A functional capacity evaluation, or FCE, is a comprehensive objective test of an individual's
ability to perform work-related tasks.
FCEs are known by other
terms including physical performance testing, work capacity
evaluation, physical ability testing, etc. FCEs typically include
testing to determine the worker’s ability to handle material
(weight), walking and balance abilities, and positional
tolerances such as sitting, standing, bending, or squatting.
What kind of information can I expect to find
in an FCE report?
Our partnership with WorkWell Systems, Inc. has
permitted us to utilize a nationally recognized system that
is standardized and was developed through research and
15 years of experience from many of the leaders in the
industry. This computer-based system allows us to complete
and send reports in less time and include substantial
amounts of information related to the clients effort and
cooperation, consistency of performance, subjective pain
reports, safety, quality of
limitations, potential barriers
to return to work and U.S.
Dept. of Labor physical
demand level. These areas of
information are derived from
extensive assessments over
one or two days and can be
customized to the needs of
the referral source or client.
What should an injured
worker expect when
participating in an FCE?
The injured worker should
expect a rigorous physical
and functional examination
of his/her abilities. S/he
should expect open and
honest communication with
the clinician, as well as
testing requiring conditions
to maintain his/her safety and limiting exposure to further injury.
Frequently, the worker will be taxed to a physical performance level
consistent with his/her occupation, but far above his/her current
activity level. This may result in general muscular soreness and/or
symptom provocation as maximum safe levels are
What type of approach does Industrial Rehab take toward FCEs?
Our physical and occupational therapists have been formally
trained in a kinesiophysical approach which permits them to quickly
- Identify maximum objective strength of an individual
- Identify tolerance levels to activities based on objective physical
- Utilize safe testing procedures to ensure no injuries during the testing
situations; ensures the client is aware of the difference between safe
and unsafe procedures
- Link functional deficiencies to physical causes
- Identify submaximal efforts and the presence of self-limiting behavior
- Provide a clear objective summary report that includes therapist
observations, conclusions, and recommendations regarding work
For additional information, please call Memorial Industrial Rehab at (217) 588-2100.