Guideline for Workers' Compensation Regulator approved rehabilitation and return to work coordinator courses
The Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the WCR Act) and Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014 (the WCR Regulation) provide a framework for managing workers' compensation and rehabilitation in Queensland.
Rehabilitation and return to work coordinators (RRTWC) are appointed by employers to coordinate and manage a worker's safe and durable return to work following a workplace injury.
Employers are responsible for ensuring that their nominated RRTWC is appropriately qualified to perform the functions of a RRTWC under the WCR Act.
From 1 July 2020, the Workers' Compensation Regulator will approve training courses for RRTWCs and publish a list of these training courses on the WorkSafe Queensland website. A training course allows RRTWCs to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the functions a RRTWC as prescribed in Queensland legislation.
Regulator approved courses are just one option for employers to ensure their RRTWC is appropriately qualified.
Training providers wanting a RRTWC course approved by Workers' Compensation Regulator must submit an application to Workers' Compensation Regulatory Services (WCRS) in line with the requirements of this guideline.
2. Purpose of this guideline
The information in this guideline applies to training providers seeking to have a RRTWC course approved by the Workers' Compensation Regulator.
It outlines the minimum training course requirements and the Workers' Compensation Regulator's course approval process.
Terms used in this guideline have the same meaning as defined under the WCR Act and Regulation.
3. Eligibility to apply
The training provider can be:
- a registered training organisation (RTO) with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA); OR
- an organisation/agency that has a commercial agreement with a RTO to deliver the training; OR
- an organisation that can demonstrate they have established industry expertise and experience in delivering a high standard of training against a set of core learning competencies.
4. Minimum course requirements
4.1 Course duration
The minimum total training course duration required is one day (8 hours). Any pre-reading and/or assessments that participants are required to complete is considered in addition to the minimum one-day (8 hours) course duration.
4.2 Participant prerequisites
This training course requires participants to have the ability to read and write.
4.3 Recognition of prior learning
There is no recognition of prior learning prescribed by the Workers' Compensation Regulator for an approved training course.
As the training provider, you are responsible for ensuring that all trainers delivering the course have appropriate skills, knowledge and experience.
You are also responsible for confirming that any trainer delivering the course:
- holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, or
- has a minimum 5 years' experience in:
- injury management and rehabilitation
- engaging with stakeholders within the workers' compensation scheme
- developing suitable duties plans based on medical advice.
The trainer must be engaged by you through a contract and conduct themselves diligently, efficiently, honestly, impartially and with integrity.
If the trainers change throughout the period of approval, you are responsible for ensuring new trainers meet this standard. You must be able to provide evidence of this standard if requested at any time by the Workers' Compensation Regulator.
4.5 Learning objectives
The key skills and knowledge a person must have to perform the responsibilities of a RRTWC include:
- an understanding of workers' compensation and injury management principles
- effective communication, negotiation and conflict resolution
- strong interpersonal skills
- organisational and time management skills
- problem solving skills.
The RRTWC training course learning objectives are aligned to the key functions of the RRTWC role as prescribed under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Regulation 2014.
Your course should provide learners with the knowledge and practical skills required to successfully perform the RRTWC role. It should have a strong practical component and focus on teaching RRTWCs how to perform their role in assisting Queensland workers following a work-related injury.
Course material should be specific to the Queensland workers’ compensation scheme. While you may include information specific to other jurisdictions, your materials should:
- primarily focus on the Queensland scheme, and use terminology aligned with the Queensland legislation
- be clear where information, legislation, and language does not apply to the Queensland scheme.
It is not sufficient to copy/paste theoretical or course content from other sources. To be approved, your course must contextualise the background theory and show how it applies to the key functions of the RRTWC role. Any copied content must be recognised and authorised (used with permission).
You are encouraged to contextualise the course content for specific employers or industry groups.
A RRTWC training course is different from BSBWHS417 (Assist with managing WHS implications of return to work), which is Work Health and Safety (WHS) focused. While your RRTWC training course may contain elements of BSBWHS417, most content should focus on rehabilitation and return to work.
Your RRTWC training course must be able to demonstrate how the training materials and assessment content addresses each of the following learning objectives detailed below:
Function of a RRTWC
Initiate early communication with an injured worker to clarify the nature and severity of the worker's injury.
