Functional Capacity Evaluations


What is a Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)?

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) is an intensive assessment of an individual’s abilities and limitations, in all of the functional activities which are relevant to them.  When assessing the individual’s functional abilities, the Assessor considers the individual’s medical diagnosis, as well as their past medical history. A Functional Capacity Evaluation is a series of tests, tasks and observations which are combined to determine the abilities of an individual’s function in a variety of conditions – most often related to their employment – in an objective manner.

A Functional Capacity Evaluation tests an individual’s ability to perform a pre-set series of tasks, often designed to simulate the physical requirements of the relevant job duties; this information is then used to determine the extent to which an individual can perform these tasks on a regular basis.

Functional Capacity Evaluations are designed to provide a summary of an individual’s functional abilities, and include a series of internal consistency checks to assess the reliability of the individual’s physical effort, as well as the individual’s self-reports of pain and physical limitations.

Who Benefits from an FCE?

  • An individual injured in a catastrophic accident – such as a motor vehicle accident – in order to determine the individual’s performance skills and abilities related to resuming former employment or a new vocation; and
  • An individual who needs to determine their own physical abilities, prior to seeking vocational rehabilitation services.

Additional benefits include:

  • An opportunity for individuals to determine their abilities and limitations in a clinical, supervised environment.
  • Provision of recommendations regarding return to work, including any job modifications, or the need for continued rehabilitative services.

Increased return to work success by:

  • Matching the individual with the most suitable and productive position;
  • Promoting a safer workplace for the client; and
  • Providing objective information for formulating a safe and appropriate return to work plan.

Who Carries out FCE Testing?

Functional Capacity Evaluations may be administered by Occupational Therapists and Kinesiologists who have received formal training in FCE administration.  The FCE-trained Creative Therapy Occupational Therapists have completed the Functional Capacity Evaluation Certification Program through Matheson Development.

Where is the FCE Testing Conducted?

Creative Therapy Consultants currently offers FCE assessments in our offices located in the following geographical regions:

  • Prince George
  • Kelowna
  • Penticton
  • Kamloops

What are the Different Types of FCE Reports?

There are different types of FCE reports. Assessments are typically scheduled over one or two days.

One-Day FCE with Report

A modified FCE can be completed in one day, when an individual is not significantly deconditioned and the return to work is straight forward.  If there are concerns regarding an individual’s ability to manage the physical demands at one time, then the assessment can be done over two shorter days.

Two-Day FCE with Report

A modified FCE can be completed in two days, when an individual’s presentation is more complex, and/or if the individual requires significant return to work modification/accommodation/monitoring, continued rehabilitation or other input.  A modified assessment would also be required if the client experiences challenges when performing tasks two days in a row and/or if some objective testing is required to demonstrate those limitations.

Non-Legal FCE

This type of report is provided when an insurance company or other funder requires a summary report of the client’s abilities and limitations, in order to determine future treatment or identify future goals.  These reports are not as in-depth and are not meant to be used in court.  They provide the physical information required in order to assist any other treaters about the client, but do not provide as much narrative about the individual’s situation or the results of the testing.

Medical-Legal FCE

This type of report is provided when an FCE is required for medical-legal purposes, as the report will be much more inclusive and will outline specific test results, as well offering a detailed report outlining the individual’s situation in all areas of their lives.  These reports typically are extensive and provide a narrative summary of the individual’s life and the changes in all areas, since the injury.  These reports are court-ready.

Customized Reports

All reports can be customized, depending on the needs of the funder and the abilities and limitations of the individual being assessed.  Funders are welcome to speak to a Therapist; in order to discuss specific needs.  Functional Capacity Evaluations may also be combined with a Life Care Plan (Cost of Future Care).

Rebuttal Reports

Our Therapists can provide expert information to analyze a report and provide the funder with a critique which will be helpful in expert testimony.  These are individually-priced, based on the length and complexity of the report being analyzed.

Cognitive FCE

This type of report is provided when there are cognitive issues surrounding the individual’s case.  The report provides information regarding physical abilities, as well as a comprehensive report regarding cognitive issues and the corresponding impact on the individual’s functional abilities.  This report can cover issues such as memory, attention, planning, organization and other cognitive abilities which may have been impacted by the individual’s history.  It often includes some role-playing related to the specific job demands which the individual is required to perform at work.  These could be for general, or for medical legal purposes.  A cognitive FCE can be added onto a regular FCE, in order to provide additional information regarding the individual’s cognitive status, or it can be conducted without the physical testing component