Functional assessments evaluate an individual’s capacity to perform physical and/or psychological tasks and offer a baseline measurement for the individual’s ability to perform personal and vocational tasks.

These assessments are performed by qualified allied health professionals including Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Exercise Physiologists and Psychologists, and will most often be performed within a controlled assessment environment e.g. consultation rooms or gyms.

The purpose of the assessment is to understand an individual’s functional tolerances for physical and/or psychological activities following a noted health condition that has limited their prior functional performance. Accordingly, a functional assessment is seen as the gold standard for determining an individual’s working potential.


When is an Functional Assessment needed?

  • When it is unclear as to the individual’s ability to perform certain tasks and for what durations

  • If an individual is reporting aggravations of their condition due to task performance within their rehabilitation programs

  • If there is a risk that an individual’s rehabilitation program may exacerbate their condition

  • When medical professionals require a greater clarity to help guide return to work planning

How Recovery Partners approaches Functional Assessments?

Recovery Partners arrange for our senior clinicians to undertake a specific training in the WorkHab ® functional capacity evaluation model that is an evidence based approach to functional evaluations. Our assessors are required to partake in annual training to maintain their licence for the delivery of this particular functional assessment model.


The key benefit of these evaluations is that they provide stakeholders with clear and objective guidelines regarding an individual’s ability to carry out the physical components of their activities.

Furthermore, it not only relies on observations made by our Assessors and reports made by the worker during the assessment, but also the physiological response.

A series of activities are carried out during the assessment including:

  • a grip test

  • cardiovascular fitness test (step test)

  • postural tolerance tests (sitting, standing, squatting and kneeling)

  • safe maximum lifting capacity

  • endurance lift evaluation

  • safe maximum carrying capacity evaluation

  • job specific tasks as required

  • manual handling analysis

What happens after?

At completion of the assessment, our Assessor enters the data collected into the WorkHab ® specific software which is used for reporting purposes. A comprehensive written report is provided within 5 business days which will outline the functional limitations (if any) both physical and in some instances psychosocial.


Some of the possible limitations which can be identified include, fear avoidance behaviours, anxiety, depression, workplace issues, physical impairments, poor manual handling techniques and a sensitive nervous system.

Identifying these issues can be a valuable tool for stakeholders and rehabilitation coordinators as it allows them to address these limitations specifically.


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Our consultants are based at locations across Australia. Click here for our locations menu for an up to date list of our offices.


Contact Us

We welcome your enquiry. Recovery Partners are able to coordinate for an array of references with respect to our Functional Assessments upon your request.

Call us on 1300 OHS RTW (647 789) Monday to Friday for all offices or email us on