Contact Hours:
14 hours (Lecture & Group Work)




Advanced Concepts in Functional Capacity Evaluation

This Advanced FCE course with Ralph Cheesman is designed to encourage you to analyze your current habits and perspectives within your FCE methodologies.  The course will be both provocative and collaborative in nature, challenging participants to express their knowledge and opinions pertaining to critical aspects of FCE testing while considering direction from available research literature and other colleagues.  This course will assist your growth and potentially change your practice!

Learning Outcomes

  1. Determine statistical thresholds for effort analysis based on sound understanding and debate of the available research literature.
  2. Improve the validity of your FCE and thus improve the defensibility and ultimately the utility of your opinions.
  3. Consider the pitfalls when framing work tolerance frequencies and improve methodology to better defend your metrics. 
  4. Review your use and the clinical relevancy of Repetitive Movement Tests. Are these really the best repeat metrics to determine work place tolerances?
  5. Refresh or challenge your clinical view pertaining to pain and its influence on function. Consider whether you are effectively measuring, analyzing, and convincingly illuminating your opinion pertaining to the reliability of a client’s pain reports 
  6. Examine the available literature pertaining to safe lifting. Are you intervening with lift testing prematurely?
  7. Discuss and develop strategies to handle a difficult client and report on such in a manner that has clinical balance and relevancy.
  8.  Learn to incorporate work simulation in your testing methodology. Yes it takes more work, however, it is more creative, meaningful, and convincing.
  9.  Develop a critique path to best address deficiencies in case work and ultimately your own work!
  10.  Develop and practice strategies to manage common cross examination challenges.

Who Should Attend

This course requires participants to have completed entry level FCE training followed by delivery of FCE services in clinical practice.   It is designed to stimulate critical analysis of fundamental tenets of FCE testing using experience and layered perspective (familiarization with research literature and multiple clinical permutations).

This is a high-level course. It is intended for evaluators who have completed the Matheson FCE Certification Program and/or all experienced clinicians who work in the field of disability.

Educational Level

Health clinicians with at least a bachelor’s degree and familiarity with reading and evaluating research literature.

Contact Hours

14 Hours (Lecture & Group Work)

The Matheson Difference; in order to enhance the learning experience, these learning tools will be used in the curriculum:

The resource will be available through the Matheson web site. Students may visit the site to review evaluation tests and techniques at their own pace.

Workshop Hours

Registration on the first day is from 8 – 8:30 a.m.
Subsequent day begins at 8 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. with a one-hour lunch break at 12 noon and two 15 minute breaks around 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Course Approvals

AOTA CEU’s awarded based upon completion of the course in its entirety.


Matheson Education and Training Solutions is approved by the Board of Certification, Inc. to offer continuing education for Certified Athletic Trainers.





Cancellation Policy
Matheson Education and Training Solutions LLC
166 South River Road Suite 240
Bedford, NH 03110
Phone: 1-800-443-7690 (Toll Free)
603-358-6525 (Int’l)
Fax: 603-358-0116

Ralph Cheesman is the CEO and Managing Partner of Re:Function Health Group Inc.  He is an Occupational Therapist by training.  Ralph has specialized in the provision of Functional Capacity Evaluations within the vocational rehabilitation health sector for 23 years.  He has been a clinical instructor within the Occupational Therapy Department at the University of British Columbia and developed the vocational rehabilitation training module for the Masters of Occupational Therapy curriculum.  As well, Ralph provides lectures pertaining to FCE services to a wide variety of conferences/organizations – Canadian Defence Lawyers Conference, WorkBC, ICBC Defence Counsel Forum, Victoria Bar Association, Managing Employees with Disabilities Conference, WorkSafeBC vocational rehabilitation consultant training, BCIT, and the Canadian Institute’s Forum on the Employer’s Duty to Accommodate Conference.  Ralph provides expert witness testimony in the Supreme Court of BC, at union arbitration hearings, and at WCAT tribunals.

