sec_arr Guidance for the Medical Evaluation of Public Safety Employees

Agency’s Medical Provider 

This is the medical provider who is retained by the Authority Having Jurisdictions (AHJ) to advise on medical issues. These issues could include the appropriateness of an individual performing public safety duties, as well as necessary work restrictions. The agency’s medical provider is the individual who reviews medical information provided by the employee’s treating provider. The agency’s medical provider may also be the treating provider, although such an arrangement  may create a conflict of interest. 

Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ)

This is a governmental or public agency having a public safety  responsibility.

Functional or Job Simulation Testing

A method of evaluating the employee’s ability to safely perform a job function by performing testing in the work environment or a partial re-creation of the work environment.


Information to provide assistance to decision makers. The intent is that the agency’s medical provider would use their professional judgment in conjunction with this information to reach an appropriate recommendation. The guidance document is to be used by the agency’s medical provider to make an individualized assessment, and should not be used as a regulation or a standard.

Individualized Assessment

The evaluation of the public safety employee by agency’s medical provider which will consider the medical history, precipitating factors, likelihood of recurrence in the individual being evaluated, and the effects of any medications taken by the employee, as well as the duties of that specific employee.

Job Functions

See chapter on Essential Job Functions.


Law enforcement officer.

Medical Evaluation

An assessment by an agency’s medical provider of the medical data collected on an individual (e.g., past medical history, review of systems, family history, occupational history, social history, physical examination findings, laboratory testing, imaging, and other testing).


Substances taken for therapeutic effect. This includes both prescription and non-prescription drugs.

Patrol LEO

The LEO, uniformed or not, providing public safety services to the public, and who patrols to prevent or detect crime, or respond to calls for service, or initiates a response to a situation based on the LEO’s observation of a situation, or directs traffic on foot or in a vehicle. Patrol LEOs may work in cars, or on foot, or may use other types of vehicles and transportation including vans, prisoner transport wagons or vehicles, trucks, bicycles, scooters, motorbikes or motorcycles, horses, boats, and aircraft.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Equipment used to prevent the user from having contact with hazardous agents (chemical, biological, or radiological). Examples would include non-permeable gloves (for chemicals or blood), and respirators (for airborne pathogens such as tuberculosis or influenza).


Functional job limitations determined by the agency’s medical provider based on medical information.

Sudden Incapacitation

Without adequate notice or warning, the inability to perform job functions (e.g., maintaining control of weapons, and vehicle operation).

Treating Provider

The provider who is providing medical treatment to the employee. This provider provides medical information to the agency’s medical provider so that the agency’s medical provider may advise the AHJ.