Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

WWW.FPSI.COM Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Maintaining Physical Standards Using Physical Ability Tests: Are Your Incumbents Fit for the Job?

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "WWW.FPSI.COM Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Maintaining Physical Standards Using Physical Ability Tests: Are Your Incumbents Fit for the Job?"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Maintaining Physical Standards Using Physical Ability Tests: Are Your Incumbents Fit for the Job? August 26, 2011 Dan Biddle, PhD Stacy L. Bell, MS Alisa Arnoff, Esq.

2 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 About the Speakers Dan Biddle, PhD—President/CEO of Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) and Biddle Consulting Group Stacy L. Bell, MS—Executive Vice President of Fire & Police Selection, Inc. Alisa Arnoff, Esq.—Attorney with Scalambrino & Arnoff, LLP

3 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Presentation Overview Review of critical firefighter physical abilities Comparison of fitness testing vs. work-sample testing Legal pitfalls associated with arbitrary fitness tests and the risks associated with employing inappropriate standards at the incumbent level Appropriate techniques to use for setting PAT cutoff scores for new hires and for incumbents Importance of “maintenance/wellness” testing of incumbents

4 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Critical Firefighter Physical Abilities Firefighter Physical Ability Validation Study ◦ 331 Fire Suppression Personnel from 41 fire departments identified the critical physical duties performed by fire suppression personnel: – Hose drags (dry and charged) – Ladder raises, removal, and carries – Walking and operating on ladders – Searching for fire extension – Removing conscious/unconscious victims from fire scene – Ventilation techniques – Climbing stairs while carrying tools/equipment – Hoisting operations

5 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Comparing Fitness Tests to Work-Sample Tests Examples of Fitness Tests ◦ 1.5 mile run ◦ Push-ups/Pull-ups ◦ Sit-ups ◦ Aerobic Capacity – Sub Maximal Stress Test ◦ Muscular Endurance & Strength (Arms & Legs) ◦ Flexibility Measurements (Shoulder, Trunk, & Legs) ◦ Body Fat Composition and BMI Samples of Work Sample Tests ◦ Hose drags: ◦ Walking/working on ladders: ◦ Removal of unconscious/conscious victim: ◦ Climbing stairs with tools/equipment:

6 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 What’s the Big Difference Between a Fitness Test and a Work Sample Test? Fitness Tests measure a person’s fitness (in general) and then make the inference that “if they have fitness level X they should be able to perform the job of Y” Some fitness tests (e.g., VO2 Max/Cardio fitness) require factoring age and gender into the equation ◦ This can be tricky with various employment discrimination laws and federal enforcement agencies Work Sample tests directly measure whether applicants/incumbents can perform the job task. ◦ They answer the question: “Irrespective of this person’s age, gender, race, or disability, can they do the job?”

7 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 NFPA 1583: Standard on Health-Related Fitness Programs for Firefighters In August of 2000, the NFPA published the current standard on health- related fitness programs for firefighters. The standard requires: ◦ Fire departments shall require structured participation of the health- related fitness program ◦ All members shall participate annually (at least) in a fitness assessment which measures: – Aerobic capacity – Body composition – Muscular strength – Muscular endurance – Flexibility

8 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 The Reality of Firefighter Fitness Programs Population of Community YESNOTOTAL Number Depts. Percent Number Depts. Percent Number Depts. Percent 1,000,000 or more ,000 to 999, ,000 to 499, ,000 to 249, ,000 to 99, ,000 to 49, , ,000 to 24, , , ,000 to 9, , , ,500 to 4, , , Under 2,5001, , , TOTAL5, , , Source: United States Fire Administration, Survey of the Needs of the U.S. Fire Service – 2002 Note: Based on 8,267 departments reporting. Numbers may not add to totals due to rounding.

9 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 The Legal Landscape—In Plain English A Fire Department cannot discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, national origin, disability, etc. Intent is not a required element of a discrimination claim. A testing program applied equally to all may be discriminatory if it screens out “too” many members of a protected class (has an adverse or disparate impact).

