Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a series of standardised tests used to assess a worker’s functional capacities for work. The aim of this pre-employment medical check is to determine a worker’s abilities over a range of physical demands in order to facilitate his or her functional recovery. At Bodycare we work with our partners to deliver customised FCE which include task-specific measures to ensure that employee is physically fit to perform their task.

Completion of an FCE is recommended when information is required about a worker’s functional abilities that is not available through other means. It is suggested that wherever possible a FCE should reflect a worker’s capacity to perform the physical activities that may be involved in jobs that are potentially available to the worker.

The FCE Assessment Process

Employees for the FCE attend the required clinic for a period of approximately 2 hours. The duration of functional assessment is influenced by the complexity of the presenting issues and the requirements of the job role. It is recommended that the employee provides all relevant documentation, scans and reports that are relevant to the injury/claim to assist with final recommendations.

The testing procedures completed will vary depending on the nature of the presenting injury and the functional requirements of the candidate’s proposed/required duties.

An FCE can include tests such as strength testing, range of motion testing, flexibility testing, comprehensive musculoskeletal examination and manual handling assessments. Each assessment is fully customised for the employee based on the injury they are looking to return to work from.

An FCE assessment can be completed in the workplace where specific inherent requirements of the role will be difficult to replicate in a clinic setting. In order to complete the full assessment, a private space will be required.

Our Functional Capacity Evaluation is an objective assessment of a person’s ability to perform the essential physical demands of a job and is widely recognised as an important part of injury prevention and return to work process.


A FCE may be used as a source of information for:

Developing return to work programs
Communicating relevant information to involved parties including the worker, treating personnel and employer
Reporting key observations in relation to appropriate and inappropriate activities and behaviours
Making recommendations about interventions such as safe manual handling and other actions which will facilitate return to work
Assessing the worker’s capacity to meet the physical demands of specific duties when other sources do not provide this information. It is noted that a work trial is often the most valid test of a worker’s capacity
Specifying duties including proposed return to work duties or different duties

Contact us now to learn more about our Health Assessment Services