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, 247.1 KB).
Guidance for rehabilitation case managers
- Rehabilitation case manager core capabilities (PDF, 603.2 KB) – defines the capabilities required of an effective rehabilitation case manager and provides resources.
- Rehabilitation Case Manager handbook (PDF, 1.7 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, 1.2 MB)
- Work Trials: A guide for rehabilitation case managers (PDF, 156.0 KB)
- Find a workplace rehabilitation provider
- Return to work process for claimants
- Return to work process for employers
- Injury management team
- Providing suitable employment
Return to work videos and factsheets
As a rehabilitation case manager, you have an important role to support employees with an injury or illness to safely recover and return to work.
These videos provide information on the return to work process for employees and for employers.
The employee videos explain the importance of a safe, timely and lasting return to work, the role of the employer and other support people in their recovery and include tips to help employees recover and return to work.
The employer video explains the benefits of supporting employees to safely return to work, the importance of responding early to injuries and illness, employer responsibilities and how to effectively lead your organisation's return to work approach.
We encourage you to refer employees, supervisors, senior managers and other stakeholders to these videos.
Watch the full video - Recovery and return to work for employees
You can also watch scene by scene.
Watch Good work is good for you
Watch The return to work process
Watch Tips for recovery and return to work
Watch Your return to work team
Watch the full video - Recovery and return to work for employers
You can also watch scene by scene.
Watch Employer rehabilitation responsibilities
Watch Good work is good for us all
Watch Supporting employees to return to work
For more information about recovery and return to work read:
- Your recovery and return to work factsheet for employees
(PDF, 286.2 KB)
- Supporting recovery and return to work factsheet for employers (PDF, 292.6 KB)
Claims and rehabilitation forms includes forms used by workplace rehabilitation providers and claimants.
Training for rehabilitation case managers
We provide training through our learning management system called Comcare LMS.
To access our training, you first need to create an account in Comcare LMS (see the steps to create an account). Then, select the training item that you are interested in and login with your email and password.
Mode: Self-paced Calendar and In-house
Mode: Self-paced Micro-learn
For more information about the training we offer, see Training and learning.
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, 603.2 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.