A certificate of capacity is an official document that describes an injured person’s capacity for work and other activities. Previously, only a treating medical practitioner had the authority to complete and issue all Certificates of Capacity (under the Workers Compensation Scheme) and all Certificates of Fitness (under the Compulsory Third Party Scheme).
On 17 April 2020 temporary COVID-19 legislative changes commenced giving treating physiotherapists and psychologists the authority to issue second and/or subsequent certificates of capacity/fitness in relation to workers compensation and CTP claims. Treating medical practitioners are still required to issue an injured person with their first certificate. The changes were put in place for a period of 12 months unless repealed earlier.
Why were these changes introduced?
The amendments were intended to relieve pressure on general practitioners and the overall health system due to the burden of COVID-19. The changes were also to make it easier for claimants to obtain up-to-date certification as required by their insurer, without needing to re-visit their treating doctor.
What is happening now?
SIRA has commissioned Monash University to complete an evaluation of the response to and effectiveness of these temporary legislative changes. The evaluation comprises a survey of allied health practitioners as well as a comparative analysis of a sample of certificates submitted to insurers since April 2020, where at least one certificate per claim was completed by an allied health practitioner.
Have your say
It is important for SIRA to gain insight into the experiences of physiotherapists and psychologists who have, as well as those who have not, issued certificates of capacity/fitness since April 2020. All physiotherapists and psychologists are urged to provide feedback and help inform ongoing scheme certification policy in NSW.
It will take approximately 14 minutes to complete the anonymous online survey, which will remain open until Friday 5pm, Friday 8 January 2021.
If you have any difficulties accessing the survey or have any questions, please email SIRAResearch@sira.nsw.gov.au
What happens next?
In the first quarter 2021, Monash University will provide SIRA with a report on the relative success of the changes to certification. SIRA will use the report to guide the decision as to whether to seek legislative amendment to support ongoing certification by allied health providers.
Visit the Certificate of fitness / certificate of capacity page or view our video guides for treating physiotherapists and treating psychologists on assessing a person’s capacity to work: