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Frequently Asked Questions about JobFit System PEFAs

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Workers and candidates

Before the appointment

PEFA stands for Pre-Employment or Periodic Employment Functional Assessment. It’s a short version of a Functional Capacity Evaluation. You will be invited to sign an Informed Consent and Client Data sheet with your medical history so we are aware of any risk factors. You will then be invited to do some quick movement tests for your mobility and strength followed by a balance test and a 3 minute Step Test. Then there will be some job-specific postural tests (eg reaching, bending, squatting) and maybe dynamic activities (eg ladder climbing, crawling). Finally some lifting and carrying. Altogether the assessment takes about 1 hr but add another 15mins to complete your forms.

You can request a booking through this website. We will contact you to confirm availability and location and go through some health questions to decide if it is safe for you to do the test. Then we will send you the appointment details. Once confirmed, you can change the appointment but there will be a fee depending on how much notice you provide. Click on this link to request an appointment.

It depends. We will seek Medical Clearance from your treating doctor if you have elevated blood pressure, a cardiac condition or past cardiac surgery, other surgery in the previous six months, fractures (broken bones) or dislocations in the previous six months, an injury or illness that has required treatment, time of work or work restrictions in the previous six weeks. Once we have that clearance from your doctor, then we can schedule your PEFA

It depends. Every pregnancy is different. If you are pregnant, or think that you might be, we will seek Medical Clearance from your treating doctor. Once we have the clearance then we can schedule your PEFA

Yes. If your amputation was in the previous six months we will seek a Medical Clearance from your treating doctor before we schedule the PEFA.

Take it seriously. Be well rested (don’t do a big gym workout, night shift or spend the day in the garden beforehand). Avoid caffeine (coffee, tea, sports drinks, workout supplements, fat burners etc) for at least an hour beforehand (or more depending on quantity). Avoid nicotine (or other stimulants) for at least an hour beforehand. Avoid cold / flu tablets. Basically anything that might increase your heart rate or your blood pressure avoid at least an hour before.

Shorts so we can see your knees. Closed shoes (such as joggers) suitable for exercise. The assessor will also need to see your back and shoulders so you will be asked to remove your shirt. Ladies should wear a sports bra or crop top that shows the spine and shoulders. If you are not comfortable about removing your shirt, please discuss this with us when making your appointment

Photo ID. We also suggest a bottle of water and small towel (in case you sweat). If you are asthmatic, bring your asthma pump. If you need reading glasses bring them too to fill in your forms. Of course, if you would like to bring someone to help with the forms they are most welcome. And if English is not your first language and you would prefer to bring a translator with you then please let us know. And if you are under the age of 18, you will need a Person Responsible to come along.

If you are physically active already that will be a great help. If not, then perhaps start with some aerobic exercise, balance exercises and general strengthening beforehand. Please contact your health professional before starting a new exercise program.

Your assessor has completed the JobFit System PEFA training. They are likely to be a Physiotherapist, but we also have some Occupational Therapists, Exercise Physiologists and Osteopaths in our assessor network. If you prefer an assessor of a particular gender (eg for religious reasons), please let us know when we are booking your appointment.

During the appointment

It’s important that you disclose your full and complete medical history to us before the PEFA so we can make an assessment about the potential risk of injury or adverse medical event (eg heart attack) during the PEFA and whether Medical Clearance is required. We don’t disclose your medical history to your employer, but we will report on any pain, discomfort or other symptoms (eg dizziness) that present during the PEFA. If your medical condition could potentially impact your co-workers or increase your risk of injury or adverse medical event at work, it is your responsibility to disclose that to your employer

Safety is our Top priority. We check your blood pressure before you start and monitor your heart rate throughout the test. All the tests are voluntary. You can decline or stop a test at any time if you do not feel safe or comfortable. Please let the assessor know your reason, and if a modification to the test can be made, they will offer that to you. Any changes to the protocol will be documented with the change and the reason for the change.

At the end of your PEFA, your assessor will tell you how much you lifted or carried, what your aerobic fitness rating was and if they identified any musculoskeletal conditions that they think you could do something about (eg hamstrings stretches, aerobic exercise). They won’t tell you how you went in comparison to the test criteria or your overall score. Our tests are not ‘pass / fail’. They are risk assessments. Any identified risks will be reported to your employer so that they can decide what is acceptable to them and how those risks can be managed.

After the appointment

Your report includes your overall PEFA score (1-4). Any recommendations to minimise your risk of injury or follow-up assessments (eg doctor or physio). It will also present a summary of your performance on the day. The report goes to whoever the payor advises us to send it to. If you paid for the PEFA, then yes you will receive a copy of the report. If not, then you can ask whoever did to provide you with a copy.

