Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA)

Last Updated: June 30, 2018

Definition - What does Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA) mean?

A functional capacity assessment is an evaluation used to determine whether or not an employee is able to perform the necessary tasks associated with his or her job. This assessment may include physical testing, health analysis, and comparison of the employee's abilities with the required functions of the job. A functional capacity assessment may be used to determine whether a prospective employee can perform a job, match an existing employee to a suitable position, or evaluate the capacity of an employee returning to work after an illness or injury. A functional capacity assesment can also be referred to as a functional capacity evaluation.

WorkplaceTesting explains Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA)

Functional capacity assessments usually consist of a series of tests. These tests are used to determine whether an individual has the ability to perform each of the necessary tasks associated with his or her assigned job but not make determinationsunrelated to required job duties. To make this determination, the employee's functional capacity is compared to the physical demands of the job. Best practices require that those physical demands be pre-determined and quantified for accurate analysis. When determining an employee's functional capacity testing may include an assessment of his or her range of motion, strength, stamina, and other abilities.

Functional capacity assessments may not be used for discriminatory purposes but can help an employer match employees to a job that is best suited to his or her physical strengths and weakness. The information gained during a functional capacity assessment may also be used to determine if an employee can perform a task with accommodations.

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