The use of embedded pile elements provides a convenient approach that may save significant modelling time in the simulation of piled foundations. A back-analysis of an Osterberg-cell (O-Cell) load test on a 45 m long pile is presented to illustrate some of the advantages of using structural embedded elements. Comparisons with other modelling approaches for piled-raft foundations have showed good agreement. Three dimensional effects on shaft friction were also investigated in this paper. The simplified example indicates that, although the ultimate shaft friction developed along piles within a piled raft can be significantly greater than that for a single pile or a pile in a conventional pile group, it may not be of significance under typical design loads.