It is not unusual to experience some ‘post-exercise-type’ muscle soreness. This should resolve in a day or so depending on how accustomed your body is to physical activity. However, if you think you have experienced an injury (new or unusual discomfort) or your discomfort is strong enough that you need to take medication, is disrupting your sleep or your daily activities, then please notify us as soon as practical and see your healthcare provider for treatment or advice.

Anytime

If you are paying for your appointment, we will secure payment by credit card the day before your appointment. If your employer is paying, then we will organise payment directly with them.

We take several steps to protect your privacy and security. Our employees sign Confidentiality Agreements. Within our organisation and assessor network your information is shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis between those scheduling your appointment, conducting your assessment and writing your report. The raw data collection sheets are not shown to your employer. The report is forwarded to the company’s nominated contact. Our physical premises, servers and cloud-based data hosting accounts are also secure. For further information, you can contact us or refer to our Privacy Policy.

It depends. The PEFAs are job-specific and may also be site or employer specific. If you are ‘changing shirts’ (eg same job, same workplace, different employer) then it is the decision of your new employer if they will accept it and the decision of your previous employer if they will share it.

If you are not happy for any reason with our customer service or the way your assessment was done, please contact us by phone or email. We want to know how we can do better and appreciate your feedback. Contact Us

We would be thrilled if you spread the word about your positive experiences with us. Feel free to share in any way you see fit. Of course, if you would like to volunteer for a testimonial or tell your story please let us know. Our team would love to hear your kind words. Contact Us

Employers and insurers

Before the appointment

Please follow the link on our Home page and we will start the process within two business hours. We aim to have the appointment scheduled within three business days and the report to you within the following two. Our timeframes usually rely on the availability of the participant.

You can reach us via email or phone between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday AEST. Once the appointment has been made and confirmed changes will likely incur a Rebooking Fee but if the change is within 1 business day of the appointment, additional Late Change Fees will likely be applicable. Please contact as soon as possible if you need to make any changes

Safety is our Number One priority. PEFAs are ‘Sub Maximal’ tests. Whilst the risk of injury or cardiovascular event (eg heart attack, stroke) during the assessment is low, we take extra precautions for candidates who may be at an increased risk of an adverse event. In these situations, we seek a JobFit System PEFA Medical Clearance. This is sent to their nominated treating health professional so that they can consider the person’s full health status in relation to the test criteria to provide feedback regarding their suitability to participate in the test. We typically seek pre-test Medical Clearances for: heart and blood pressure conditions; recent surgeries, fractures, dislocations, injury or illness; pregnancy

Sure is! First and foremost – tell us about any current injuries or illness so that we can reduce their risk of aggravation during the PEFA. Second, take it seriously – be well rested and follow the advice that we provide regarding rest, caffeine, nicotine, what to wear and what to bring to their appointment. Third, if they are currently not physically active, then it would be a good idea to start working on their aerobic fitness, balance and general body strength. If they would like more specific advice, please contact us. Of course, if they are not regularly participating in exercise and they have cardiovascular risk factors (eg obesity, heart or metabolic conditions) then we suggest that they visit their GP first

JobFit System PEFAs are job-specific. If the employer does not currently have a Physical Demands analysis available then we can assist with that information through onsite assessments, interview and observations and industry expertise.

During the appointment

We have a number of strategies, including but not limited to: seeking medical clearance if blood pressure is higher than 145 / 95 mmHg, stopping the activity if heart rate goes over 85% MHR, stopping or modifying tests if the participant is reporting discomfort or feeling unwell. The important thing to remember is that all tests are voluntary and the participant can stop at any time. It is the participant’s primary responsibility to disclose any known injury or illness risk factors and to stop or refuse any activity that they do not feel comfortable with doing at any time during the assessment.

The most common reasons that someone would be sent for medical clearance during the PEFA is because their blood pressure was elevated at the time of the appointment or they did not disclose a medical condition that needed clearance at the time of booking and confirming the appointment. It’s important to remember that some people can be nervous at these appointments, or don’t follow advice regarding rest, caffeine or nicotine, and as a result their blood pressure and heart rate can be unexpectedly elevated at the time of the appointment. When a person is sent for medical clearance a few things need to happen: (i) We seek approval from the referrer to obtain medical clearance and reschedule; (ii) We follow-up with the candidate and doctor to obtain the medical clearance. When the clearance is received, we then schedule the next appointment.

At the time of the appointment, the assessor will tell the candidate: how much they lifted and carried; what their aerobic fitness rating is; any other general advice for follow-up (eg see a health professional for a flexibility program or upper body strengthening). They are not told their overall PEFA score or how they went in comparison to the test criteria.

