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Certificate of capacity

For: Claimants Employers and managers Service providers Advocates

The certificate of capacity is Comcare’s preferred medical certificate.

A medical certificate must be provided by a legally qualified medical practitioner for an employee to claim for compensation under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act).

How a certificate of capacity helps

The certificate of capacity is a communication tool for the medical practitioner, the employee and their employer and can encourage a positive focus on what the employee can do.

There are benefits to a fully completed certificate of capacity with clear information for everyone involved.


The certificate of capacity helps the employee:

  • understand the nature of their injury or illness
  • realise their capacity to work and any limitations to perform regular work tasks
  • have a conversation with their medical practitioner about their injury or illness and returning to, or staying at, work.


The certificate of capacity provides the employer with clear guidance on what the employee can do. It provides a plan for treatment and expected recovery by identifying:

  • a timeline for recovery and return to work
  • the employee’s capacity for work
  • adjustments required to keep the employee at work or support a safe return to work.

Medical practitioners

The certificate of capacity supports the medical practitioner to consider work as part of the employee’s recovery and rehabilitation.


The certificate of capacity helps Comcare make better decisions about:

  • accepting the employee’s workers’ compensation claim
  • incapacity entitlements available to the employee
  • approving medical treatment which is reasonably necessary.

How to complete a certificate of capacity

Download the Certificate of Capacity for Work form (PDF, 450.1 KB).

Using the Certificate of Capacity guide (PDF, 233.0 KB) provides medical practitioners with instructions on how to complete the certificate of capacity.

For information about how the Certificate of Capacity, and medical certificates generally, are used and the role of medical practitioners in the rehabilitation and recovery of an injured or ill employee, see Medical practitioners.

Information required on the certificate

The certificate is a form of medical evidence. It is used to understand an employee’s capacity for work and the nature of their injury or illness to help recovery and a safe stay at, or return to, work.

To ensure an employee can effectively be returned to health and work and that any claim can be assessed in a timely way, the certificate of capacity should include:

  • employee’s details
  • a precise diagnosis or description of their condition and symptoms
  • the date of actual examination
  • capacity for work and any impact on their function
  • recommended treatment
  • a review date
  • the contact details of the legally qualified medical practitioner and their provider number
  • the legally qualified medical practitioner’s signature and date.

Modified and suitable duties

If an employee is unable to return to their pre-injury duties but can perform some work tasks, the certificate of capacity specifies an employee’s functional ability.

Modified duties refers to changes or restrictions made to an employee’s pre-injury work activities that allow the employee to return to work.

Suitable duties refers to work that meets an employee's capacities, skills and experience and considers medical limitations. An employee’s capabilities determine suitable duties and are incorporated into a return to work plan. This plan supports the employee to stay at or return to work safely.

To discuss the employee’s work and suitable employment options that may be available, medical practitioners can:

Watch a video

Watch a video on how to assess capacity for patients with a psychological condition.

Assessing capacity for patients with a psychological condition is a video featuring Consultant Psychiatrist Dr Dielle Felman which provides information and recommendations for assessing work capacity for patients with a psychological condition. Adapted for national use with the support of WorkSafe Victoria.

Transcript of Assessing Capacity for Patients with a Psychological Condition video

Templates for medical software

Table 1: The certificate of capacity templates for medical software
SoftwareDescription Certificate of capacity

Best Practice

Supplied template – download the guide to using the certificate in Best Practice.

Using the Certificate of Capacity in Best Practice guide (PDF, 542.2 KB)

ACT Certificate of Capacity


Supplied template – download via software updates.

Using the Certificate of Capacity in Genie guide (PDF, 89.4 KB)

ACT Option

Medical Director

Supplied template in letter writer – download the guide to using the certificate in Medical Director.

Using the Certificate of Capacity in Medical Director guide (PDF, 383.9 KB)

Comcare Certificate of Capacity


Supplied template can be downloaded from Medtech website


Page last reviewed: 09 June 2023

GPO Box 9905, Canberra, ACT 2601
1300 366 979 |

Date printed 21 Apr 2024