Assessment represents efforts to describe and understand emotional fitness by linking psychological results with actual job performance.The key to success is the identification of performance based criteria.Some questions raised by psychological screening are:
What behaviors coincided with the performance-based characteristics of a fully reliable public safety employee?
How do those characteristics relate with the criteria used to select potential employees, police officers and other enforcement personnel, deputy sheriffs, fire fighters and specific high risk occupations?
What are the performance-based characteristics of reliable employees suitable for assignment to special duty assignments?
What are the psychological criteria for determining whether or not an apparently faltering employee should be allowed to continue to perform his or her duties?
How can adverse impact and discrimination be prevented to preclude bias that may be racial, ethnic, gender based or prejudiced against the disabled?
Psychological assessment of public safety applicants seeks to screen out those who exhibit risky psychological features to prevent liability to the public and/or the employee. Examples of such risk are clinical features associated with poor judgment, freezing or over-reacting under stress, or becoming emotionally impaired from work pressures. However, the absence of psychopathology by itself does not predict how well a candidate will perform, only that psychological impediments for a specific job are not present.Personal strengths must always be considered as mitigation to potential risk factors.
To assure that all evaluations maintain the same standards for recommendations, each type of evaluation uses the same tests and interview procedures. If psychologists used their own approaches it would be the doctors who were being measured instead of the applicant or employee. There must be a uniform standard for selection, special duty or fitness for duty or which doctor is involved is what makes the difference and not the suitability of the examinee. Our group assures uniformity employing qualified police psychologists, training all doctors to a uniform standard and supervising every case through quality control review of testing, interviewing and reporting.