Fitness for Duty Evaluation

Fitness for Duty Evaluation

Why conduct a fitness-for-duty evaluation?

An employer usually requests this type of evaluation. The assessment is sometimes required as a pre-employment condition in jobs that involve high-risk duties such as the police force or a security company. It can also be necessary if the individual was involved in an incident at work or at school, or if the employee has displayed behavioral problems that raise concerns.  Therefore, the purpose of this evaluation is to determine if the individual is psychologically suitable to manage the duties of the job safely, as not to threaten the health or safety of him or herself, co-workers, or the general public.

What does a fitness-for-duty evaluation involve?

This evaluation typically involves forensic interviews with the individual and other sources of collateral information, psychological testing which will generate objective data of psychological adjustment, as well as a review of legal and mental health records. A variety of data sources will be needed. 

Types of fitness-for-duty evaluations:

Several evaluations fall in the fitness-for-duty evaluation category to include the following:

  • Post offer, Pre-placement evaluations: helps the employer identify individuals at risk of harm if placed on the job. In which case, the offer of employment may be rescinded to protect the at-risk employee or the organization.  In the case of a disability, the testing can help identify specific accommodations for success on the job.
  • Post-employment fitness-for-duty evaluation: is specific to identifying work-related deficits and allows the employer to intercede before an injury occurs.
  • Return to work (RTW): is a program established by businesses that allows the employee to remain at work or return safely to an appropriate job. The goal is to return the injured employee to the workplace as soon as they are medically able.