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Become a self-insurer

When you self-insure, your organisation manages and takes on the costs and risks of its own workers’ compensation claims. You have distinct and separate employer and insurer functions when you're a self-insurer.

Just like insurance through WorkCover, self-insurance:

  • provides incentives to improve injury prevention and rehabilitation performance
  • makes sure that workers are treated fairly
  • contributes to ongoing improvement in health, safety and return to work performance.

The Workers’ Compensation Regulator decides applications for a self-insurance licence for single and group employers.

To be eligible for self-insurance, your organisation must:

  • employ more than 2,000 full-time workers in Queensland
  • have satisfactory occupational health and safety (OHS) performance
  • have re-insurance cover
  • have rehabilitation and return to work coordinators based in Queensland
  • have a workplace rehabilitation policy and procedure
  • meet the minimum requirements regarding financial strength and capability
  • have resources available for claim and rehabilitation management based in Queensland
  • be able to provide claim-related information.

Group employers licences are restricted to:

  • all related bodies corporate who employ workers
  • employers in the same industry with a pre-existing, stable business relationship.

Self-insurance criteria are covered in full within the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

The Self-insurer performance and compliance framework (PDF, 0.72 MB) shows you how to meet the standards in the legislation.

Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 Compliance and Enforcement Policy (PDF, 0.57 MB) shows you the regulatory approach used by Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services in monitoring how you meet legislative requirements.

To learn more about how to apply for a self-insurance licence, contact Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services at and they will assist you understanding the requirements and lodging your application.

When you lodge your application, you need to pay a non-refundable application fee.

Once your application has been lodged, the Workers’ Compensation Regulator has six months to decide an application.

Once you have your self-insurer licence, you need to:

  • take on liability for outstanding WorkCover claims that were made before you received your licence
  • pay your annual levy
  • pay workers’ compensation claims
  • resource and manage workplace rehabilitation
  • maintain acceptable workplace health and safety systems and resources
  • provide quality data
  • contribute financial and management resources to comply with legislation and licence conditions
  • provide annual actuarial reports
  • maintain bank guarantees and re-insurance
  • renew your licence at least 90 days before the licence period ends.

As part of your application, you will need a work health and safety performance report.

There are two steps to obtaining a work health and safety performance report:

Step 1

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland will review your organisation to see if you are complying with legislation. This will identify any recent enforcement activity and any successful prosecutions against your organisation.

Step 2

You must nominate an accredited third-party work health and safety auditor (self-insurance) to make an OHS assessment of your organisation. The National self-insurer OHS management system audit tool (PDF, 6.62 MB) covers how you will be assessed.

You can nominate an auditor from the register of accredited work health and safety auditors (self-insurance).

As a self-insurer, there are fees and charges for applications, annual levies and reports.

There are also work health and safety auditor (self-insurance) application and accreditation fees.

Tools and resources