Rehabilitation case managers
The employer plays a critical role in helping to reduce the impact of injury and illness in the workplace.
Rehabilitation case managers, also known as RCMs, coordinate and manage the rehabilitation and return to work of employees with an injury or illness, on behalf of the employer.
The role explained
Rehabilitation case managers:
- help to plan, organise, coordinate, monitor and evaluate services and resources for employees with an injury or illness.
- actively manage the rehabilitation process to achieve return to work outcomes.
The rehabilitation authority, who in most cases is the current employer, is responsible for assigning a rehabilitation case manager to an injured employee. In many workplaces, this happens at the time an employee makes a claim for workers' compensation.
Any employee may be delegated to the role of rehabilitation case manager, under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act).
In some circumstances, the employer may engage an external case manager to work with the employee throughout their rehabilitation.
Responsibilities of rehabilitation case managers
Responsibilities of a rehabilitation case manager can include to:
- initiate, co-ordinate and monitor an injured or ill employee’s workplace rehabilitation program
- connect and coordinate people involved in the return to work process
- promote the health benefits of good work, early intervention and the organisation’s return to work approach
- encourage the organisation to commit to rehabilitation
- facilitate early intervention
- help employers to provide suitable employment for an injured or ill employee
- engage, where appropriate, and manage workplace rehabilitation providers
- co-ordinate the employer's responses to requests for information about the employee, their injury or illness, and their rehabilitation
- maintain appropriate records and ensure relevant worker’s compensation forms are completed
- ensure the employer complies with the Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities Instrument 2019 (PDF, 235.4 KB).
Guidance and information for rehabilitation case managers
- Rehabilitation case manager core capabilities (PDF, 133.6 KB) – defines the capabilities required of an effective rehabilitation case manager and provides resources.
- Rehabilitation Case Manager handbook (PDF, 1.0 MB) – requirements and better practice guidance for rehabilitation and return to work in the Comcare scheme.
Return to work guides and resources
- Return to Work easy reference guide (PDF, 1.4 MB)
- Work Trials: A guide for rehabilitation case managers (PDF, 148.1 KB)
- Working for Recovery: Suitable Employment for Return to Work Following Psychological Injury guide (PDF, 1.9 MB)
- Find a workplace rehabilitation provider
- Return to work process for claimants
- Return to work process for employers
- Injury management advisory service
- Providing suitable employment
See Claims and rehabilitation forms to access forms used by workplace rehabilitation providers and claimants.
Training and e-guidance modules
We provide face-to-face training and digital learning options. For more information, see Training and learning.
Face-to-face training designed for rehabilitation case managers is Rehabilitation Case Management.
We provide scheme e-guidance modules, which are designed to develop or improve your skills and knowledge. Each module includes case studies and questions.
Our scheme e-guidance modules are available through Comcare's learning management system called Comcare LMS. You first need to create an account in Comcare LMS (see the steps to create an account). Then select the module link and login with your email and password.
Scheme e-guidance designed for rehabilitation case managers is:
- Rehabilitation case management—first steps - scheme e-guidance module
- Return to work case conferencing - scheme e-guidance module
- SRC Act and Comcare scheme - scheme e-guidance module.
We provide scheme guidance to help you understand and apply the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act).
Guidance for the rehabilitation authority
Comcare has developed guidance material for rehabilitation authorities on the core capabilities for rehabilitation case managers (PDF, 133.6 KB).
Guidance includes information on the operational, strategic and management capabilities of rehabilitation case managers. It is designed to:
- make sure rehabilitation case managers have the skills to perform their role
- support human resources managers to select and develop the skills of rehabilitation case managers
- increase the likelihood of good outcomes for injured and ill employees
- guide the rehabilitation case management training we provide
- provide a useful framework for employers on the skills and experience rehabilitation case managers need.