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Guideline for Workers' Compensation Regulator approved rehabilitation and return to work coordinator courses

1. Introduction

The Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003 (the WCR Act) and associated 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 perform the functions of the RRTWC role as prescribed in Queensland legislation.

Regulator approved courses are just one option for employers to ensure their RRTWC is appropriately qualified.

Training providers wanting to have a RRTWC course approved by Workers' Compensation Regulator must submit an application to the Workers' Compensation Regulatory Services (WCRS) in the Office of Industrial Relations, 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:

  1. a registered training organisation (RTO) with the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA); OR
  2. an organisation/agency that has a commercial agreement with a RTO to deliver the training; OR
  3. 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. Any pre-reading that participants are required to do is considered in addition to the minimum one-day 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.

4.4 Trainers

The training provider is responsible for ensuring that all trainers delivering the course have appropriate skills, knowledge and experience.

The training provider is responsible for confirming that any trainer delivering the course:

  1. holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment,or
  2. has a minimum 5 years' experience in:
    • injury management and rehabilitation;
    • engaging with stakeholders within the workers' compensation scheme; and
    • developing suitable duties plans based on medical advice.

The trainer must be engaged by the training provider through a contract and conduct themselves diligently, efficiently, honestly, impartially and with integrity.

If the trainers change throughout the period of approval, the training provider is responsible for ensuring new trainers meet this standard. The training provider 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, and
  • problem solving skills.

The RRTWC training course learning objectives are aligned to the key functions of the RRTWC role as prescribed under the WCR Regulation.

Training providers are encouraged to contextualise the course content for specific employers or industry groups.

A RRTWC training course must be able to demonstrate how the training materials and assessment content addresses each of the following learning objectives detailed in the table below:

Function of a RRTWC Mandatory learning objectives to be included
  1. Initiate early communication with an injured worker to clarify the nature and severity of the worker's injury
  1. Demonstrate a basic understanding of the range of terms used to cover the different types of injuries relevant to workers' compensation
  2. Demonstrate understanding of the bio-psychosocial impacts of an injury on a worker
  3. Identify and understand key communication tools including:
    • Work Capacity Certificate – workers' compensation
    • Privacy and authorisation form
    • Job task analysis
    • Rehabilitation and return to work plans
    • Suitable duties templates
  1. Provide overall coordination of the worker's return to work
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and ability to access relevant worker's compensation legislation
  2. Demonstrate basic understanding of entitlements and the nature of beneficial legislation
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the basic injury management process including the return to work hierarchy
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, particularly the worker, employer, supervisor, insurer and treating medical practitioners
  5. Demonstrate knowledge of the health benefits of good work and how to support the worker when unable to return to the workplace
  6. Describe how to apply a person-centred approach to return to work planning to support the individual needs and goals of a worker
  7. Demonstrate knowledge to accurately record and store rehabilitation and return to work information in line with privacy procedures
  1. If a rehabilitation and return to work plan is developed under section 220(5) of the Act:
    1. Consult with the worker and the employer to develop the suitable duties component of the plan
    2. Ensure the program is consistent with the current medical certificate or report for the worker's injury
  1. Describe key stakeholders to be consulted in the development and update of a suitable duties plan
  2. Demonstrate ability to accurately translate information provided on work capacity certificate into a suitable duties plan
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the principles of good work design and how this applies to identifying suitable duties
  4. Demonstrate ability to interpret and understand medical information contained within a work capacity certificate
  1. Liaise with:
    1. Any person engaged by the employer to help in the worker's rehabilitation and return to work
    2. 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
  1. Demonstrate awareness of dispute resolution processes within the workers' compensation scheme
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the process for communicating updates to key parties on the progress of a worker's recovery and return to work
  3. Demonstrate understanding of when and how to respond to conflict and non-compliance with rehabilitation process in accordance with the legislation.

4.6 Structure of course material

Thetraining 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 highly interactive nature of the course, 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
  • questionnaires
  • 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.

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:

  1. 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
  2. seeks timely participant feedback on the course to ensure it adequately fulfils participants' expectations.

5. Approval process

5.1 Submitting applications for approval

  • Step one - The training provider is required to access and review the Application Form – Rehabilitation and Return to Work Coordinator course approval (PDF, 0.14 MB).
  • Step two – The training provider must complete the application form and:
    • email it to wcr.education@oir.qld.gov.au, OR
    • post it to:Engagement Services Workers' Compensation Regulatory Services PO Box 10119 Brisbane Adelaide Street Qld 4000.
  • Step three – WCRS will contact the training organisation and provide details of how the course material can be submitted. WCRS will perform a preliminary review of the application and supporting documents within seven days of receiving the completed application. WCRS will notify the training provider if further explanation or supplementary documents are required.
  • Step four– WCRS will prepare the information provided by the training provider and submit it to the Workers' Compensation Regulator for approval within 60 days of receiving the completed application.
  • Step five – The training provider will receive written correspondence from the Workers' Compensation Regulator advising them of the outcome of their application.

5.2 Unsuccessful applications

In the event the application is unsuccessful, WCRS will provide reasons why the application is unsatisfactory. There is no limit on the number of times a training provider can apply for approval.

5.3 Period of approval

Approved courses will remain current for a period a 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 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 wcr.education@oir.qld.gov.au.

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 website 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.