Functional Capacity Evaluation FCE/FAE

Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE)


What is an FCE/FAE? 

A Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE) or Functional Abilities Evaluation (FAE), subjectively and objectively determines the client’s functional abilities and limitations based on range of motion, strength, dexterity and other measured performance.

A ‘Functional Capacity Evaluation’ is designed to systematically assess an examinee’s capabilities and limitations via a set of testing protocols that are evidenced-based.  The testing protocols of an FCE are designed to comprehensively assess the examinee’s functional abilities and/or limitations.  These testing protocols are comprised of a range of recognized functional assessment tools (i.e. Arcon & Matheson) for assessing the physical abilities required to perform work in a specific occupation and/or the examinee’s current functional ability.  This comprehensive method of assessing physical abilities, designed to provide a profile of the examinee’s physical work-tolerance in accordance with the National Occupational Classification (NOC) and the Career Handbook, includes the following components:

  • Vision & Hearing;
  • Gross Mobility Tolerances (Stooping, Kneeling, and Crouching);
  • Reaching Abilities (Low Level Reaching, Forward Reaching, and High Level Reaching);
  • Agility Tolerances (Balance/Coordination and Stair Climbing);
  • Manual Dexterity (Griping, Pinching, and Handling/Fingering);
  • Static Strength (Pushing & Pulling);
  • Vertical Manual Material Handling (Floor to Knuckle, Knuckle to Shoulder, and Floor to Shoulder,);
  • Horizontal Manual Material Handling (Bilateral Carrying, and Pushing/Pulling);
  • Cardiovascular Fitness Capabilities (CAFT Stepping Test);
  • Musculoskeletal Evaluation Test (Ranges of Motion of the Spine & Joints);
  • Postural Tolerances (Sitting, Standing, and Walking);
  • Manual Muscle Testing (Performed only if weakness is identified)
  • Spinal Function Sort (SFS).


Two day FCEs are also available and differs from a one day FCE in that it repeats the physical testing on a second consecutive day. This gives a clearer picture of function, symptom tolerance and is particularly useful in claimants who suffer from delayed onset of pain post physical activity.