functional capacity assessment

A Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA) determines whether a person is physically capable of performing physical work tasks. The assessment aims to understand whether an individual’s physical abilities, health status, and body functionality match the requirements of a job, and the work environment.

The assessment will involve a number of different physical tests, and questions to understand whether the individual can safely perform physical tasks that are required of them. 


Who completes an FCA? 

A qualified Physiotherapist or Ergonomist will carry out the assessment. Using their knowledge, expertise, and experience to accurately determine the capacity of the individual to perform certain tasks. 


How long does a Functional Capacity Assessment take? 

Depending on the physical task which is required of the individual, within their job, the location best suited for the assessment will be agreed on before the assessment. This allows the capabilities of the individual to be accurately assessed. The FCA assessment can take between 2 and 4 hours, again depending on the nature of the assessment. 


What does a Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA) include? 


The Physiotherapist/Ergonomist will begin the assessment by understanding and noting down the medical history of the individual. They will make a note of current medications taken, current exercise levels, capabilities in their work role, and any medical conditions.  

Following this, the individual will be asked to demonstrate certain physical postures, movements, and actions that the specific job will require of them. For example, a plumber will have to work at low levels, even working on their knees or back to access difficult-to-reach plumbing to complete the work. 


An FCA assessment aims to understand and assess: 


  • What are the individual’s physical abilities are 
  • What are the individual’s physical limitations are 
  • What tasks the individual is able to complete safely 
  • Does the individual require rehabilitation in order to complete the tasks required 
  • Provides a quantitative report on capability. 
  • As a result, is the individual able to complete the specific job role required, and if not, are there alternative job roles that would be more suitable for the individual’s physical abilities 

The assessment should provide a clear and accurate picture of the individual’s health, and capabilities. Offering performance-based measured results which predict whether or not the individual can complete a specific role, whilst remaining safe and healthy. 


Who requires a Functional Capacity Assessment? 


There are many instances in which an FCA may be required or requested. For some, they may be requested following an injury or illness, and for some, they may be required before an individual starts a new job. 


An FCA may be required when: 


  • An individual has previously been injured doing the job which they are returning to 
  • An individual is returning to work following an illness, accident, disease, or injury
  • An individual is struggling to perform their job task.


How much does a Functional Capacity Assessment cost? 


The cost is very much dependent on the complexity of the physical assessment as well as the location. The team at Acorn will provide you with a specific quotation. 


Contact us 

Need more information on a Functional Capacity Assessment? Please get in touch with our team, visit our FAQs page, call us at 01260 277797, or email us at

Want to know more about the Occupational Health services we provide at Acorn, and how they could benefit your business and your employees? Please get in touch.