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Approved rehabilitation provider (ARP)

A person or organisation providing rehabilitation services to help employees with work-related injuries or diseases return to work. ARPs must be approved by Comcare in accordance with s. 34 of the SRC Act. This includes approved in-house rehabilitation providers which the employer directly employs to provide rehabilitation services to their injured staff. Case managers may only use rehabilitation providers approved by Comcare.

Case manager

An employee delegated under s. 41a of the SRC Act to coordinate a rehabilitation program and return to work process on behalf of their employer.

Claims manager

An officer of a claims agent who is responsible for effectively managing an injured person’s claim. This includes making decisions, paying benefits and liaising with the employee, the employer and the case manager.

Customer Information System (CIS)

Comcare's CIS provides access to injury management and claims information through a secure website. The service is provided to Comcare partners free of charge and can be used to improve the measurement and monitoring of your agency’s injury management and claims performance.


Ensuring that information is only accessible to those authorised to have access.


Appropriately informing employees and inviting and considering their responses prior to a decision being made. Employees' opinions should not be assumed. Sufficient action must be taken to secure employees’ responses and to give their views proper attention. Consultation requires more than an exchange of information. Employees must be contributing to the decision-making process, not only in appearance but in fact.

Consultation, in relation to an employer’s rehabilitation policy

Appropriately informing employees and inviting and considering their responses before adopting a rehabilitation policy.

Consultation, in relation to a rehabilitation program

The case manager liaises with, and considers the views of, the employee or their representative, the employee’s treating medical practitioner and other health professionals.

Commission indicators

A reporting framework to provide the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (SRCC) with an overview of the performance of a jurisdiction. The SRCC indicators address prevention, claims management, return to work (RTW) and scheme administration performance. 

Continuous improvement

A process of constant review and evaluation to ensure that a rehabilitation management system is improving.

Corporate governance

The processes by which organisations are directed, controlled and held to account. The term encompasses authority, accountability, stewardship, leadership, direction and control exercised in the organisation. It includes the transparency of corporate structures and operations, the implementation of effective risk management and internal control systems and the accountability of management to stakeholders.


The written assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities.

Determining authority, in relation to a determination

The person who made the determination. This will be Comcare or the licensee in relation to claim determinations and the employer in relation to rehabilitation determinations.


In reference to Element 1, documentation is used by a leadership group to communicate its commitment to minimising the human and financial cost of injury and providing for fair compensation when an injury occurs. It could take the form of a policy, management arrangement or employer/employee agreement.

Documented commitment

A statement of an organisation's commitment, intentions and principles regarding its overall rehabilitation management system performance. It provides a framework for action and for setting rehabilitation management system objectives and targets.

Early intervention rehabilitation

Intervention such as a rehabilitation assessment or rehabilitation program without waiting for the employee to lodge a claim or the relevant authority to accept liability in respect of the employee’s disease or injury.

Injury management

A coordinated approach to managing the symptoms and impacts of an employee’s injury.

Operational standards

The operational standards for rehabilitation program providers set out under s. 34e of the SRC Act. The operational standards are a disallowable legislative instrument within the meaning of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.

Rehabilitation authority, in relation to an employee

Unless the employer is an exempt authority, the rehabilitation authority is the person who is principal officer of the employee’s employer.

If the employer is an exempt authority, the rehabilitation authority is Comcare. Except where the employer is an exempt organisation, a rehabilitation authority also includes the employer. For an additional definition, see ss. 4(1) of the SRC Act.

Rehabilitation assessment

An assessment under s. 36 of the SRC Act of an employee’s capability of undertaking, or continuing to undertake, a rehabilitation program.

Rehabilitation case manager (RCM)

An employee delegated under s. 41 of the SRC Act to coordinate a rehabilitation program and return to work process on behalf of their employer.

Rehabilitation determination

A rehabilitation determination can be any of the following:

(a) a requirement under s. 36(3) of the SRC Act that an employee attend an examination for a rehabilitation assessment

(b) a decision under s. 36(4) of the SRC Act that an employee did not have a reasonable excuse for failing to attend or cooperate at an examination for a rehabilitation assessment

(c) a decision under s. 37(1) of the SRC Act as to whether an employee should undertake a rehabilitation program or not

(d) a decision to revoke or vary a rehabilitation  program

(e) a decision under s. 37(2) of the SRC Act as to who should provide a rehabilitation program

(f) a decision under s. 37(7) of the SRC Act that an employee did not have a reasonable excuse for not undertaking or completing a rehabilitation program.

Rehabilitation management system

A documented statement of senior management’s commitment to the provision of effective rehabilitation to the employer’s employees. It benchmarks the employer’s objectives and is used to formulate strategic direction. The rehabilitation system will also establish systems which:

    - recognise compliance obligations 
    - provide for effective rehabilitation arrangements 
    - promote continuous improvement 
    - promote communication of relevant information to employees 
    - provide for internal and external accountability
    - put in place adequate control structures to manage risk.

Rehabilitation program

A structured series of activities and assistance to:

    - maintain or return an employee in suitable employment 
    - maintain or improve an employee’s activities of daily living. 

A rehabilitation program includes a return to work plan.

Relevant authority

In relation to an employee who is employed by a licensee a licensee, the relevant authority is the licensee. In relation to any other employee, the relevant authority is Comcare.

Return to work plan

A plan of activities and assistance to maintain an injured employee at or return him or her to work. A return to work plan includes objectives, time frames, services required and estimated costs.

Return to work hierarchy

The following descending order of goals in relation to maintaining or returning an employee to suitable employment:

(a) same duties and role in the same workplace

(b) modified duties and role in the same workplace

(c) different duties and role in the same workplace

(d) same or modified duties and role in a different workplace

(e) different duties and role in a different workplace.

Senior management

The level required for the certification of the Licensee Improvement Program Report or equivalent—may be the Chief Executive Officer or Executive Manager.

Section 41 guidelines

The Rehabilitation guidelines for employers (Pub 19), issued by Comcare to help employers meet their responsibilities under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

Service level agreement (SLA)

The part of a service contract where the level of service is formally defined. In practice, the term SLA is sometimes used to refer to the contracted delivery time of the service or performance and may be used in lieu of a contract.


Stakeholders include, but are not limited to, employees, service providers, rehabilitation providers, case managers, medical practitioners, claims manager, managers/supervisors and Comcare.

Suitable duties

Duties which are appropriate to an employee's capacities, skills and experience, in consideration of medical limitations. Suitable employment bears the same meaning as in the SRC Act.

Supernumerary position

An employment position additional to the regular complement of staff.


The Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988.

Workplace rehabilitation

A managed process involving timely intervention with appropriate and adequate services based on assessed need. It is aimed at maintaining injured or ill employees in, or returning them to, suitable employment.

Page last updated: 04 Nov 2013