Functional Capacity Evaluation

Full-Body Comprehensive Medical Test • Post-Offer Employment Test • Injury Management

The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is a full-body comprehensive medical test used to measure an employee’s capacity to safely perform tasks similar to his or her job duties, outline what job duties the person can and cannot do and assist with injury management, including whether the injury was sustained while at work or previously existed. The FCE test may be used alone to document existing impairments or in combination with the Post-Offer Employment Test (POET) as a comparison against original, baseline data.

FCEs are usually conducted at a medical facility but may also be conducted at the job site. During the FCE, the injured worker is asked to perform a series of tasks which simulate his or her customary job duties including:

  • Material handling, which may include fingering, reaching overhead, lifting, pushing, pulling and carrying.
  • Positional tolerance, including squatting, kneeling, stooping, walking, bending, sitting, standing and other positions the person must assume to do his/her job.

The evaluator will also assess the injured body part(s), including range of motion, muscle strength, circumferential measurements to determine swelling or atrophy. At the time of injury, when compared against data previously collected, the FCE may be used to prove consistency and validity of performance and create realistic, objective rehabilitation goals, as well as return to work recommendations or work conditioning programs as part of the injured worker's injury management program.