What is it?
A BFOR is defined by the Government of Canada as:
“A condition of employment that is imposed in the belief that it is necessary for the safe, efficient, and reliable performance of the job and which is objectively, reasonably necessary for such performance”
Fitness screening is necessary for a CF member because of the physically demanding occupation. Ineffective job performance can result in loss of life or damage to property. Because the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits any discriminatory practices, a CF member could say that a fitness screening is discriminatory.
Nevertheless, paragraph 15(1a) of the Canadian Human Rights Act, states that:
“It is not a discriminatory practice if any refusal, exclusion, expulsion, suspension, limitation, specification or preference in relation to employment is established by an employer based on a BFOR” (Government of Canada, 1985a).
Therefore, when establishing a occupational/fitness standard, the employer most comply with bona fide occupational requirements and must be related to the essential components of the job. Also, the employer must be ready to defend it as a BFOR.
Process of establishing a BFOR
The actual process to develop any fitness standard, based on it being a BFOR, follows the following general order:
(Based on: “Proceedings of the Consensus Forum on Establishing BONA FIDE Requirements for Physically Demanding Occupations”, Gledhill et al.)