Essential Job Functions

sec_arr Guidance for the Medical Evaluation of Public Safety Employees

The following job functions and attributes have been included because they are representative of those considerations that are most likely to influence the physician’s recommendation. They are not intended to represent an exhaustive set of law enforcement officer (LEO) job functions.*

Before applying the guidance, the physician needs to be familiar with the various LEO job functions, and be aware that some of these positions may have other job requirements.

The physician needs to correlate medical conditions to job functions.

It is the responsibility of the agency having jurisdiction (AHJ) to decide which job functions apply to the specific LEOs.

Work Schedule
Effectively work erratic, unusual, prolonged and/or unexpected shifts or assignments.

Remain on assignment for prolonged periods without benefit of scheduled rest periods, meals, and access to medication or hydration.

Work according to the required schedule of the organization and the ability to deviate as needed from the usual schedule.

Physical Work Environment
Work in varied local environmental conditions (e.g., heat, cold, wet, severe storms, etc.) utilizing the jurisdiction’s assigned clothing and equipment (e.g., personal protective equipment, body armor, other specialty equipment).

Work in varied settings (e.g., challenging terrain, tight or confined spaces, remote settings, unprotected heights) and work spaces (e.g., vehicles, surveillance locations, etc.).

Safely operate a motor vehicle under emergency conditions.

Mental and Cognitive Performance
Effectively communicate and interact with individuals in varied situations.

Evaluate rapidly changing situations with multiple sources of input.

Maintain alertness and cognitive ability throughout the shift.

Comprehend written and oral instructions.

Physical Performance
Pursue, apprehend, and restrain individuals.

Rescue an individual and/or remove them from a hazardous environment.

Identify hazards, persons, and evidence.

  • Vision (e.g., house numbers, license plates, vehicle descriptions, suspect/victim descriptions, body language, potential weapons, weapon use).
  • Hearing (e.g., conversation, radio communications, alarms, requests for assistance).
  • Smell (e.g., hazardous materials, contraband, alcohol on the breath).
  • Touch (e.g., concealed weapons, heat, moisture).
  • Read, write, and speak clearly.

Weapons/Defensive Tactics
Use of duty weapons (with both dominant and non-dominant hand, if required by the AHJ). Weapon retention.

*For a more extensive list, see California’s Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Medical Screening Manual – available on line at