Course Certificate
(75% of quiz marks)
Credit Hours3
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The FFDEs may generally be initiated after a verified report to the executive or chain of command that an officer is exhibiting signs and symptoms of poor judgment, mental impairment or illness in the workplace or off-duty.  FFDEs may be triggered in terms of the positive and negative risk that the officer presents; whereby positive risk is what the officer may do that is potentially damaging; while negative risk is what the officer may neglect to do such as dereliction of duty.  

While violence or excessive force accounts for twenty-nine percent of fit-for-duty evaluations (Allen, Hibner, & Miller 2000), other conduct such as domestic violence, substance abuse, lack of alertness, and a myriad of counterproductive behaviors could also lead to a request for an FFDE.  Threats to self or others, psychiatric hospitalizations, suicide attempt(s), along with observable behaviors such as excessive suspiciousness, extreme irritability and frequent crying that may point to experience of a psychological condition are amongst the “red flags”.


1. A FFDE may be triggered when a peace officer is exhibiting which of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Poor judgment
  • Mental impairment
  • Mental Illness
  • All of the above

2. According to the research done by Allen, Hiner & Miller, what percentage of FFDE are due to violence and/or excessive force?

  • 22%
  • 25%
  • 29%
  • 31%

3. A pattern of excessive use of absence, sexual inappropriateness, insubordination, interpersonal conflicts with co-workers or supervisors, high rate of mistakes and tactical errors will automatically denote that an officer has a psychological problem.

  • True
  • False

Instructor: Sepideh Souris, Psy.D.
CE Hours: 3

Course Description

This intermediate-level home-study course is for licensed psychologists and doctoral level mental health professionals interested in police and public safety related topics. In particular, this course is designed to address the Fitness-For-Duty Evaluation (FFDE), its processes and related topics. The course will focus what is a fitness-for-duty evaluation, how fitness-for-duty evaluations differ from pre-employment evaluations, what specific issues/behaviors trigger a fitness-for-duty evaluation, and the legal responsibilities and rights of employers and employees. This home-study course will also expand upon legal/ethical principles and procedural issues involved in FFDE as well as examiner qualification. Other topics covered in this course include but are not limited to: the psychologist’s obligation in offering consultation, as well as knowledge of declining a referral that falls outside the area of competency; discussing the examinee’s rights and limitations to access the report and other personal health information; integration of multiple sources of data; the examination process; the legal standards for determining fitness; and other salient and relevant FFDE related matters.

Course Objectives

Upon completion, the participant will be able to:

  • Discuss the differences between pre-employment psychological evaluations and fitness-for-duty evaluations.
  • Identify the common behaviors that trigger a FFDE.
  • Explain under what conditions an FFDE should or should not be performed.
  • Discuss the legal responsibilities of employers and employees including EEOC, ADA, and FMLA.
  • Explain examiner qualifications.
  • Discuss the examination process for FFDEs.
  • Describe the recommendations and outcomes for determining fitness.
Section 1
Section 2
Final Quiz