After the appointment

You will receive the report within 2 business days of a JobFit System scheduled appointment or the report is free

The report goes to whoever the referrer nominates it to go and are listed on the Informed Consent. Generally, whoever ‘pays’ for the work-related assessment receives the report. If the participant pays, then yes they will receive a copy. If they didn’t pay for it, then the referrer can choose if they want to provide them with a copy

The report includes: overall PEFA score (1-4), restrictions to reduce injury risk, recommendations to improve performance or any follow-ups, and a summary of the participant’s performance

No. JobFit System PEFAs are not Pass / Fail assessments. They are risk assessments regarding that individual’s performance in comparison to the test criteria. The employer is then responsible for determining what is an acceptable level of risk for them as it is ‘their risk’.

Following a PEFA for a Return to Work assessment, the same information will be provided in relation to PEFA score, restrictions, recommendations and summary of performance. A PEFA On Demand report will show you the comparison of performance in relation to job requirements. Subscribers to the JobFit System job matching database will also be able to see the worker’s performance in relation to each individual task in their role to help you and the worker make informed decisions regarding a safe return to work following injury or illness.

If it is only 24-72hrs post PEFA, remember it is not unusual for a participant to experience some ‘post-exercise-type’ muscle soreness, particularly if they are usually not very active. This should resolve in a day or so. However, if the report of discomfort is immediate or you think they may have experienced an injury, then please notify us immediately so that we can start the Incident response process. We will also contact the participant to ensure that they see their healthcare provider for treatment or advice. Of course, if the participant is with you at the time, please provide appropriate First Response care.

Anytime

JobFit System PEFAs are evidence-based job-specific assessments. They have undergone Reliability and Validity studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Some of the components of the PEFAs you may be familiar with from other functional assessments, however the processes, ratings and scoring are standardised to the JobFit System PEFA protocol.

Anytime a job-specific assessment for musculoskeletal injury risk assessment is appropriate. We suggest pre-employment, transfer between roles, return to work following work (or non work-related) injury or illness, return to work following extended absences during which time deconditioning may occur. You may also like to consider periodic assessments to monitor your workforce’s response to sedentary work, heavy physical work or the ageing process and its effect on their bodies. Some employers also do them for the prescription of individualised wellness programs.

Most doctors don’t charge for the medical clearances, however some may require their patient to make an appointment if they haven’t reviewed them for a while. Payment would likely be the responsibility of the candidate or the employer. JobFit Systems do not pay for medical clearances.

Please contact us for current prices and payment terms.

If you are not happy for any reason with our customer service or the way an assessment was done or reported, please contact us by phone or email. We want to know how we can do better and appreciate your feedback.  Contact Us

We would be thrilled if you spread the word about your positive experiences with us. Feel free to share in any way you see fit. Of course, if you would like to volunteer for a testimonial or tell your story please let us know. Our team would love to hear your kind words. Contact Us

Health providers and assessors

Before the appointment

It’s important to declare any perceived, or potential, conflicts of interest as soon as they become apparent. Our PEFAs are standardised so the risk of bias is as low as possible. The participant’s past medical history will not be released to the employer so your knowledge of this will not negatively influence their report. Despite all these attempts to minimise the impact of bias (positive or negative), it is always our preference to schedule the PEFA with an assessor other than their usual health provider. In some situations, this is unavoidable (eg regional location and only assessor available). When this happens, we confirm with the referrer and the participant that this situation is acceptable to them prior to scheduling the appointment.

Assuming this relationship was not known beforehand and the appointment is unable to be rescheduled with another assessor (see #1), our recommendation would be to first disclose the potential conflict of interest with the referrer for acceptance to continue with the appointment. Following the standardised processes and not disclosing medical history will assist in reducing potential bias. If the participant, or yourself, or the referrer requests it (and everyone agrees), you may choose to have a third party witness to the PEFA

If the referral came from JobFit Systems, then contact us to check if a medical clearance was received. If not, you will need to complete a Medical Clearance form, give the original to the participant to take to their doctor, keep a copy yourself and send a copy to JobFit Systems. Once the signed Medical Clearance has been received by JobFit Systems, then a second appointment will be made. Please contact us first though in case there are some components of the PEFA that can be done.

