Forensic Assessment to Determine Fitness for Duty

An employee suspended or disabled for behavior or substance abuse introduces uncertainty as to when the time is right to return to the workplace. Forensic psychiatrists who assess such individuals devise appropriate protocols for maintaining progress and alerting employers and employees to relapse. This involves a balancing between the essential demands of the position and the appropriate accommodations due an ill and recovering employee.

Responsible professionals, often those whose duties include keeping the public safe, may require a forensic assessment to determine whether they can continue to function in their previous or intended capacity - and under what circumstances. Police, teachers, health care professionals, and pilots, for example, have specific emotional requirements for their positions.

Even if a prospective employee does not meet criteria for a diagnosable condition, that candidate may be unfit for duty because of impulsivity, poor anger management, poor judgment, or interpersonal difficulties. Pre-employment screening may require evaluation by a mental health professional to screen for history or behaviors that would later become problematic. This behavior may include personality or other psychological testing.

The Forensic Panelís methodology in fitness for duty cases incorporates history from various sources, along with a psychiatric interview that explores particular qualities that may advantage or disadvantage the candidate. The forensic psychiatry examination relies upon an array of past historians to reach clinical conclusions: relationships, work, friends, and doctors all provide clues to the candidateís character and condition. Psychological testing is used to then supplement or give a richer understanding to yet unclear aspects of the history. The subjectivity of the forensic psychiatry examination is controlled by The Forensic Panelís peer review, which ensures exceptional diligence in exploring potential sources of information and maximizes the fairness and objectivity of conclusions.