The Pre-Flight Checklist

Maintaining an Effective Fit-for-Duty Validation Test

By The Reschini Group

A fit-for-duty validation testing program is important to help make the right choices when hiring.
A fit-for-duty validation testing program is important to help make the right choices when hiring.

Before any aircraft leaves the ground, federal aviation laws require that the pilot complete a pre-flight checklist to ensure that his craft is properly equipped and safe for air travel.  Without this procedure – considered a sacrosanct responsibility by all responsible pilots and aircraft maintenance professionals – the friendly skies would become much more risky and unsafe.

That final step for pilots is not unlike the final step for employers, who need to make sure that candidates about to be hired are, in fact, well equipped and ready to take on the duties that the job requires.  A “fit-for-duty” validation test offers this final assurance prior to offering the candidate the position.

It’s important to have a well-written and thoroughly vetted job description, so that when the candidate goes for the fit-for-duty testing, he or she can be evaluated based on the clearly delineated duties, responsibilities, and physical/intellectual demands of the position.  Many employers utilize independent occupational health specialists to perform the fit-for-duty testing, using the job description to perform the appropriate screenings on the candidate – including drug testing and medical tests, such as for hearing – to provide a baseline standard of job qualification for the candidate.

Federal privacy and confidentiality laws governing the release of medical information come into play during this process, as well.  Because of this, many employers do not want the full medical reports sent to them, but only need a simple statement like, “This person is able to perform the essential functions of the position for which he or she is being considered,” or words to that effect.

Why is a well-crafted and carefully executed fit-for-duty validation testing program so important?  Because employers spend considerable time, effort, and expense to recruit, screen, hire, and train new employees.  When issues regarding performance arise after a hire has been made, the loss in productivity and the associated costs of starting the process over again can be staggering.  It’s best to know up-front that you and the person you’re thinking of bringing into the organization made a great fit – one that can last for the long-run.

Let the experts at The Reschini Group help guide you regarding implementation or review of your fit-for-duty program.  Working with trusted partners, we are able to provide solutions that could include using psychological risk assessments to determine how apt a person may be toward exhibiting risky behavior – which, of course, has obvious implications in loss scenarios like car accidents in company vehicles, cutting corners and becoming injured, and the like.

These screening practices are important, because, just like a pilot before takeoff, you want to make sure that everything is safe and is going to work as anticipated with your new hire.

Copyright 2016 The Reschini Group

 The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.