when, where and why the behavior is occurring. The FBA is used to answer the question “what function does this behavior have for this student?” The answer to that question is either to get something (such as attention, rewards, sensory stimulation) or to avoid or escape something (such as a difficult task, anxiety, boredom). Identifying the function guides the development of a plan which can help the school teach missing skills and make changes so that the need for the behavior no longer exists.

A good FBA should include a hypothesis about the function of the behavior, based on the following information:

• An objective description of the behavior
• The places or situations where the behavior happens
• The places or situations where the behavior does not happen
• Events that happen just before the behavior
• Events that happen just after the behavior
• Additional information, including the student’s health, medication, and strengths


Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIP)

The IEP team uses the information from the FBA to develop a plan to:

• teach replacement behaviors which have the same function as the problem behavior;
• make changes to the situations that contribute to the behavior; and
• teach other missing skills which increase the likelihood of the appropriate behavior happening.

It’s important to remember that the purpose of a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is not to outline punishments, but rather to define what the adults will do differently to better support the needs of the student.

A BIP should include the following information:

• A summary of the FBA, identifying the function of the behavior
• The strengths of the student
• What replacement behavior will be taught, including:

1. how the new behavior will be taught
2. who will be responsible for teaching the replacement behavior
3. how long it will take to teach, and
4. how staff will reinforce the appropriate behavior.

• Additional support including any schedule changes, services, tutoring, etc.
• What data will be used to decide if the plan is succeeding
• How the school will communicate with the student’s family


If you feel that you do not have an appropriate Behavior Intervention Plan, please contact us for a Free Behavior Intervention Plans Consultation.