During the appointment

Safety is always your Number 1 Priority. Seek Medical Clearance before or during the PEFA for the known criteria as applicable. Check their BP before commencement and if it is higher than 145/95 mmHg follow the advice in #8 below. Check their HR using a chest strap HR monitor. If at any time during the PEFA, their HR goes above 85% age-related MHR, pause the test and rest and only continue if their HR returns to safe working levels. If their HR continues to increase seek medical attention. If at any time a participant reports discomfort, stop the activity and confirm that the discomfort has resolved before continuing. If it is worsening, then stop the PEFA and seek medical clearance. You may also need to complete an Incident Form. Of course, there are also the key components of safe patient care – stand nearby to redirect them if they lose their balance, remind them that all tasks are voluntary and they can stop at any time, and if they present with any signs of cardiac or respiratory distress seek medical attention immediately

JobFit System PEFAs are job-specific

‘Not prepared’ could mean a variety of situation. If they appear fatigued (eg just completed night shift), ask the participant if they followed the appointment advice regarding being well-rested for the PEFA and if not would they like to reschedule. If they appear unwell (eg URTI), ask the participant if they think that they will be disadvantaged and would like to reschedule the appointment. If they appear to be in a non-calm state (eg rushed, nervous, agitated, anxious), offer to give them some time to relax and then continue with the PEFA unless they would prefer to reschedule. If you think that they may be affected by alcohol or other drugs please reschedule the appointment. In any of these situations, please let JobFit Systems know before any rescheduling occurs so that the appropriate documentation and approvals can take place.

A signed Informed Consent is required before the questions about the Medical History can be asked prior to starting the PEFA. The participant can decline to sign the Consent form, however the appointment will not be able to continue. If they would like a copy of the Consent form prior to signing, please ask them to contact JobFit Systems for a copy. A signed Medical History statement is also required prior to commencement of the PEFA. If the participant refuses to sign the Medical History statement then the PEFA can not continue.

If the participant’s blood pressure is higher than 145 / 95 mmHg, then:

  • Check that the blood pressure cuff is the appropriate size. Try another machine if available. Ask the participant if they know of any reason why their BP may be elevated (eg undisclosed hypertension, nervous, caffeine, nicotine, other drugs or medication, fatigue) and document these.
  • Make two recordings in sitting. If still elevated, and safe to do so, then complete the musculoskeletal screen and take it again.
  • If still elevated, complete the postural tolerance activities and take it again.
  • If still elevated, record the readings on the Medical Clearance form and follow the MC procedures. The appointment is finished at this time.
  • DO NOT do the step test, ladder climbing or any manual handling activities until medical clearance is obtained.

If the communication difficulties are language related, ask them if they have a person available with them that could assist with translation. This should have been identified and organised prior to the appointment being made. If the difficulties are related to comprehension, take your time and do the best you can, document the difficulties but ONLY proceed if you are comfortable that they understand the safety requirements of the tests. If the difficulties are related to aggressive, abusive or unacceptable behaviour, ask them to cease that behaviour. If they continue, end the appointment and ask them to leave the premise. If they do not leave, call the police immediately. We do not tolerate any form of abuse, bullying or harassment.

Stop the activity. Confirm the location, type and intensity of the discomfort. If the discomfort has resolved, ask them if they would like to continue. If the discomfort does not resolve, or increases with the next activity, stop the PEFA and contact JobFit Systems to obtain and complete an Incident Form.

At the end of the PEFA, please tell the participant how much they lifted and carried. What their aerobic fitness rating was. Let them know if you identified any issues that might benefit from follow-up with a health professional (eg flexibility, core stability). Encourage them to seek professional advice if you identified signs or symptoms of an underlying condition. Do NOT tell them how they went in comparison to the job requirements. Do NOT tell them their overall score. Avoid generic comments such as “You did great! Fit as a fiddle! Couldn’t see a thing wrong!” Such comments are potentially misleading and open to misinterpretation.

After the appointment

If the report is coming to you 24-72hrs post PEFA, remember it is not unusual for a participant to experience some ‘post-exercise-type’ muscle soreness, particularly if they are usually not very active. This should resolve in a day or so. However, if the report is immediate or you think they may have experienced an injury, then please notify us immediately. We will ask you to complete an Incident Form. We will also contact the participant to ensure that they see their healthcare provider for treatment or advice. Of course, if the participant is with you at the time, please provide appropriate First Response medical care.

Please ask them to contact their employer / referrer to discuss their results. Remember, the PEFAs are risk assessments, and not pass / fail assessments.

Anytime

JobFit System PEFAs are evidence-based job-specific assessments. They have undergone Reliability and Validity studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Some of the components of the PEFAs you may be familiar with from other functional assessments, however the processes, ratings and scoring are standardised to the JobFit System PEFA protocol.

Complete the JobFit System PEFA training. It’s a one-day course with theory and practical activities, followed by a competency assessment. You will then need to confirm that you have the required equipment, complete a Safety Audit and provide evidence of your PI insurance.

Terrific! Please contact us for a copy of the Safety Audit so we can start the ball rolling.

If you are not happy for any reason with our customer service or the way an assessment progressed, please contact us by phone or email. We want to know how we can do better and appreciate your feedback. 

We would be thrilled if you spread the word about your positive experiences with us. Feel free to share in any way you see fit. Of course, if you would like to volunteer for a testimonial or tell your story please let us know. Our team would love to hear your kind words.