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Functional Capacity Assessments

What is a Psychosocial Functional Capacity Assessment?

A Psychosocial Functional Capacity Assessment (FCA) is a comprehensive evaluation that assesses your ability to perform daily tasks at home, school, work, and in the community. The assessment examines your physical, cognitive, and psychosocial abilities, identifying your strengths, limitations, and support needs.

The assessment results in recommendations for support and interventions that enable you to enhance your independence, participate more fully in daily life activities, and improve your overall well-being.

There are 6 domains that are assessed, these include:

  1. Mobility

  2. Communication

  3. Social interaction

  4. Self-management

  5. Learning

  6. Self-care

What happens during a FCA?

During a FCA we will make observations and ask you some questions (including standardised assessments). It usually involves other key people such as family, medical practitioners, and other allied health practitioners with your consent.

FCAs take into consideration everything about you – where you are in life, your responsibilities, medical history and any barriers you may face. 


What is the purpose of a FCA?

It is completed to ascertain your function and what your needs are from a physical, cognitive and psychosocial framework. This in order to objectively: 

  • Identify your strengths.

  • List any possible limitations that can hinder your independence.

  • Recommend strategies and supports you may require, such as recommending the number of support hours within a NDIS plan.

  • Guide the NDIS planner, you and your family on supports that will be needed within a new NDIS plan as well as possible future planning.

What does a Functional Capacity Assessment process involve?

  • Review of any previous reports by your psychologist, psychiatrist, doctor, and/or other allied health professionals.

  • Completion of standardised questionnaires by you, your parents, caregivers, family members and/or other key stakeholders. 

  • Scoring and interpretation of questionnaires by your therapist.

  • An initial interview prior to undertaking an assessment and to determine how best to conduct the assessment. The assessment will be conducted in separate sessions.

  • Period of assessment, including semi-structured interview and use of standardised assessments and measures. 

  • A feedback session to convey the results of testing and the recommendations arising from the results.

  • A comprehensive detailed report prepared by your therapist/allied health professional. 

How many hours are required to complete the assessment?

It can be hard to estimate an exact amount of time to complete an adequate psychosocial FCA. This can be due to disability symptomology impacting on the assessment process and your unique individual needs. 

However, an average length of time between 10-16 hours is usually required.

This may fluctuate with individual needs and includes report writing. 

Are you qualified to provide the evidence that NDIS require?

The recommendation provided by NDIS when considering evidence to support psychosocial disability needs, include reports provided by Clinical Psychiatric Staff (Mental Health Nurses and Social Workers) and Mental Health Allied Health Professionals. 

What this means is that as your psychosocial support specialist, we may be the preferred option by NDIS to provide evidence to support your needs during plan reviews.  

Although not formally required; Dynamic Ability Staff have also completed additional training in comprehensive functional capacity assessments and further training in the outcome measures recommended for use by the NDIA. 

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Teacher and Pupil
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