- Demonstrate basic understanding of the range of terms used to cover the different types of injuries (including physical, psychological and secondary psychological injuries) relevant to workers' compensation.
- Demonstrate understanding of a range of the most common conditions and diagnoses seen within the workers’ compensation scheme.
- Demonstrate understanding of the biopsychosocial impacts of an injury on a worker.
- Identify and understand key communication tools including:
- Case notes
- Work Capacity Certificate – workers' compensation
- Privacy and authorisation form
- Job task analysis
- Rehabilitation and return to work plans
- Suitable duties programs
Function of a RRTWC
Provide overall coordination of the worker's return to work.
- Demonstrate knowledge and ability to access relevant workers’ compensation legislation.
- Demonstrate basic understanding of how to interpret relevant workers’ compensation legislation.
- Demonstrate basic understanding of entitlements and the nature of beneficial legislation.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the basic injury management process including the return to work hierarchy.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, particularly the worker, employer, supervisor, insurer (self-insured employers and WorkCover Queensland) and treating medical practitioners.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the health benefits of good work.
- Demonstrate understanding of the importance of maintaining communications with an injured worker and encouraging their connection with work while recovering away from the workplace.
- Describe how to apply a person-centred approach to return to work planning to support the individual needs and goals of a worker.
- Demonstrate knowledge of how to accurately record, store and share rehabilitation and return to work information in line with privacy procedures.
- Demonstrate understanding that workers’ compensation information is only to be used to facilitate a workers’ rehabilitation and return to work and is not to be accessed by an employer and used for employment purposes.
- Demonstrate ability of how to record meaningful and objective case notes.
- Demonstrate understanding of the need for RRTWCs to maintain contemporary skills and knowledge by undertaking ongoing learning and development (e.g. by subscribing to the Rehabilitation and Return to Work ebulletin and the Return to Work Queensland Facebook page to receive regular updates).
Function of a RRTWC
If a rehabilitation and return to work plan is developed by an insurer under section 220(5) of the Act:
- Consult with the worker and the employer to develop the suitable duties component of the plan.
- Ensure the suitable duties program is consistent with the current medical certificate or report for the worker's injury.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between a rehabilitation and return to work plan and a suitable duties plan or program.
- Describe key stakeholders to be consulted when developing and updating a suitable duties program.
- Demonstrate ability to accurately translate information provided on a work capacity certificate into a suitable duties program.
- Demonstrate understanding that all medical information outlined in medical reports, functional capacity evaluations and work capacity certificates (including restrictions) should be considered when developing a suitable duties program.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of good work design and how this applies to identifying suitable duties.
- Demonstrate ability to interpret and understand medical information in medical reports and work capacity certificates.
Function of a RRTWC
- any person engaged by the employer to help in the worker's rehabilitation and return to work.
- the insurer about the worker's progress and indicate, as early as possible, if there is a need for the insurer to assist or intervene.
- Demonstrate awareness of the legislative functions of the Workers’ Compensation Regulator (Section 327 of the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act).
- Demonstrate understanding of how a worker can access dispute resolution processes within the workers' compensation scheme.
- Demonstrate understanding of the Medical Assessment Tribunals including who can refer a worker, and when a worker may be required to attend a tribunal.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the process for communicating updates to key parties on the progress of a worker's recovery and return to work.
- Demonstrate understanding of when and how to respond to conflict and non-compliance with rehabilitation processes in accordance with the legislation.
4.6 Structure of course material
The training course can be delivered in a variety of formats that encourage practical learning, simulating real-life scenarios where participants can apply the knowledge gained.
The training course must be facilitated by a trainer and can be delivered face-to-face or online. Due to the requirement that the course be facilitated by a trainer, self-directed (i.e. course by correspondence) learning is not encouraged.
Practical application of knowledge and skill
Due to the highly interactive nature of the RRTWC role, the training course must provide participants with opportunity to apply the knowledge of the learning objectives through a range of practical activities to cement their learning.
This can be achieved through methods including:
- completing workbook activities
- group tasks
- role play
- mock conversation plans and scripts
- case study reviews.
The application must include a copy of all the practical exercise/s and assessment/s for each core competency (including instructions for mock conversations, role plays and group discussions).
4.7 Record management
Training providers must maintain a record of all participants who participate in the training course.
