Workplace rehabilitation providers offer specialised workplace rehabilitation services to help workers recover at and/or return to work.
Workplace rehabilitation services are usually delivered at the workplace, in consultation with all parties and may involve:
- assessing a worker's capacity to perform duties safely
- identifying duties that will support improvements in a worker’s capacity
- identifying options to help reduce work demands (including providing advice on equipment, job or workplace modifications)
- identifying and addressing risks that may impact a worker's recovery at/return to work outcome
- implementing and monitoring a plan to achieve an agreed recovery at work goal
While it is usually the employer or insurer who makes the decision on which workplace rehabilitation provider will be used in each situation, a worker should be consulted on the decision and given the opportunity to refuse or request a change in provider.
The insurer is responsible for engaging the provider and paying for their services. Service costs are recorded as a claims cost.
What to expect from your workplace rehabilitation provider fact sheet provides workers and employers with information about workplace rehabilitation and the role of the provider.
Information for workplace rehabilitation providers
Becoming an approved workplace rehabilitation provider
Organisations seeking to become an approved workplace rehabilitation provider are required to submit an application to the jurisdiction in which approval is being saught, demonstrating how they will meet the Conditions of Approval. If the application is approved, the provider is granted a three-year Instrument of Approval (Certificate of Approval in NSW).
The Conditions of Approval and the application process, including the application form, are outlined in the Guide: Nationally consistent approval framework for workplace rehabilitation providers published by the Heads of Workers Compensation Authorities (HWCA).
The NSW supplement to the guide outlines specific requirements for providers who wish to provide workplace rehabilitation services in NSW.
Meeting the Conditions of Approval
The main focus of the NSW workers compensation system is to support workers to recover at/return to work following a work related injury. Consequently the primary measure for providers is the return to work rate following the provision of workplace rehabilitation services.
The minimum return to work rates that must be maintained by providers in order to maintain approval in NSW are:
- same employer: 80%
- different employer: 50%
SIRA reviews the minimum return to work rates based on industry performance and regulatory priorities in consultation with the industry.
Work status codes are used to record provider outcomes.
An additional tool called workplace rehabilitation provider performance data spread sheet can be used to assist with the calculation of the return to work rate measures. This tool can also help providers prepare for onsite evaluations and undertake self-evaluations.
Evaluation of approved workplace rehabilitation providers
Following initial approval, the provider may be required to undergo a SIRA-initiated onsite evaluation 12 months after the application approval. Then during the three years of approval, the provider is required to undertake annual self-evaluations. They may also undergo a SIRA-initiated periodic evaluation and/or exception evaluation by an independent evaluator.
The evaluation process and tools are detailed in the workplace rehabilitation provider evaluation manual.
Renewal of a Certificate of Approval
If the provider seeks to renew their Certificate of Approval they are required to submit a renewal application to SIRA prior to the expiration of the prior approval period.
The renewal application process is outlined in the:
- Guide: Nationally consistent approval framework for workplace rehabilitation providers
- NSW supplement to the guide
- renewal application for approval as a workplace rehabilitation provider