Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Planning Tool

What is a PBS planning tool?

A PBS planning tool is used by a student and his or her team to brainstorm possible interventions. The PBS planning tool helps the team focus select interventions that are directly linked to information from the functional behavioral assessment.

When is the PBS planning tool used?

The team uses the PBS planning tool when the functional behavioral assessment is complete and the hypothesis (or hypotheses) about the function maintaining problem behavior is identified. The PBS planning tool is used to facilitate a brainstorming session where team members identify and select intervention strategies. In most cases, a multi-component intervention will be needed to address each of the major elements of the hypothesis statement including setting events, antecedents, teaching new skills, and consequence interventions. 
 

Why is it important to have everyone participate in brainstorming sessions?

It is very important that the student and his or her team collaboratively decide which interventions will be included in the PBS plan. When the people implementing the PBS plan are part of the decision making process, the likelihood that the interventions selected will fit the values, skills, and resources of the team increases. This also increases the likelihood that the PBS plan will be effective.

How is the PBS planning tool used?

There are two major steps in the Planning tool sequence. Step one is to write down the hypothesis statement, the desired behavior and consequence, and a new replacement behavior. Step 2 is to brainstorm possible interventions. It is very helpful to have someone with behavioral expertise facilitate the PBS planning process. A behavioral expert can share examples of interventions that have been used in similar situations, help identify replacement behaviors, and answer other questions as they arise.

Click here for a copy of the PBS Planning Tool and review it as you read the two boxes below. 

PBS Planning Tool Steps

Step 1: Write hypothesis statement and identify replacement behavior

  • Choose one of the hypothesis statements that you developed in the functional behavioral assessment that targets a specific routine or situation.
  • Write down this hypothesis in Step 1 of the PBS planning form for each group of behaviors that are maintained by the same function and antecedent.
  • Identify what the desired behavior would be and the consequence for that behavior.
  • Identify an appropriate behavior that could replace problem behavior and result in the same consequence as the problem behavior.

Once the first step of the PBS Planning Tool has been completed, the team can start brainstorming interventions. The PBS Planning Tool helps the team focus on interventions for each category of the hypothesis statement and this is how the interventions will be directly linked to the functional behavioral assessment.

PBS Planning Tool Steps

Step 2: Brainstorming Interventions

  1. Brainstorm possible interventions across the four hypothesis categories
  2. Copy both PBS planning steps onto flip chart paper or a blackboard
  3. Designate a period of time for each intervention category (setting event, antecedent, teaching new skills, consequence)
  4. Describe the brainstorming rules (generate ideas, don't evaluate them until later, give everyone a chance to come up with interventions).
  5. Start with the left hand side of the diagram with setting event interventions and work your way to the right.
  6. Review the interventions as a team and select the strategies that are the best fit for the people who will be implementing the plan.
  7. Place an asterisk next to chosen interventions on the brainstorming list.

Click here for a blank copy of the PBS Planning Tool.


The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression, and genetic information in the university’s programs and activities. Retaliation is also prohibited by university policy. The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies and are the Title IX coordinators for their respective campuses: Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 West Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, 785-864-6414, 711 TTY (for the Lawrence, Edwards, Parsons, Yoder, and Topeka campuses); Director, Equal Opportunity Office, Mail Stop 7004, 4330 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway, KS 66205, 913-588-8011, 711 TTY (for the Wichita, Salina, and Kansas City, Kansas, medical center campuses).