Functional Ability Test Questions

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Quick Overview:
Functional Ability Tests (FATs) are assessments used to evaluate an individual’s physical and cognitive abilities in relation to their job requirements. These tests help determine the level of functional impairment and assist in developing appropriate accommodations or return-to-work plans. Here are five important facts about FATs:

1. Objective Evaluation: FATs provide objective data on a person’s physical capabilities, allowing for a fair assessment of their functional ability.

2. Job-Specific Testing: These assessments are tailored to each individual’s specific job requirements, ensuring that the evaluation is relevant and accurate.

3. Compliance with Legislation: FATs adhere to applicable legislation, such as human rights laws and privacy regulations, ensuring a legally defensible process.

4. Multidisciplinary Approach: FATs involve professionals from various disciplines, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, psychologists, and vocational consultants.

5. Return-to-Work Planning: The results of these tests guide the development of personalized return-to-work plans that focus on accommodating limitations while maximizing productivity.


Q1: Are Functional Ability Tests mandatory for all employers?
A1: The requirement for FATs varies by jurisdiction and depends on factors such as industry regulations and collective bargaining agreements.

Q2: Can an employee refuse to undergo a Functional Ability Test?
A2: Employees may have the right to refuse testing under certain circumstances; however, this can impact their eligibility for disability benefits or accommodation measures.

Q3: How long does a Functional Ability Test take?
A3: The duration of these tests can vary depending on the complexity of the job requirements but typically range from two to four hours.

Q4: Who conducts Functional Ability Tests?
A4: Qualified healthcare professionals such as occupational therapists or physiotherapists typically administer these assessments under standardized protocols.

Q5: What happens if there is a disagreement regarding the results of a Functional Ability Test?
A5:The dispute resolution process will depend on the jurisdiction and may involve independent reviews, appeals, or mediation.

Q6: Can Functional Ability Tests be used to terminate an employee?
A6: FATs alone cannot be the sole basis for termination. However, they can provide valuable information to support decision-making in cases where job performance is significantly affected by functional limitations.

Q7: How often should Functional Ability Tests be conducted?
A7: The frequency of testing varies depending on factors such as the nature of the job and changes in an individual’s health condition. Regular re-evaluations are recommended when there are significant changes in functional abilities.

Functional Ability Tests play a crucial role in assessing individuals’ capabilities relative to their work requirements. They help employers make informed decisions about accommodation measures and return-to-work plans while ensuring compliance with legislation. It is important for employers to understand the specific requirements and regulations related to FATs within their jurisdiction.