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Permanent impairment

The second edition of the Guidelines for Evaluation of Permanent Impairment (PDF, 2.05 MB) took effect on 1 July 2016.

This means all permanent impairment assessments conducted on and from this date, for an injury sustained on or after 15 October 2013, must be done by an assessor trained in the second edition.

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

Request training

Workers' Compensation Regulatory Services is responsible for scheme doctor training on the Queensland Guidelines for Evaluation of Permanent Impairment and for maintaining the register of trained medical practitioners (XLSX, 0.18 MB).

If you're a medical specialist or audiologist and want to undertake training you should 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 Queensland Guide uses AMA5 for most body systems except psychiatric and psychological disorders, chronic pain, visual and hearing injuries.

For this reason it's recommended that medical assessors complete AMA5 training prior to undertaking training in the Queensland Guide. However, AMA5 training isn't a mandatory pre-requisite.

Copies of the AMA5 can be purchased 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 you can show evidence of prior training and accreditation in the Guidelines for the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment used in either NSW or South Australia, you may not have to complete Queensland Guide training in the body systems for which you're already trained.

To be registered as a trained assessor in Queensland, you must do the compulsory introductory core module as it has information specific to the Queensland Guide and Compensation scheme.

Request a copy of your Queensland guide training certificate

If you have completed your training and need another copy of your certificate please complete our Queensland guide training certificate reorder form.

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.

What should be included in your report

Your report of the evaluation of permanent impairment should be accurate, comprehensive and fair and include:

  • 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 doesn't comply, the insurer may request further details before payment is processed.

Template

Download a report template for permanent impairment assessments (DOC, 0.13 MB), with the date of injury after 15 October 2013.

Trained assessors

We update the register regularly. You can contact wcr.education@oir.qld.gov.au or phone (07) 3842 2737 to confirm if a doctor has undertaken training in the revised version of the Queensland Guide.

Trained assessors can be found here Evaluation of permanent impairment trained assessors register (XLSX, 0.18 MB)