Physical Fitness Bona Fide Occupational Requirements for Safety-Related Physically Demanding Occupations; Test Development Considerations

Robert Gumieniak, Veronica Jamnik, Norm Gledhill


To qualify as a Bona Fide Occupational Requirement (BFOR), a Job Specific Physical Fitness Protocol (JSPFP) must conform to the requirements delineated in the 1999 Supreme Court of Canada's Meiorin Decision and the 2004 amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada. It is also highly recommended that the development of BFORs follow the template created in the 2001 BFOR Consensus Forum with attention to the precedent established in the 2002 decision of the Ontario Human Rights Commission. Validation of a JSPFP is achieved by a combination of construct and content validation procedures and reliability is established via a test-retest process. To overcome the potential adverse impact of a JSPFP on a sub-group of participants, it is possible to markedly improve the ability of a participant to pass a BFOR standard by engaging in test familiarization opportunities and in a job-specific physical fitness training program, which together can provide de facto "accommodation" for the adverse impact.


Meiorin Decision; Accommodation; Adverse Impact; Public Safety Occupation; BFOR; Occupational Fitness Protocol

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ISSN: 19206216