Functional Capacity Evaluation and Occupational Therapy

Written by Nushabah Zakir Updated 3 years ago

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)

A functional capacity evaluation (FCE) is a series of tests used to determine an employee’s physical abilities and limitations. FCE is helpful in ensuring that employees don’t return to work so soon that they pose risk to themselves and others. An FCE can be ordered by a lawyer, an insurance provider (ICBC), or by an employer. The FCE evaluation is completed by an occupational therapist (OT). OTs are highly skilled in the delivery and interpretation of this assessment.

Why are functional capacity evaluations important?

  • They can assist in determining whether an employee is ready to return to work.
  • They can determine whether an employee needs to return to work at a reduced capacity to avoid re-injury.
  • To provide recommendations concerning the need for strengthening and manual handling training.

What does a functional capacity Evaluation involve?

  • An FCE is completed at Swift Health Services office in Surrey, BC where our standardized equipment can be used to complete the assessment.
  • A functional capacity evaluation can take four to six hours. Some FCEs are carried over two-day period. Note, worker may be tired after an FCE, so they must try not to schedule anything immediately after.
  • The largest part of the FCE will include a series of tests such as lifting, carrying, reaching, stooping, testing grip, sitting, walking etc.
  • The workers heart rate and blood pressure will be measured to ensure they remain safe during the FCE.

What should I wear?

Dress comfortably. Note, you may be asked to take part in activities such as lifting, reaching etc., so dress accordingly. It is advisable to wear clothing that you can easily move in such as t-shirt, track pants or shorts and running shoes.

Swift Health Occupational Therapists and FCEs

If you would like more information or to book a functional capacity evaluation please contact us at or 604-800-5542.