The Tasmanian Government has embarked on a ‘Red-Tape Reduction’ Review in relation to the state-based Workers Compensation System. The review process is overseen by the WorkSafe Tasmania and the WorkCover Board.
Following a consultation process with the stakeholders the final consultation draft has been released for comment. See link below:
A proposal of particular concern is included in Item 3, relating to accreditation of workplace rehabilitation providers (WRP’s).
The proposal is stated as:
‘Remove accreditation of rehabilitation providers only’
This proposal is contrary to the recommendations of the peak professional bodies representing rehabilitation providers and moves the system in a direction opposite to that proposed by the AMA in a recent submission to the WorkCover Board. See link to AMA submission below:
Doctors have expressed concerns about lack of professionalism and independence by some practitioners who fulfil the rehabilitation provider role on behalf of employers and insurers. Removal of accreditation requirements can only make that worse.
The Tasmanian Association of Vocational Rehabilitation Providers has commented as follows:
At present organisations, rather than individuals, are accredited in Tasmania if they provide any of the following services:
- initial workplace rehabilitation assessment
- assessment of the functional capacity of a worker
- workplace assessment
- job analysis
- advice concerning job modification
- rehabilitation counselling
- vocational assessment
- advice or assistance in relation to job seeking
- advice or assistance in arranging vocation re-education or retraining.
See link to details of current accreditation requirement:
The AMA has suggested that accreditation for WRP’s should be at the individual level, not organisational level and include practitioners who operate independently to organise rehabilitation programmes and offer ‘case management’ services, not just the services currently defined. A WRP has an important role in support and facilitation of RTW and done poorly can have significant adverse consequences for the case outcome.
Injury Management Co-ordinators (IMC’s) as defined under Tasmanian Legislation, have a role in developing Injury Management Plans, but they now commonly work in a similar role to that of a rehabilitation provider, without a requirement for appropriate qualifications or accreditation.
Many IMC’s and some WRP’s do not have qualifications registrable with AHPRA and there is clearly a need for professional standards and accreditation.
The proposal to remove WRP accreditation is regressive and has the potential to worsen outcomes for those injured at work and in need of professional rehabilitation assistance. Accreditation requirements, particularly for practitioners without existing AHPRA registration, need to be extended rather than relaxed.