fitness for duty

HR / EAP Workshop: Referring for Fitness For Duty Evaluations

Fitness for Duty (FFD) evaluations are conducted with workers with recent difficulties at their place of employment that raises questions about their ability to complete their employment responsibilities safely and effectively. Sometimes when clients ask for a “fitness for duty evaluation” they actually mean a pre-employment screening. The primary areas of inquiry in a Fitness for Duty Evaluation are: 1) the worker’s impairment in completing their essential job duties, 2) suicide risk, and 3) violence risk. Dr. Tarescavage has published several peer-reviewed research articles on suicide and violence risk assessment.  Learn more about how objective FFDs are conducted by consulting the American Psychological Association guidelines for these assessments. We have conducted these assessments for several medical providers and law enforcement agencies in Northeast Ohio. We have also completed these evaluations for people who need these evaluations at the request of the Ohio Department of Education, the Ohio Counselor and Social Work Board, the Ohio Board of Nursing, and other state licensing agencies.

Prior to their Fitness for Duty assessment with Dr. Tarescavage, the evaluee will complete a brief history questionnaire. They will also be encouraged to identify a short list of people who know them well and could provide information on their recent functioning. The in-person component of the evaluation lasts approximately 2.5 hours and begins with an overview of the purpose of the evaluation as well as a review of the limitations on confidentiality. After introductions, the evaluee typically completes one-hour of psychological testing. This testing generally includes the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-3 (MMPI-3), a widely-used and well-validated psychological test. While the evaluee is completing testing, Dr. Tarescavage will attempt to contact others who know the evaluee well (with their permission). This testing and collateral information provides a comprehensive and objective foundation for a well-informed and impartial clinical interview. After testing and record review is completed, Dr. Tarescavage conducts the clinical interview. The first part of the interview involves the collection of background information (family, educational, medical, employment, military, legal, and substance use). The second part of the interview is the diagnostic assessment, suicide and violence risk assessment, and evaluation of the factors leading to the referral. This is by far the most comprehensive area of inquiry during the interview. Dr. Tarescavage will assess the evaluee’s symptoms, the course of their problems, and work-related impairment. Finally, Dr. Tarescavage gives the evaluee preliminary feedback on their assessment results. However, Dr. Tarescavage will never give feedback on his final opinion regarding the evaluee’s fitness for duty. After the in-person evaluation is completed, Dr. Tarescavage will conduct a record review and collateral contact process (if applicable) and write a 5 to 8 page report detailing his findings and opinions, including treatment recommendations (if applicable). The referral source will receive a shortened 2-3 page report within three business days of the evaluation (assuming additional records do not need to be requested). If the evaluee is interested in obtaining a copy of the evaluation, they will need to contact the referral source.

These evaluations are civil forensic assessments, which include police officer psychological screening, civil competency assessment, fitness for duty, guardianship evaluations, and threat assessments