Functional capacity evaluation (FCE)

Comprehensive Functional Testing for employers, employees and insurers

Our testing ensures comprehensive evaluation, allowing for objective conclusions regarding an employee/member’s capacity to work in their current and/or an alternative work role.

At Beukes and Reynders Occupational Therapists, we offer Functional Capacity Evaluations. These evaluations are a series of tests and occupational therapy techniques that determine whether an employee can or cannot return to work. We assess the following:



  • Whether the employee is fit to work in their current occupation
  • Whether the employee’s work environment and/or work role needs to be adapted
  • Whether the employee needs to be re-deployed into another role


After the assessment, we make recommendations based on the client’s needs and the assessment results.

What does a Functional Capacity Evaluation entail?

A functional capacity evaluation may include but is not limited to the following assessments:



  • Range of movement, muscle strength and other physical components
  • Tolerance to functional activities such as lifting, sitting and reaching
  • Cognitive and perceptual abilities
  • Physical and cognitive endurance
  • Psycho-emotional screening

Who Can Benefit From a Functional Capacity evaluation?

  • An individual who has been injured on the job
  • An individual who has sustained an injury and/or is suffering from illness that is negatively affecting their ability to perform their job
  • An individual who is experiencing pain and/or fatigue at work
  • Someone applying for disability benefits through an individual or group insurance policy
  • Someone injured in a catastrophic accident, such as a car accident, for whom an FCE can determine abilities related to resuming employment
  • Someone seeking to get involved in volunteer and/or other productive activity following illness or injury; and/or seeking more fulfilling activity engagement after being placed on incapacity leave.

What your employees/clients can expect

At the appointment, our Occupational Therapists will assess your employees/clients’ capabilities and needs which will guide the assessment and intervention going forward. They will assess physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning; and identify any limitations. Depending on the results of the assessment and your needs, we’ll make recommendations and suggestions on the best way forward. The intervention will be client-focused; and may include physical rehabilitation, cognitive rehabilitation, adaptation of daily activities, scheduling of your activities and/or vocational rehabilitation.

What your employees can expect

Firstly, we will start with an intake interview where we ask the employee questions about the injury and any concerns they may have with regard to their ability to work. Their medical information is reviewed to understand the history of injuries or illnesses, their outcomes and ways to assist them in returning to work safely.

The functional skills testing is similar to what you see in workplaces every day, and is determined based on the employee’s job demands. The assessment may include components such as:

  • Chronic pain
  • Mobility; including walking, stair climbing and squatting
  • Lifting, moving or carrying objects
  • Positional tolerance; such as sitting, standing and/or bending
  • Physical endurance
  • Assessing hand function
  • Standardised cognitive tests to assess memory, attention and organisational skills
  • Communication and ability to follow instructions.
  • Cognitive endurance
  • Work pace, productivity, efficiency and accuracy
  • Questionnaires to better understand the employees' pain and emotional well-being

Using these tests, we can measure aspects such as movement limitations, strength, physical endurance, presence of pain, cognitive functioning and endurance; as well as the impact of psychosocial functioning on one’s ability to work. We may also gather information on their level of fatigue, pain and stress.The tests are always done with the employee’s safety in mind.

At Beukes and Reynders Occupational Therapists, we are trained to assess an employee’s ability to perform within their work role, and we look closely for consistency in performance.