Injury management and rehabilitation

Injury management

Injury management primarily focuses on early reporting, rehabilitation and return to work strategies, all designed to assist the injured worker make an early and safe return to the workplace. The key processes include an injury management program, a return to work program, and a personal injury plan.

To ensure a comprehensive approach to injury management, participation and co-operation in these three processes is required from all relevant stakeholders including the insurer, employer and injured worker, the approved rehabilitation provider, and the industrial union (where applicable).


A key feature of the Workers Compensation Act 1951 (the Act) is the focus on injury management. There are increased obligations for stakeholders specifically designed to assist the rehabilitation process of returning injured workers to suitable employment.

The primary focus of the injury management process is the involvement of all three key parties (the employer, the injured worker and the nominated treating doctor) in the management of the injury from the time of the accident to the return to work or settlement of a claim.

An approved rehabilitation provider provides, for an injured worker, an independent party to liaise and negotiate with everyone involved in the worker's rehabilitation. Only approved rehabilitation providers are eligible to provide vocational rehabilitation for the purposes of the Act.

Vocational rehabilitation

There are three processes involved in injury management. These are the:

  • injury management program;
  • return to work program; and
  • personal injury plan.

Vocational rehabilitation is organised as part of the personal injury plan and involves the assessment of the injured worker with the aim of providing, training and other services to enable a return to suitable employment. It is the insurers obligation to ensure that this vocational rehabilitation will lead to a real prospect of employment or a real increase in earnings for the injured worker.

Workplace rehabilitation provider approval

For further information on approved workplace rehabilitation providers, visit the workplace rehabilitation provider licensing page on the Access Canberra website and the list of approved rehabilitation providers page.

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