Functional Ability Test

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Functional Ability Test

Quick Overview:
A Functional Ability Test (FAT) is a comprehensive assessment tool used to evaluate an individual’s physical and cognitive capabilities in relation to their job requirements. It helps employers, insurance companies, and the legal community make informed decisions regarding disability management and return-to-work plans. Here are five supporting facts about FAT:

1. Objective Assessment: FAT provides an objective evaluation of an individual’s functional abilities by measuring their performance in various work-related tasks.
2. Job-Specific Testing: The test is tailored to match the specific demands of a particular job or occupation, ensuring that it accurately reflects the essential functions required for successful employment.
3. Identification of Limitations: FAT identifies any limitations or restrictions that may affect an individual’s ability to perform certain tasks, helping determine suitable accommodations or modifications.
4. Evidence-Based Results: The assessment is based on scientific research and evidence-based practices, ensuring reliability and validity in determining an individual’s functional capacity.
5. Legal Compliance: Conducting a FAT demonstrates compliance with legal requirements related to disability management and accommodation obligations.


1. Is a Functional Ability Test mandatory for all employees?
– The requirement for a FAT varies depending on jurisdiction and specific circumstances such as workplace injury claims or disability cases.

2. Who can conduct a Functional Ability Test?
– A qualified healthcare professional with expertise in occupational therapy or physiotherapy typically administers the test.

3. How long does a Functional Ability Test take?
– The duration of the test depends on factors like the complexity of job requirements being assessed but generally ranges from two to four hours.

4. Can employers use the results of a Functional Ability Test during recruitment processes?
– Employers must ensure that using these results complies with applicable human rights legislation concerning discrimination based on disabilities.

5. Are there any risks associated with conducting a Functional Ability Test?
– Risks are minimal when conducted by trained professionals. However, it is essential to follow proper protocols and ensure the safety of the individuals being assessed.

6. Can an individual refuse to undergo a Functional Ability Test?
– Depending on jurisdiction, there may be legal consequences or implications for refusing a FAT when requested by an employer or insurance company.

7. How often should a Functional Ability Test be conducted?
– The frequency of conducting FATs depends on various factors such as changes in job requirements, medical condition updates, or return-to-work evaluations.

A Functional Ability Test is a valuable tool that provides objective assessments of an individual’s functional capabilities related to their job requirements. It helps employers and other stakeholders make informed decisions regarding disability management and return-to-work plans while ensuring compliance with legal obligations.