Deciding whether an individual can return-to-work, and under what conditions, requires specialized and detailed information.  The Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) conducted at OT Consulting is designed to objectively measure the functional abilities and limitations of the worker, with respect to their pre-injury performance and specific job demands.

Our evaluations allow you to establish a realistic and individualized recovery plan, and will assist in understanding the worker’s current medical, physical and/or psychosocial concerns.  The outcomes from the evaluation may indicate that a return-to-work is imminent.  Alternatively, further treatment, such as work conditioning, work simulation, job site analysis or alternative work possibilities, will be recommended.


“Snap-Shot” or “Wide-Angle” Look? – You Choose …

Present us with the question and/or choose the type of information you want to know.  We will provide the evaluation tools, perform the assessment and provide an objective, professional opinion.

The One-day “Snap-Shot” Assessment

A one-day FCE will provide you with a “Snap-Shot” of the worker’s physical ability to meet the strength demands of their job.  Pain behaviour, symptom control and effort are evaluated over a 4- to 6-hour workday.

The FCE assesses:

  • Strength (lifting, carrying, pulling, pushing, body mechanics, position tolerance);
  • Climbing and balancing;
  • Body dexterity (bending, crouching);
  • Reaching / handling;
  • Sensory functioning (seeing, hearing, touching, position in space).

The procedures used during testing also allows the evaluator to observe and comment on the individual’s:

  • Consistency of effort;
  • Potential for return to work;
  • Ability to work part-time or full-time;
  • Treatment needs.

The Multi-day “Wide-Angle” Assessment

The multiple day evaluation of 2 to 5 consecutive days builds on the “Snapshot” information. Multiple days allow the evaluator to comment on the worker’s tolerance and productivity.  A “Wide-Angle” look at the individual’s ability to sustain competitive employment.

The wide-angle assessment identifies limitations that affect a safe return to work, such as the ability to:

  • Maintain speed of work and quality of work;
  • Attend the work place on consecutive days;
  • Return to work on time each day and after breaks;
  • Control symptoms while working;
  • Concentrate and follow instructions.

Results from the wide-angle assessment can also be used to:

  • Recommend appropriate treatment or return-to-work plans;
  • Identify areas of intervention that would increase productivity and safety at work;
  • Assure the employer of worker safety while performing job duties;
  • Prevent re-injury through job specific evaluation;
  • Assist in an early, safe return to work;
  • Provide the physician with objective measures indicating work readiness;
  • Assist in effectively placing the injured worker in an appropriate job task to increase work tolerance.

Work-site Visit

A work-site visit conducted by the evaluator may be of significant value in reviewing and confirming critical job demands and identifying risk factors.

Can I be flexible in deciding which assessment is most appropriate?

Yes, we understand that each individual and situation is unique.  Therefore, the length of each assessment day and the number of assessment days can be determined by the nature of the information you are seeking, or the question you would like answered.  We will be glad to assist you in making this decision and provide recommendations by telephone or email regarding the nature of the evaluation.

Typically, our assessment day is 6 hours in length, with one half-hour break; however, a 4-hour assessment can be scheduled for part-time workers over a single day “Snap-Shot”, or multi-day “Wide-Angle” look.

Varying the number of days gives reliable information on the individual’s ability to sustain his/her performance, productively yet safely, without undue fatigue.

A Final Note…

The “wide-angle” assessment is also invaluable for diagnoses such as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Cancer, Steroid-Induced Osteoporosis and Stress-related illnesses.

Assessments of 3 to 5 days in duration are routinely conducted for individuals with brain injuries, and includes extensive cognitive testing.

The book, “The Functional Capacity Evaluation:  A Clinician’s Guide“, is now available.  Click the title of the book for more details, or to order your copy.

Our company’s service delivery includes:

Assessment Services .::. Occupational Rehabilitation .::. Ergonomic Rehabilitation .::. Community Rehabilitation