Fitness for Duty Examinations
Fitness-for-duty (FFD) examinations are requested of psychologists when an employer has concerns about an employee’s psychological or neuropsychological functioning. In a psychological FFD examination, the employer wants to understand the impact and risks of the psychological or emotional instability and whether this instability poses any risk of harm in the workplace. In a neuropsychological FFD examination, the questions focus on the impact of the employee’s neuropathology (e.g., seizure disorder, stroke) in the workplace. Boundaries, rules, ethics, and informed consent for FFD examinations are discussed. The validity of the examination must be addressed, but in FFD testing, validity is more about a lack of findings being the product of underreporting of emotional or psychological distress. Case examples are provided to show different types of FFD and related examinations.
The author wishes to thank Dr. David Fisher, who provided helpful comments and suggestions, and Paige Haley, for her work on the final manuscript.
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