Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports (PBIS)-Soutien au comportement positif (SCP) is a three-tiered evidence-based prevention and intervention framework designed to promote prosocial student behaviour and academic achievement by building a positive school culture.


The PBIS-SCP framework provides a continuum of behaviour supports across three tiers.

Adapted from Horner, Sugai, Todd, and Lewis-Palmer, 2005

Tier 1. The primary tier assumes that all students will benefit from a base level of positive behaviour support. At this level, students are taught a set of positively stated and operationally defined behaviour expectations that apply to all students and staff in all areas of the school. School personnel then monitor and encourage students to meet the behaviour expectations. Behaviour violations are addressed through a continuum of instructional consequences.

Tier 2. The secondary tier helps students for whom primary tier support is not enough. At this level, students identified as at-risk for behaviour challenges receive more intensive behaviour support designed for their particular needs.

Tier 3. The tertiary tier helps students with the greatest need for behaviour support. At this level, students identified as high-risk for behaviour challenges receive intensive individualized and comprehensive behaviour intervention support.


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Feature 1: Outcomes. PBIS-SCP aims to provide schools with a safe and caring social climate that is conducive to outcomes that school and district teams identify as valued, such as increased prosocial behaviour and academic achievement, that lay the foundation for a positive life course.

Feature 2: Evidence-Based Practices. PBIS-SCP emphasizes the use of research-based practices in all aspects of school life, from instructional approaches to classroom management and selection of behavioural rewards and consequences. Research-validated practices ensure that the strategies and procedures used in schools are theoretically sound, cost-effective, and bring about meaningful and measurable results.

Feature 3: Systems. PBIS-SCP recognizes the importance of targeting the structure of systems and systemic practices to implement and sustain change in schools. Examples include building capacity in schools by creating a school leadership team, ensuring district commitment for positive behaviour support efforts, and integrating the principles of PBIS/SCP into the school and school district’s policy and action plans.

Feature 4: Data Use. PBIS-SCP emphasizes the active and systematic data collection on implementation and valued student outcomes. This data is to be used to make decisions about how to improve the social climate of the school and to be reported regularly to the administrative positive behaviour support leadership team, other school personnel, the school district, and the students’ families.


Research shows that PBIS-SCP is associated with the following valued student outcomes:

Decreases in externalizing problem behaviour, such as defiance and impulsivity (Bradshaw, Mitchell, and Leaf, 2010)
Decreases in internalizing behaviour, such as anxiety and withdrawal (Lane, Wehby, Robertson, and Rogers, 2007)
Increases in academic achievement scores (McIntosh, Bennett, and Price, 2011; Horner et al., 2009)
Increases in on-task student behaviours, such as asking and answering questions in class (Algozzine and Algozzine, 2007)

Algozzine, K., & Algozzine, B. (2007). Classroom instructional ecology and school-wide positive behavior support. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 24, 29-47.

Bradshaw, C. P., Mitchell, M. M., & Leaf, P. J. (2010). Examining the effects of schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports on student outcomes: Results from a randomized controlled effectiveness trial in elementary schools. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 12, 133-148.

Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., Smolkowski, K., Eber, L., Nakasato, J., Todd, A. W., & Esperanza, J. (2009). A randomized, wait-list controlled effectiveness trial assessing school-wide positive behavior support in elementary schools.Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 11, 133-144.

Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., Todd, A. W., & Lewis-Palmer, T. (2005). Schoolwide positive behavior support. In L.M. Bambara & L. Kern (Eds.), Individualized supports for students with problem behaviors: Designing positive behavior plans (pp. 359-390). New York: The Guilford Press.

Lane, K. L., Wehby, J. H., Robertson, E. J., & Rogers, L. A. (2007). How do different types of high school students respond to schoolwide positive behavior support programs?: Characteristics and responsiveness of teacher-identified students. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 15, 3-20.

McIntosh, K., Bennett, J. L., & Price, K. (2011). Evaluation of social and academic effects of school-wide positive behaviour support in a canadian school district. Exceptionality Education International, 21, 46-60.