Trainers must sight and verify evidence of the participant's identity prior to commencing training. The provider must not make false or misleading declarations in their dealings including falsifying any information, participant responses or attendance of a participant who did not successfully complete training.
All participants who attend the course must be informed in writing as to whether they have demonstrated the learning objectives and have met the course requirements.
4.8 Ongoing review and evaluation
The training provider must demonstrate how it:
- regularly reviews course content to ensure it aligns with current evidence-based best practice approaches to rehabilitation and return to work and legislative requirements, and
- seeks timely participant feedback on the course to ensure it adequately fulfils participants' expectations.
4.9 Course content standards
We recommend course developers review the following guidance material to ensure course content reflects best practice messages and evidence-based contemporary resources:
- The Guidelines for the Standards for Rehabilitation (2nd edition) (Office of Industrial Relations) (PDF, 0.58 MB)
- Taking Action: Best practice framework for managing psychological injuries (Safe Work Australia)
- The National Return to Work Strategy 2020-2030 (Safe Work Australia)
- The Health Benefits of Good Work (The Royal Australian College of Physicians)
- Workers’ Compensation Scheme Reports (Office of Industrial Relations)
Training providers should ensure all learning materials are structured in a logical and coherent way, and that a professional standard of writing and presentation is maintained.
If acronyms and abbreviations are used, the word or term must be written in full in the first instance, followed by the acronym/abbreviation in brackets (e.g.: rehabilitation and return to work coordinator [RRTWC])
5. Approval process
5.1 Submitting applications for approval
- Step 1: Read the guidelines above to make sure you understand the requirements to have your RRTWC training course approved by the Workers’ Compensation Regulator.
- Step 2: Complete the application form: Application Form – Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator course approval (PDF, 0.15 MB).
- Step 3: Complete the application checklist: Rehabilitation and return to work coordinator course approval (PDF, 0.22 MB).
- Step 4: Submit your application form and application checklist to:
- email@example.com, OR
- by post to:
Workers' Compensation Regulatory Services
PO Box 10119
Brisbane Qld 4000
NOTE: Please do not submit your course materials with your application form and application checklist. We will send you a link to upload your course materials when we receive your completed application form and application checklist.
- Step 5: When you receive the link from Workers’ Compensation Regulatory Services (WCRS), upload all your course training materials in full for our review.
- Step 6: WCRS will review the information you provide within 90 days of receiving all required information and course materials.
Following review, WCRS will either:
- submit the course for final approval by the Workers' Compensation Regulator, if WCRS is satisfied the course meets the minimum course requirements
- contact you to advise that the course does not currently meet minimum requirements and in line with procedural fairness requirements, provide feedback on amendments required for your course to meet minimum course requirements.
- Step 7: If amendments are required to your course, you will have an opportunity to resubmit your training materials for consideration and approval.
- If WCRS is satisfied your resubmitted course meets the minimum requirements, it will be submitted to the Workers’ Compensation Regulator for final approval within 60 days.
5.2 Unsuccessful applications
In the event your application is unsuccessful, WCRS will provide reasons why the application is unsatisfactory. There is no appeal process provided under the Workers’ Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 in relation to an unsuccessful application.
There is no limit on the number of times you can apply to have a RRTWC training course approved.
5.3 Period of approval
Approved courses will remain current for a period of five (5) years from the date of approval.
The training provider is required to submit a new application and required documentation for approval (as detailed in Section 5.1) within six (6) months of the approval period expiring.
The training provider must not substantially alter any content, assessment or delivery of the course once approved without first consulting with WCRS. Requests to amend the training package are to be made by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
5.4 List of approved courses
All training courses approved by the Workers' Compensation Regulator will be published on the WorkSafe website.
Courses will be removed from the WorkSafe.qld.gov.au when their approval period expires.
5.5 Updates to approved courses
WCRS reserves the right to request training providers to update their training course to reflect:
- changes in legislation
- release of new evidence-based research approaches to injury management
- release of new tools and resources to support rehabilitation and return to work outcomes.
If a training provider is required to update their training material, WCRS will send correspondence to the training provider explaining the update that is required.
The training provider will be required to provide evidence of how it has complied with the requested change. Details of how this information can be submitted to WCRS will be provided within the notification sent to the training provider.
5.6 Cancellation of approval
Workers' Compensation Regulator approval for the course may be suspended or cancelled if the training provider fails to comply with these conditions.