Do You Have a Workforce That Is Fit for the Job?

Are Your Employees a Good Fit for the Job? Which Screening Tools Are Right for Your Company

Does each employee have the capacity to complete the inherent requirements of the role or task assigned to them?

The purpose of Fit For Duty Assessments (FFD) and Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE) is to determine whether an employee is fit for duty and also to provide clear, objective guidelines to stakeholders.

But question is, Which type of assessment will you need? Fit For Duty Assessments or Functional Capacity Evaluations?

Fit for Duty Assessment – What is it?

Fitness for Duty Assessments differs from Functional Capacity Assessments and Fitness Screenings. An FDD is conducted on an employee who has sustained an injury or illness to determine if they can return to work.

An employer has a legal right to conduct a fitness for duty evaluation; refusing to conduct one may not automatically lead to termination. One-on-one consultations with occupational health professionals are usually part of the process. They can consist of different types of assessments and are carried out for many different reasons.

If you have a worker recovering from an injury that is not work related, and the doctor has cleared them to return to work, but you believe that the employee will be unable to do his/her job because of the injury, then you may want to talk with the company’s Occupational Health Officer about having an Employee Fitness for Duty (FFD) assessment done before they return to work. When a doctor is not aware of the specific demands of an employee’s job, this situation can occur.

If you have concerns about an employee’s ability to complete the essential tasks of their position, you can perform a fitness-for-duty assessment. It’s important to consider mental illnesses when doing FFD’s, and they are often a factor.

A Fitness for Duty Assessment tries to determine if an employee can work safely. As part of the assessment, you need to determine if the worker has a medical condition that could affect his/her safety or the safety of others around him/her. To determine this, you can consider the following two points:

  • Every case is different. There is no guarantee that all individuals with similar medical histories will experience the same issues.
  • The more information you give your medical professional when she’s assessing your employee, the better her evaluation will be. Tell her about the job description, medical history, and even phone records pertaining to the employee’s ability to perform the job.

Functional Capacity Evaluation

Functional Capacity Evaluations, or FCEs, are tests used to determine your abilities to function at work. You will be evaluated to determine your ability to execute tasks over a variety of physical demands so as to facilitate your functional recovery and return to work. This will include task-specific measures in order to ensure you are physically fit for the job you want.

FCEs (functional capacity evaluations) are generally used as part of the return to work process and are mainly used in relation to musculoskeletal injuries or injuries that are physical in nature.


To make sure you get the right assessment base on the outcome you are looking to achieve, you might need to explore Fitness for Duty Assessments (FFD) and Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCE). If you’re not sure which kind of assessment is right for your needs, the team at PCP Works can help.

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