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Functional Capacity Evaluation

Functional Capacity Evaluation

A Functional Capacity Evaluation, also known as a FCE, is a test designed to evaluate an individual's physical ability to perform certain tasks or activities generally associated with his or her participation in employment.

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Using a Physical Demands Analysis, PDAs, for the position, the FCE process compares the health status, body functions and structures of the individual to the demands of the job and the work environment. Information and interpretation gained through the functional test should take into account the historical, medical, and physical examination findings, and the psychological and motivational status of the individual.

Depending on who is performing the test, it may be called:

  • Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA)
  • Physical Capacity Assessment (PCA)
  • Physical Capacity Evaluation (PCE)
  • Work Capacity Assessment (WCA) or Evaluation (WCE)

What are the benefits of booking a Functional Capacity Evaluation through SureHire?

  • Centralized booking department which will provide confirmation of appointment within 24 hours.
  • National Network – SureHire is able to provision Functional Capacity Evaluations across Canada.
  • Standardized reporting template – all clinicians who complete Functional Capacity Evaluations through SureHire submit their finalized report on a standardized Functional Capacity Evaluation report template.
  • Standardized review of reports – all Functional Capacity Evaluation reports are reviewed by an evaluator at SureHire who has extensive knowledge and experience in Functional Capacity Testing prior to submitting final report to the referral source.

The actual components of a Functional Capacity Evaluation can differ slightly based the reason for the assessment. The assessment will typically include:

  • Client Interview
  • Medical Record Review
  • Musculoskeletal screening
  • Graded Material-handling Activities (see below)
  • Positional Tolerance Activities (see below)

Throughout the assessment, pain monitoring is performed to track client-reported levels of pain during the various activities and manage it.

Some FCEs may include an evaluation of an the person’s hand dexterity, hand coordination, endurance, and other job-specific functions.

The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (US. Department of Labor) gives 20 separate functions on which work capabilities are based and an FCE should evaluate these functions, although the functions evaluated will often depend on the specific job functions required of the patient:

  1. Lifting
  2. Climbing
  3. Balancing
  4. Stooping
  5. Kneeling
  6. Crouching
  7. Crawling
  8. Reaching
  9. Pushing/pulling
  10. Standing
  11. Carrying
  12. Talking
  13. Hearing
  14. Tasting/smelling
  15. Near/far acuity
  16. Sitting
  17. Walking
  18. Handling
  19. Fingering
  20. Feeling

Once the assessment is over, a FCE report is gathered and will include a:

  • Overall Physical Demand Level
  • Summary of job-specific physical abilities
  • Summary of performance consistency and overall voluntary effort
  • Job match information
  • Adaptations to enhance performance
  • Treatment recommendations (if requested)

If applicable, some FCEs will report on the worker’s ability to meet cognitive demands of the job in question.

Testimonials & Case Studies

This industrial construction company implemented pre-hire Fitness-to-Work testing with SureHire in April 2012. From April 2012 to December 2015, *4322* candidates were tested.

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