10 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © Disparate or Adverse Impact An employer uses a test that is facially neutral, but has an unjustified adverse impact on members of a protected class by screening them out. ◦ Every one is given the same test, but members of one or more protected class do not fare as well as others. How many is “too” many? ◦ The 4/5ths or 80% Rule – Pass rate of the minority group ≥ 80% of the pass rate of the most successful group. – Example Whites perform best, with a 60% pass rate. Possible disparate impact exists if African Americans passed at rate less than 48% (60% x.8).

11 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © Sources of Law Federal ◦ Title VII of the Civil Rights Act ◦ The Age Discrimination in Employment Act ◦ The Americans with Disabilities Act ◦ 42 USC §1981, §1983 ◦ U.S. Constitution, Equal Protection clause – 14 th amendment, §1 State and Local

12 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act Prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in all aspects of the employment relationship. – Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection provide that physical testing of incumbents must be based on “professional accepted methods.” Must show test is job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.

13 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Gender Norming ◦ Having a different set of qualifications given the immutable physiological differences between the genders in an attempt to ensure that qualified members of both sexes are selected, promoted or retained. – Strength – Aerobic capacity

14 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 The Age Discrimination in Employment Act The ADEA of 1967 prohibits employers from discriminating against an individual because s/he is age forty years or older. ◦ The ADEA was amended in 1996 to include a public safety exemption : – Fire Departments which demonstrate that the age requirement is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) can legally impose maximum age requirements.

15 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Reasonable Factors Other than Age Proposed RFOA regulations consider ◦ To what extent did the employer take steps to assess the adverse impact on older workers? ◦ How severe is the harm, in terms of the numbers affected and extent to which preventative or corrective steps are taken to minimize impact? ◦ Are there other options available? ◦ Why did the employer selected the test it did?

16 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Age Norming ◦ Having a different set of qualifications given the physical changes which occur as one ages to control for concomitant decreases in muscular strength, endurance, and aerobic capacity attributable to the aging process.

17 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 The Americans with Disabilities Act Cannot discriminate against a disabled individual who can do a job’s essential functions with or without a reasonable accommodation. Cannot discriminate against someone ◦ Who has a record of disability; or ◦ Whom the employer perceives as disabled

18 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Constitutional Issues “No State shall…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” (U.S. Const., Art. XIV) Gender-based classifications are subject to heightened scrutiny and will overcome the constitutional challenge if substantially related to an important governmental interest. Age-based classifications are subject to a less rigorous test, as age, unlike gender, is not a suspect classification; an employer must only show that the classification reasonably furthers a legitimate state objective or interest.

19 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 The Typical Testing Case Establish adverse impact ◦ Parties agree, or ◦ Plaintiffs present evidence FD shows job-related and consistent with business necessity ◦ Both sides offer expert testimony Plaintiffs show less restrictive alternatives available ◦ Both sides offer expert testimony

20 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 A Typical Testing Case Female firefighters prove disparate impact concerning use of physical exams ◦ Tests mostly for anaerobic traits (men excel) and not for aerobic traits (women excel) FD justifies use of test ◦ Validated, as each portion of exam designed to test a representative firefighting task Females unable to show a less restrictive alternative

21 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Physical Ability Testing Standards for New Hires The Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978) state: ◦ “Where cutoff scores are used, they should normally be set so as to be reasonable and consistent with normal expectations of acceptable proficiency within the work force. Where applicants are ranked on the basis of properly validated selection procedures and those applicants scoring below a higher cutoff score than appropriate in light of such expectations have little or no chance of being selected for employment, the higher cutoff score may be appropriate, but the degree of adverse impact should be considered.” (Section 5H)

22 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Physical Ability Testing Standards for New Hires FPSI’s standard approach is to utilize the “Modified Angoff Method.” ◦ The Modified Angoff method is the application of the modified method that received acceptance before the United States Supreme Court in U.S. v. South Carolina (1971). ◦ The Angoff method produces an average estimate of minimum competency using opinions from several SMEs. ◦ The modification followed in U.S. v. South Carolina lowered the Angoff average estimate by one, two, or three standard errors of measurement (SEMs) after consideration of several statistical and human factors: the size of the SEM, risk of error (risk of excluding a truly qualified candidate whose low score does not show the real level of knowledge compared to the risk of including an unqualified candidate whose low score does show an unacceptable level of knowledge), internal consistency of the Angoff panel (e.g., taken individually, the subject matter experts vary in their individual estimates of minimum competency), supply and demand for at-issue jobs, and the sex and race/ethnic composition of the at-issue jobs in the work force.

