Role of an IMC
An injury management co-ordinator (IMC) is appointed by the insurer or employer to:
- co-ordinate and oversee the entire injury management process, including medical treatment, return to work, and all aspects of return to work plans and injury management plans
- facilitate effective communication between key parties by acting as a liaison or contact point
- streamline the injury management process, particularly for more complex and/or high risk cases.
When an IMC is appointed
An IMC is to be appointed where an injured worker suffers a significant injury that:
- is likely to result in total or partial incapacity for more than 5 working days, and/or
- requires (or is likely to require) ongoing medical treatment.
Functions of an IMC
An IMC ensures the injury management process runs smoothly by co-ordinating and planning the injury management process. They achieve this by:
- contacting the worker, the employer and the worker’s primary treating medical practitioner as soon practicable after the worker is assigned to them
- developing, reviewing and implementing return to work plans and injury management plans for the worker, as agreed with the worker or determined by the Workers Rehabilitation and Compensation Tribunal (external link) and in consultation with key parties
- regularly reviewing the work capacity of the worker, and investigating/arranging options for the worker’s retraining or redeployment
- appointing workplace rehabilitation providers if they are required
- collating medical information
- maintaining relevant documentation
- trying to resolve any disputes
- providing information on injury management to the worker and the worker’s employer.
The IMC will ensure the following people are involved in managing the worker’s injury and return to work:
- the worker, the worker’s employer and the employer’s insurer
- the primary treating medical practitioner and other treating medical practitioners.
If necessary or desirable, the IMC will involve the following people in managing the worker’s injury:
- workplace rehabilitation providers
- return to work co-ordinator
- supervisors and line managers
- allied health professionals.
How many IMCs should be appointed
An insurer or employer is to assess and determine the number of IMCs required for its organisation, based on:
- the likely number and complexity of its claims
- the nature and size of the organisation.
Outsourcing the role of the IMC
Some organisations may find they don’t have the expertise or adequate resources to manage the more complex cases handled by IMCs, and so may outsource the role of the IMC to an external provider.
The person appointed must have completed the required approved course of training.
It’s expected that a service level agreement would be established to clearly define and set expectations about the services to be provided.
It’s important that when the role of the IMC is outsourced, it’s not viewed as an independent service or that you’ve ‘washed your hands’ of the matter. Rather, the external provider should be considered as an extended member of your organisation’s team.
Another option is partially outsourcing some of the IMC’s functions, provided there is an in-house IMC appointed within the organisation.
In this case, it’s not necessary for the external provider to have undertaken the required approved course of training, because responsibility remains and ultimately rests with the in-house IMC.
The in-house IMC will need to:
- communicate (verbally and in writing) to the external provider what their role and functions are, so there is a clear understanding of how they’ll work together
- oversee the external provider’s performance of these functions.
Training for IMCs
To be appointed to the role of an IMC, you must have undertaken a course of training approved by the WorkCover Tasmania Board.
Certificate IV (or Diploma) in Personal Injury Management
As of 1 March 2021, the approved course of training is a Certificate IV in Personal Injury Management (FNS42120) or a Diploma of Personal Injury and Disability Insurance Management (FNS51920). As part of your study you are encouraged to select elective units in return to work.
Previously, training comprised completing 9 of the 13 units of competency listed below. If you have already started a course of training with the intent of completing the 9 units of competency, then you can continue to do this, you do not need to complete the full Certificate IV in Personal Injury Management.
- FNSCUS401 Participate in negotiations
- FNSCUS402 Resolve disputes
- FNSPIM303 Work within the personal injury management sector
- FNSPIM401 Plan and implement rehabilitation and return to work and health strategies
- FNSPIM405 Facilitate a return to work
- FNSPIM409 Maintain customer relationships
- FNSPIM502 Facilitate workplace assessment with stakeholders for personal injury cases
- PSPINM006 Develop return to work plans
- PSPINM014 Contribute to a quality injury management system.
IMCs who have completed the 9 units of competency in the past do not need to complete the remaining 4 units of Certificate IV in Personal Injury Management.
A Tasmanian-specific training module is currently being developed to support the education of IMCs regarding their role and responsibilities operating in the Tasmanian jurisdiction.
Once developed, this online, competency-based training module will form part of IMC training.
All new IMCs will be required to complete the Certificate IV in Personal Injury Management or a Diploma of Personal Injury and Disability Insurance Management and the Tasmanian-specific training module.
All existing IMCs will be encouraged to complete the Tasmanian-specific training when the module is available.
Certificate IV in Personal Injury Management training is provided by either local or interstate registered training organisations (RTO). Find current RTOs at Myskills.gov.au (external link).
The RTO will be able to advise on:
- delivery method of training (in person or by correspondence)
- duration of training
- credit or exemptions for work experience or previously completed qualifications.
Registering as an IMC
Once you’ve successfully completed the approved course of training, you can register with WorkCover Tasmania to be:
- kept up to date on matters affecting IMCs
- notified of upcoming forums and opportunities to meet other IMCs
- provided with new injury management information and tools.