Functional Capacity Evaluation

Action OHS Consulting Functional Capacity Evaluation Services

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a series of standardised tests and observations that are combined to objectively assess a worker’s functional ability to perform the physical demands of a job role, and determine whether the worker has the physical and postural capabilities to undertake the demands of the job.


Our Functional Capacity Evaluation Services 

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) tests are fit-for-purpose and designed on a case-by-case basis. Our evaluator will select the relevant tests to meet the application of the assessment. The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), will consider: (i) current diagnoses, (ii) impairments, (iii) pain and functional limitations, (iv) worker feedback, and (v) the case resolution goal. Following the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) the evaluator will make a professional and clinical judgment based on the functional ability gathered during the evaluation, instead of the pain limitation associated with impairment.

A series of pain assessment and physical tests make up a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). These diagnostics are designed to measure workers:

  • Physical strength
  • Range of movement
  • Stamina
  • Tolerance to functional activities, including lifting and carrying

The main focus whilst undertaking a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is the prevention of further injury. Action OHS Consulting has highly-experienced and qualified professionals who complete each Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). Our consultants, with backgrounds in physiotherapy, exercise physiology or occupational therapy will ensure safe systems are established to ensure the safety of your employees.

The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is not only a useful clinical tool. The results from a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) will clearly define an individual’s transition from injury to employment and from disability to deployment. Related terms include Physical Capacities Evaluation, Functional Assessment or Work Capacity Evaluation. If you would like to find out how Action OHS Consulting manage worker safety by completing Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs), please contact us.

For more information regarding a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE), please see below.


How does a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) assist businesses?

The results of a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) should be compared with the physical demands of potentially available jobs. When this is done, a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) can assist a business to ensure that they provide a safe workplace. This is achieved by ensuring that workers have the functional capacity to safely perform their job. As a result, a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) may be used as a source of information to proactively:

  • Assess the worker’s capacity to meet the physical demands of specific roles when other sources do not provide this information
  • Develop Return-to-Work (RTW) programs. This is a result of the employer being able to proactively establish what light duties an injured worker can safely do
  • Communicate relevant information to involved parties including the worker, treating practitioners and employer
  • Report key observations in relation to appropriate and inappropriate activities and behaviours
  • Make recommendations about interventions such as safe manual handling and other actions which will facilitate a return-to-work, and
  • Track changes in their worker’s functional capacity following work conditioning programs to prevent injury or aggravation.

As a result, a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) can financially benefit an organisation through proactive reductions in insurance premiums and assist in preventing the length of active WorkCover claims. This occurs as workers are returned to work on the basis of an objective understanding of their functional capacity.

What does a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) involve?

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) requires approximately three-hours with the worker and depending on the complexity of the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) an additional three-hours to score the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) and complete a detailed report.

Initially, the evaluator will work with your business to identify the return-to-work options or goals for the injured worker. During this time the evaluator will commence gathering and reviewing the following information which may include, but is not limited to:

  • medical reports
  • rehabilitation reports
  • previously completed Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs)
  • medical investigations
  • the worker’s position description, and
  • the physical demands statement that has been developed for the job to get an indication of the tasks and repetition throughout the working day/shift.

Depending on the level of detail provided, the assessor may be required to visit the worker whilst at work to better understand the role they complete. Medical consent is provided before accessing personal or medical records.

The next step in the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) process involves the worker visiting a clinic to undergo the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE). Both the worker and the business can be provided with an overview of the Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) tests/assessments prior to attendance at the site.