Guidelines for the evaluation of permanent impairment

The second edition of the Guidelines for Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (Queensland Guide) (PDF, 2091.49 KB) took effect on 1 July 2016, incorporating changes made to the national template for assessing permanent impairment and providing greater clarity. This means all permanent impairment assessments conducted on and from this date, for an injury sustained on or after 15 October 2013, need to be done in accordance with the second edition by an assessor trained in the second edition.

Compensable work related injuries, which incurred on or after 15 October 2013, must be assessed using the Queensland Guide.

Request training

The Office of Industrial Relations is responsible for the delivery of the Queensland Guidelines for Evaluation of Permanent Impairment training. The Office of Industrial Relations is also responsible for maintaining the register of trained assessors(XLSX, 150.21 KB).

If you are a medical specialist or audiologist and wish to undertake training in the Queensland Guide please complete this training request form.

Recommended pre-requisite training

The methodology in the Queensland Guide is largely based on the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, Fifth Edition (AMA5). The AMA Guides are the most authoritative and widely used source for evaluating permanent impairment around the world.

The AMA5 is used for most body systems within the Queensland Guide, with the exception of psychiatric and psychological disorders, chronic pain, visual and hearing injuries.

For this reason, the Office of Industrial Relations recommends that medical assessors complete AMA5 training prior to undertaking training in the Queensland Guide. However, AMA5 training is not a mandatory pre-requisite.

Copies of the AMA5 are available for purchase in electronic or hard copy at doctorportal.com.au/shop/. For AMA5 training visit https://ama.com.au.

Recognition of Prior learning (training in NSW and SA WorkCover Guides)

The Queensland Guide is based on nationally agreed model guidelines for assessing permanent impairment. The New South Wales and South Australian schemes also use versions of these model guidelines, which are closely related to the Queensland’s Guidelines for Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 2nd edition.
If a doctor can provide evidence of prior training and accreditation in the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment used in either of these jurisdictions, they will be exempt from completing Queensland Guide training in the body systems for which they are already trained.

Doctors seeking to be registered as a trained assessor in Queensland need to complete training in the compulsory introductory Core module as it contains information specific to the Queensland Guide and the Queensland Workers' Compensation scheme.

Reporting template

As part of legislation changes to the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003, for injuries sustained after 15 October 2013, a trained specialist (assessor) must determine impairment under the Queensland Guide. In these guidelines there are strict requirements for the content of the report.

Summary of what should be included

A report of the evaluation of permanent impairment should be accurate, comprehensive and fair. It should address:

  • a medical history
  • clinical evaluation details such as the range of movement, neurological findings and any relevant investigations
  • whether the injury is stable and stationary, that is, has been medically stable for the previous three months and is unlikely to change by more than 3% whole person impairment (WPI) in the next 12 months with or without further medical or surgical treatment
  • methodology used (with reference to AMA Guides chapter, section and table)
  • conclusions with reasons
  • the nature of the permanent impairment (description of work related medical injury / illness) and calculated applicable % WPI
  • any other issues which are relevant to the impairment assessment
  • any pre-existing impairment considerations (apportionment for prior injuries / illness).

Payment

Under the medical table of costs, specialists completing an assessment of permanent impairment using the approved format can charge a higher rate (Code 100802). Under the Queensland Guide, if a report does not comply, the insurer may request further details before payment is processed.

Template

Download a report template for permanent impairment assessments (DOC, 132 KB) , with the date of injury after 15 October 2013.

Trained assessors

Please note that this register is not a live document. We will endeavour to update the register regularly as doctors successfully complete the training. You are encouraged to contact wcr.education@oir.qld.gov.au or phone (07) 3020 6317 to confirm if a doctor has undertaken training in the revised version of the Queensland Guide.

Evaluation of permanent impairment trained assessors register (XLSX, 150.21 KB)

Last updated
07 June 2017