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Overview of this guide

Purpose of this guide

This continuous improvement guide has been developed to help workplaces assess their management of injured workers, identify areas for action and establish a benchmark for the improving the rehabilitation management system.

The guide focuses on continuous improvement in an integrated systems approach and will assist organisations to review their compliance with, and performance against the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act). Along with its review function, this guide provides guidance materials, better practice examples and links to further information to help organisations improve their systems.

Better performing organisations have systems that are tailored to the needs of their workplace. A management system's success depends on the capacity of the organisation to customise system components to its own requirements rather than adopt them in rule-bound fashion. 

How to use this guide

The five key elements in this guide are from AS/NZS 4804:2001 Occupational health and safety management systems – General guidelines on principles, systems and supporting techniques. They are:

1. commitment and corporate governance
2. planning
3. implementation
4. measurement and evaluation
5. review and improvement.

The guide can be used by senior managers and staff responsible for implementing rehabilitation management systems. Staff can use it when they consult with different sections within their organisations when they review their rehabilitation management systems. It is important to consider other relevant systems and arrangements, such as Health and Safety Management Arrangements, when using this tool.

The guide can be used in two ways:

1. to conduct a thorough and holistic review of all five elements.

2. to complete single elements for specific tailored reviews.

By conducting a thorough review of all elements, you will be able to determine how well your organisation or section is performing in the area of rehabilitation management systems. This will help you prepare for a formal audit of your systems.

Alternatively, completing single elements over time may help you conduct intensive reviews in certain areas. You will then be in a good position to conduct an overall review to ensure that your systems are well developed and integrated.

You will be guided through evidence-based checklists to consider how your organisation performs against the key elements. You can navigate through the elements using the left hand navigation bar, or by selecting the next page links at the end of each page.

You can keep a record of suggested improvements as you work through the guide. Download and save the examples of success templates at the end of each subelement, and the element summary sheet at the end of each key element. While at this stage we aren’t able to offer a system that auto-populates, these templates make it easy for you to cut and paste information from one to the other to create an overall action plan for improvement.

Each criterion can be rated using the three-level traffic light system. Once all elements of this tool have been worked through, you can determine your organisation's overall performance and which areas require attention. The following rating scale can be used to rate your organisations performance.

Before you start

Before using this guide, consider your organisational approach to reviewing your rehabilitation management system. Consider the following questions and prompts:

  • is your management team committed to reviewing your rehabilitation management system?
  • have you engaged your senior executive?
  • what is going to make your review succeed?
  • who will be involved in the review?
  • do you need additional resources to undertake a review using this guide? If so, consider developing a business case (see Appendix B of the Comcare publication Building a case to invest in OHS and Organisational Health
  • consider using your health and safety committee or your organisation's health and safety representatives.
  • consider forming a working group
  • do you have access to relevant records and documentation? If not, who does?
  • consider using a project plan approach.

Each criterion in the guide is set out in the following way.

Element name


Why is this important?


Examples of success

The checklist below features some ways to demonstrate success in this element. You can also add other examples. When you identify areas for improvement, include an action, when it needs to be completed and who is responsible.

Examples cited Date cited Actions arising Responsible person Due date

How can we improve

  • Case studies/better practice tips
  • Resources/tools
  • Data/reports


2 AS/NZS 4804: 2001

Page last updated: 04 Nov 2013