23 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Physical Ability Testing Standards for New Hires A sample of incumbent fire suppression personnel “norm” the physical ability test. Incumbents identify what a minimally qualified time should be for the physical ability test (i.e., “normal expectations of acceptable proficiency”). Average the mean opinion time and add one SEM to set the final cutoff score.

24 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Physical Ability Testing Standards for Incumbents (Firefighters and Fire Captains) Incumbent opinions are not used to set the cutoff score for maintenance standards due to bias: ◦ FFs tend to stretch the time limit when they know it will be used to monitor their job performance (i.e., they tend to overestimate the time) Incumbent maintenance standard cutoffs are based upon the mean of the incumbent time in the “norming” process: ◦ Outliers omitted using a SD ◦ Mean plus 1 Standard Error of the Mean Standard Errors of Difference The outcome is the “normal expectations of acceptable proficiency in the workforce”

25 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Sample Maintenance PAT Results Incumbent PAT Times Mean = SEM = SED = % “Remediate”

26 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Remediate Status of Incumbents A total of 6 officers clearly fell outside of the minimum proficiency levels relating to physical ability expectations (i.e., 95% confidence interval that these scores are reliably different from the average) and should be required to improve their abilities through possible dietary changes, weight-loss programs, and/or physical fitness programs. These incumbents fall into a “ remediate ” category and are asked to retake the test after week training program. The week training program should consist of both cardio-vascular and strength training in the specific, fire suppression-related work behaviors that are measured by the test. Departments can choose whether they want the training program to be self directed or conducted by a department-designated exercise specialist.

27 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Remediate Status of Incumbents The week remediate process may result in any of the four possible consequences: ◦ Conditioning program —The incumbent is placed on a program that include dietary modification and physical training. ◦ Leave of absence —The department may elect to place the incumbent on a leave of absence until which time the incumbent is able to pass the test. ◦ Disability leave —The department may elect to place the incumbent on disability leave until which time the incumbent is able to pass the test. ◦ Retirement with pension —The department may elect to terminate employment with the incumbent following continued attempts to improve test performance without success.

28 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 The Effect of Age on Test Performance Data from a study consisting of 256 incumbent fire suppression personnel (mean age = years) resulted in a correlation of.397*** when the age of the incumbent was correlated to test time. Data from a study consisting of 710 firefighter applicants (mean age = years) resulted in a correlation of.149*** when the age of the firefighter applicant was correlated to test time. While age was statistically correlated with physical ability test performance in both the incumbent and the applicant study, there are a number of other factors likely contributing to the correlation: – The motivation level of the applicants vs. the incumbents – The physical fitness level of the applicants vs. the incumbents

29 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Importance of “Maintenance/Wellness” Testing of Incumbents Ensuring Safety of the Crew ◦ Nearly 50% of all injuries to civilian firefighters in 2002 were a result of sprains, strains, and muscular pain—whereby overexertion is considered the primary causative factor. (NFPA) ◦ Nearly 50% of firefighter fatalities are heart attacks and about half of those who died had heart-related issues. (NFPA) ◦ “ Overweight, out-of-shape fire fighters are an accident waiting to happen.” (NFPA, 2000) Ensuring Safety of the Public Reduce Worker Compensation Claims ◦ The estimated total annual cost of firefighter injuries is between $2.8 - $7.8 billion. (NIST, 2005)

30 Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Questions??? Contact us ◦ Dan Biddle, PhD., CEO/President Fire & Police Selection, Inc. Phone: x. 113 ◦ Stacy L. Bell, M.S., Executive Vice President Fire & Police Selection, Inc. Phone: x. 245 ◦ Alisa Arnoff, Esq.—Attorney with Scalambrino & Arnoff, LLP Phone:


Download ppt "WWW.FPSI.COM Fire & Police Selection, Inc. (FPSI) © 2011 Maintaining Physical Standards Using Physical Ability Tests: Are Your Incumbents Fit for the Job?"

Similar presentations


Ads by Google