A medical/legal Physical Capacity Evaluation (PCE), also referred to as a Work Capacity Evaluation, is a comprehensive, full-day assessment designed to provide objective information related to an individual’s physical functional abilities.  The PCE involves a 6- to 7-hour assessment, and includes a battery of standardized tests which incorporate function and simulate work demands.

This assessment, administered by experienced therapists, determines physical activity factors which are identified as important for work return by the National Occupational Classification (NOC).  Supplementing the medical diagnosis, the PCE results can be used to establish guidelines of an individual’s physical function to be used by other professionals, for example:  vocational consultants, to identify alternative employment options (specific job titles); economists, to establish projected costs; employers, unions or insurance providers, to determine suitability for work return, etc.


  • To determine the extent of the client’s ongoing physical limitations
  • To assess for current level of physical function
  • To assess for current level of work potential
  • To identify further rehabilitation options
  • To obtain recommendations for rehabilitation and return to work
  • To determine job suitability


  • Pre-mediation or pre-trial assessment:  a PCE performed close to mediation or trial provides the most current level of functional capability with regard to return to work.
  • Following surgical procedure:  a PCE performed after surgery, when recovery is deemed to have plateaued, may identify further rehabilitation options and assist in mitigating the claim.
  • Difficulties with work return:  if the client has returned to work, but appears to have physical problems or pain which limit their work, a PCE will determine where the client’s limitations lie related to their job functions.

OT Consulting’s PCE reports have been accepted by the Supreme Court of British Columbia since 1986 in determining ability to return to work, loss of income capacity and loss of future earnings.

The new 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