The term "conditional offer" is important in the hiring process in law enforcement. Under the applicable sources of law, the term "conditional offer" has significant meaning, as certain steps in a hiring process cannot be conducted until the candidate is promised the job provided they pass those final steps. This specifically applies to any psychological or medical assessment. An employment candidate for a law enforcement position cannot be subjected to medical or psychological assessments as part of a competitive selection process. Obviously, PT tests are not considered medical assessments.
A department cannot send you for a medical and/or psych unless you have been selected for hiring. That is were the term "conditional offer" is derived. You are being offered the job provided you adequately pass the medical/psych assessments.
While a formal written conditional offer is the norm in a hiring process, you cannot always count on getting the offer in writing. Some departments still send candidates to the psych and medical without letting them formally know that they have been selected for formal hiring. Obviously, as long as you are hired, not getting it in writing is not a big deal.
If a department engages in sending multiple candidates to psychs, for instance, as part of the "selection" process, and then chooses some of the candidates over others who went to the psych, that department is violating the ADA among other laws.
It is important to note that no shortage of candidates don't get hired after receiving a conditional offer. Most often, that is due to the candidate not adequately passing the psych assessment. Others have medical issues, while others have unexpected things come up in their background late in the process that they withheld.
I hope this information helps candidates understand the process better. I'll add other topics on hiring over time.
Entry-Level Exam Preparation
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