Approved medical specialists

Approved medical specialists are senior practising specialists with a sound knowledge of the NSW workers compensation system and workplace based injury management.

Approved medical specialists are appointed by the Workers Compensation Commission to assess disputes about medical issues for workers compensation claims lodged on or after 1 January 2002.

There are two types of approved medical specialist:

  1. Those who help to resolve disputes about general medical issues (eg injury management, medical hospital and rehabilitation costs, work capacity.
  2. Those who help resolve disputes about the assessment of permanent impairment.

An approved medical specialist may decide to:

  • request the worker be medically examined by the approved medical specialist
  • call for medical records, including X rays and results of other tests and any other information that is considered necessary or desirable to assess the dispute
  • consult with the medical practitioners or allied health practitioners who have treated the worker

After investigating the medical dispute, the approved medical specialist will issue a medical assessment certificate. This is the final, binding opinion in disputes about permanent impairment.

In other types of disputes, the medical assessment certificate is taken into account by the Arbitrator when mediating between the parties or issuing direction.


The 2017 Medical Examinations and Report Fees Order sets the rates payable to approved medical specialists when participating as a member of the appeal panel at the Workers Compensation Commission.

Further information

See our workers compensation disputes section for more information about the disputes process and the help that’s available.