What is a Fitness for Duty Evaluation (FFDE)?
A psychological FFDE is a formal, specialized examination of an incumbent employee that results from (1) objective evidence that the employee may be unable to safely or effectively perform a defined job and (2) a reasonable basis for believing that the cause may be attributable to a psychological condition or impairment. The central purpose of an FFDE is to determine whether the employee is able to safely and effectively perform his or her essential job functions.
This definition comes directly from the Psychological Fitness for Duty Evaluation Guidelines, which were created by the Police Psychological Services Section of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Information for Departments and Agencies
You should refer an employee for a FFDE under the following circumstances, which comes directly from the IACP Guidelines referenced above:
Referring an employee for an FFDE is indicated whenever there is an objective and reasonable basis for believing that the employee may be unable to safely and/or effectively perform his or her duties due to a psychological condition or impairment. An objective basis is one that is not merely speculative but derives from direct observation, credible third-party report, or other reliable evidence.
If you would like to consult about a potential FFDE, please call Dr. Schlosser at (201) 337-4996.
If you are sending an employee for a FFDE, please provide our office with the following background information, which comes directly from the IACP Guidelines referenced above:
In the course of conducting the FFDE, it is usually necessary for the examiner to receive background and collateral information regarding the employee’s past and recent performance, conduct, and functioning. The information may include, but is not limited to, job class specifications and/or job description, performance evaluations, previous remediation efforts, commendations, testimonials, internal affairs investigations, formal citizen/public complaints, use-of-force incidents, reports related to officer-involved shootings, civil claims, disciplinary actions, incident reports of any triggering events, medical records, prior psychological evaluations, and other supporting or relevant documentation related to the employee’s psychological fitness for duty. In some cases, an examiner may ask the examinee to provide relevant medical or mental health treatment records and other data for the examiner to consider. It is important that all collected information be clearly related to job performance issues and/or the suspected job-impairing mental condition. Where possible and relevant, it may prove helpful to gather collateral information and data from other collateral sources.
Information for Employees Referred for a FFDE
If your department or agency is sending you to IFP for a FFDE, please click here for instructions and information about what to expect on the date of your appointment. In addition, please click here for a copy of the release form that you will be asked to sign on the date of your appointment. Please review this document prior to the date of your FFDE.