For a defensible, high quality evaluation, look for an evaluator with additional training and experience in evaluating functional capacity. Our work has been reviewed by several international experts in the field of functional capacity and staff hold a certification as a Certified Work Capacity Evaluator. Look for the CWCE for quality evaluations.
A Functional (Physical) Capacity Evaluation is an intensive, short-term evaluation that focuses on major physical tolerances such as sitting, standing, squatting, lifting, carrying, reaching, etc. It uses a systemized approach with standardized testing to help answer various work-related questions about an individual's physical abilities.
If you need to know if an employee can do a certain job, how much they can lift/carry, reach, or perform other work-related tasks then this evaluation can give you that information.
It can also help determine if they are a candidate for further rehabilitation, if they would benefit from a work hardening program, or if they require ergonomic equipment or a modification to the position to be able to safely complete the job requirements.
Each evaluation must address the following components:
- Safety - Test must not cause another injury or put the client in harm's way
- Reliability - Test results must be consistent across evaluators, evaluees, and time of test administration
- Validity - The test must measure what it intends to measure
- Practicality - Test procedures must require reasonable direct and indirect costs
- Utility - Must meet the needs of the referrer, payer, and evaluee
There are multiple components to an evaluation:
- Intake Interview - this involves interview with the client about the history of the injury & work history, current pain levels and intakes, and ADL status
- Musculoskeletal Evaluation - measurement of ROM, manual strength testing, special testing, flexibility, edema, etc.
- Positional Tolerances - this looks at abilities and tolerance to various positions such as sitting, standing, walking, low level/above shoulder work, etc.
- Strength and Endurance - this involves a material handling assessment, MET testing, and work simulation
The evaluation also addresses two other components that are evaluated throughout the evaluation:
- Reliability of Pain and Disability Reports (RPDR) - this is a battery of tests that is designed to assess the dependability and accuracy of the client's subjective reports of pain and disability. Are they reliable or not?
- Physical Effort (Validity) - multiple methods are used in assessing validity of the evaluation. These include: Isometrically, Behaviorly, Consistency, & Cardiovascularly. Full physical effort suggests that the results of the test indicate the client's true, SAFE maximum abilities.