Functional Capacity Evaluation:

A functional capacity evaluation (FCE) evaluates an individual’s capacity to perform work activities related to his or her participation in employment (Soer et al., 2008). The FCE process compares the individual’s health status, and body functions and structures to the demands of the job and the work environment. In essence, an FCE’s primary purpose is to evaluate a person’s ability to participate in work, although other instrumental activities of daily living that support work performance may also be evaluated.

  • Informed consent

  • Clinical Evaluation - Muscluloskeletal

  • functional strength testing - dynamic lifts

  • cardiovascular endurance testing - treadmill or stationary bike

  • isometric strength testing-to assist in validity determination

  • Physical demand test

  • Simulated work task

  • jamar grip strength test

  • Psychosocial Screens

  • Job assessment

  • summary with recommendations answering 3 core questions:

Did patient provide full effore during test? What is the appropriate next step? Which physical demand category best suits evaluee’s physcial abilities and limitations?

Who can benefit from a Functional Capacity Evaluation?
  • Someone who has been injured on the job to determine his or her ability to return to the job or alternate work
  • Someone applying for Social Security Disability benefits
  • Someone seeking to return to work or volunteer activities after an injury or illness
  • Someone injured in a catastrophic accident (i.e., automobile accident) for whom an FCE can determine performance skills and abilities related to resuming former employment or a new job
  • Someone seeking vocational rehabilitation services
  • Students receiving transitional services from school to the work setting to determine their skills and the extent of support required to perform in a job