Online Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA)

Carla Minnican, Occupational Therapist

What is a Functional Capacity Assessment?

Functional Capacity Assessments provide a comprehensive, holistic, and person-centred summary of the support you may require. They are conducted online by our expert telehealth occupational therapists and outline a variety of recommendations to improve independence and well-being. These may include recommendations to undergo further assessments, such as assistive technology assessments, SIL assessments, or sensory assessments.

Can a Functional Capacity Assessment be completed via telehealth?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.

At Umbo, we listen to your story and lived experience in your own words. We wholeheartedly agree that you are the expert in your own life and that you understand your disability better than anyone.

How long will it take?

A typical functional capacity assessment lasts between 1.5-2.5 hours, depending on the complexity of the participant’s situation and the capacity of the client. Further time is then required for report writing and follow-up as needed.

What does it involve?

Firstly, your therapist will chat with you about your condition, medical and social history, and how it impacts your everyday life. They might ask about past services/treatments in the past and what has/hasn’t worked.

The assessment will involve various questions exploring how you perform everyday tasks and any challenges you may face, such as:

  • Getting around at home and within the community
  • Driving and using public transport
  • Showering, dressing, grooming, and looking after personal hygiene
  • Gardening, cleaning, and domestic tasks
  • Caring for others in the household
  • General daily life tasks such as getting to doctors’ appointments, working, accessing the community, and engaging in leisure and recreation
  • And much more!

Once the assessment is completed, you and the therapist may collaborate on goals moving forward. The report is then written and sent back to you and your support coordinator (with your consent if you have one).

What a Functional Capacity Assessment does not involve:

  • Answering questions and providing information that you do not feel comfortable providing.
  • Detailed recommendations for specific equipment or comprehensive discussions of support levels. You will require an Assistive Technology or Supported Independent Living assessment for these.

Do I need to bring anything/have anything ready?

Providing your therapist with relevant information/documents will help them get a good understanding of your situation and write the best report they can! This might include your current NDIS plan, and any reports/letters from other health professionals including allied health, general practitioners, or specialists. As we are an online service only, it is best to upload these to our secure online client information form. Please know, that providing this additional information is completely voluntary and we ask that you only share documents that you feel comfortable sharing.