The differences between physio-led and doctor-led pre-employment health assessments

Pre-employment health assessments are an increasingly important part of the recruitment process. The pre-employment journey is a critical phase for both employers and candidates, as it sets the foundation for a successful and safe working relationship.

What is a pre-employment health assessment?

In an age characterised by extended work hours and heightened physical and mental challenges, it has become increasingly important to prioritise the selection of individuals joining your workforce. Choosing candidates capable of safely fulfilling the essential duties of their positions serves as the cornerstone of a sustainable injury prevention strategy.

Pre-employment medical assessments evaluate the health and functional capacity of candidates through a series of questionnaires, standardised tests, and clinical assessments. Conducted by experienced occupational health professionals, these assessments can quickly identify potential issues, track health parameters (such as hearing and respiratory function), and provide robust and professional recommendations.

Who conducts pre-employment assessments?

Pre-employment health assessments and recommendations are provided by experienced occupational health physiotherapists and medical professionals. Bodycare partners with specialists to ensure rigorous testing and accurate recommendations. These professionals, combined with our expert team, provide you with holistic, end-to-end support.

What types of pre-employment health assessments are physio-led?

Qualified and experienced physiotherapists can perform the following pre-employment health assessments on candidates:

  • Musculoskeletal and functional capacity evaluation that includes a review of joint range of motion, joint stability, muscle length, muscle strength, functional work tolerances, and a basic neural screen.
  • Vision testing to assess visual acuity where this is necessary for the safe performance of each role.
  • Hearing testing to measure hearing capability and any potential hearing deficits that may have been incurred due to exposure to hazardous levels of noise.
  • Alcohol and other drugs (AOD) testing that includes testing the candidate’s blood alcohol level (BAC) and the presence of illicit drugs in their system at the time of assessment.
  • How can Bodycare help your business with pre-employment health assessments?

What types of pre-employment health assessments are doctor-led?

More comprehensive and legislated health assessments must be performed by a doctor. Doctors can perform the same pre-employment health assessments as physiotherapists, as well as:

  • Cardiovascular (blood pressure, heart rate, STEP test, etc.)
  • Spirometry (i.e., breathing) and respiratory
  • Skin checks (general)
  • Neurological (reflexes)
  • Abdominal (checking for hernias, lumps, etc.)
  • Digestive (general mouth health)
  • Sleep (Epworth Sleepiness Score)
  • Urinalysis (checking kidney function)
  • Commercial driving

How do physio-led and doctor-led pre-employment health assessments compare?

Physio-led assessments

  • Cover most pre-employment criteria
  • Physical and job-focussed
  • Clinic or site-based
  • Faster deployment
  • Faster result turnaround
  • Lower cost

Doctor-led assessments

  • Cover all pre-employment criteria
  • Holistic health-focussed
  • Clinic-based
  • Slower deployment
  • Slower result turnaround
  • Higher cost

Which is the better option?

The choice of going with physio-led or doctor-led pre-employment assessments for your business’s advertised roles depends on multiple factors. However, in general, physio-led assessments may be a better option if cost, deployment time, location, or analysing candidates’ physical capabilities1 are of utmost priority.

Contact the Bodycare team today to discuss how we can support your business with its pre-employment health assessments.


¹Physical Therapy Reviews