Day 1

8:30 – 8:45

Introductions – Instructor and class participants

8:45 –  9:00

FCE Philosophy – The pursuit of validity

9:00 – 10:00

Effort – The Jamar Controversy: Can you defend its use

Break 10:00 – 10:15

10:15 – 11:15

Effort Thresholds – Can we achieve marketplace consistency

11:15 – 12:30

Workplace Frequencies – A cautionary case 11:15

Lunch 12:30 – 1:30

1:30 – 2:30

Repetitive Movement Tests – Their use and misuse

2:30 – 3:00

Test Selection and Order – A customary approach?

Break 3:00 – 3:15

3:15 – 5:00

Pain – Measurement and its role in the FCE process: A discussion


Day 2

8:00 – 9:00

Lifting – Biomechanics and safety end points

9:00 – 10:00

Work Simulation – Why is it missing?

Break 10:00 – 10:15

10:15 -11:15

Productivity – The case for repeat functional testing

11:15 – 12:00

The Difficult Client – Behavioural overlay and how to deal with it

Lunch 12:00 – 1:00

1:00 – 3:00

Critique Path

Break 3:00 – 3:15

3:15 – 4:15

Witness Testimony – Common challenges

4:15 – 5:00

Open Forum

“This Ergonomics Evaluation Certification Program is extremely valuable. Dr. LaCourse is an excellent instructor with years of hands-on experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in reducing cumulative trauma disorders.”

“Also, I just completed my very first FCE today……. And it was AWESOME!!! I could hear you talking in the back of my head the whole time! Very exciting!! Thanks for such a great learning experience!”

“I was so impressed with my entire Matheson experience.”

“As a provider of FCEs for 12-plus years, I have been through several training programs. I would recommend Matheson without reservation. Thanks to your training, my staff is the best prepared in my area. It has made a difference for my business and has set us ahead of our competition.”

“Far and away the best certification course I have attended in my seven-year professional career. The instructors are knowledgeable and apply all of the information to real-world scenarios. Thank you!”

This Ergonomics Evaluation Certification Program is extremely valuable. Dr. LaCourse is an excellent instructor with years of hands-on experience. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in reducing cumulative trauma disorders.”

“Of all the FCE training I have received, Matheson is the most evidence-based. I like that it is a battery of standardized tests, and not a standard battery of tests. It also requires thinking as an evaluator, unlike other programs that don’t allow you to consider any non-quantitative factors, which results in an opinion of functional capacity lacking in external validity. The Matheson FCE makes the most of what is available right now.”

“The Amended ADA Webinar was outstanding and I really appreciate your willingness to do them.  You have gotten to the heart of the matter in the “gray areas” that people have familiarity with, but are not comfortable discussing.  I treasure every one of these webinars.  They have helped me be a better evaluator and allowed me to speak intelligently to our employers and other referral sources.”

“I just wanted to e-mail you and let you know that I found this webinar to be extremely helpful to me in my position as an the on site PT manager. In my opinion your webinar provided excellent information about the ADA issues we may face and invaluable advice to avoid legal pitfalls related to our work site analysis and testing procedures.”

“We are utilizing the Matheson philosophy not only for Functional Capacity Evaluation, but also for the foundation of interdisciplinary treatment of chronic pain patients at our clinic in Waltham MA, Boston PainCare. The culture of function is throughout all of our departments, interventional, functional rehabilitation, medication management, sleep, and behavioral.
Spending the week training for FCEs in Keene, NH was very exciting as it allowed me to know that we are not only on the…”

The instructors did an excellent job of breaking down the complex concepts into the most simple and understandable pieces of information. My folders of countless papers from various sources, both online and off, have been consolidated into one well-laid out reference book!

Thank you for having the Essential Function Job Analysis course available. I have been doing job analyses and post offer test formulation at my company for 8 years now and this course taught me that we need to (and will) make some adjustments to our procedures to better defend any possible legal challenges. That means a great deal to me as a business owner.

“Your webinars have made me a better evaluator and allowed me to speak intelligently to our employers and other referral sources.”


Matheson Development