What are Functional Capacity Services

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What are Functional Capacity Assessment Services?

Functional Capacity Assessment Services, sometimes called functional capacity evaluations, are tools used to determine if a person is able and capable of performing the tasks and duties associated with a particular job. These assessments are often performed after someone has sustained a work-related injury. Functional capacity assessment services are provided by third party companies. These assessments are not performed by the Australian government properly. The companies do these assessments do charge a fee, which varies by company.


For those in Australia living with a disability getting the supports they need is sometimes challenging. In 2011 the Select Council on Disability Reform met and essentially created what would be passed in 2013 as the National Disabilities Insurance Scheme Act 2013. This plan creates a system where people with disabilities who are unable to access the supports and care they need, can get that support and care. When these assessments are performed for an employer, they do so ensuring applicants are able and capable of performing the tasks they will be hired to perform. Additionally, these assessments protect both the employer and employee when clearing that employee to return to work after an on-the-job injury.


Some of the tests that can be required by functional capacity assessment services

The following list includes some of the tests that can be required during a functional capacity assessment. This is not a comprehensive list. Also, all of these tests may not be required of all subjects. The actual list of tests assessed for any subject is unique and dependent on their specific capabilities and limitations.


  • Subject interview by a screener
  • Review of medical history
  • Physical screening of the subject
  • Motor-skills testing such as:
  • Lifting
  • Carrying
  • Pushing and pulling
  • Balance
  • Standing, kneeling, and sitting
  • Reaching
  • Fine motor skills such as manual dexterity of the hands and fingers
  • Tasks specific to the job duties either being applied for or returning to


These tests are usually performed by licensed, accredited professionals, who have been trained and accredited to perform functional capacity assessments. These procedures can be performed both on-site at the company or in a clinical environment. At the conclusion of the assessment, a comprehensive report is provided listing the functional capacity assessment service provider’s conclusion. These provider sites and offices are all across Australia with most open to the public.

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