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Return to Work Programme

#1 User is offline   Chiko 

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 12:08 PM

I am about to start a Return to Work Programme to transition into a new line of work as my pre-injury job is no longer sustainable.

I have been given a choice of three providers; APM Workcare, Southern Rehab and Fit for Work.
Are any of the three options better than the others? Also, what can I expect from this process? What level of retraining (if at all), job search help, work placement are they likely to provide? Will this most likely just be a very basic ie a short computer course etc.

During the IOA process the list of jobs is prioritized to most closely match my pre-injury skills, qualifications etc. Will this apply when moving into the Return to Work phase or is it likely that they will get me "work ready" for any (the easiest for them) of the jobs on the list? There are a couple of jobs on the list that I worked in 15-20 years ago for a short amount of time and I am concerned that these are the ones that I will be pushed into.

If I have a specific job in mind that is on the list and have researched a path to help me get into that job, will this be taken into account or (as stated above) are they likely to just choose the option that gets me through the process the quickest?

Any help, insight and advice would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 User is offline   Alan Thomas 

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Posted 17 September 2018 - 12:58 PM

View PostChiko, on 17 September 2018 - 12:08 PM, said:

I am about to start a Return to Work Programme to transition into a new line of work as my pre-injury job is no longer sustainable.

I have been given a choice of three providers; APM Workcare, Southern Rehab and Fit for Work.
Are any of the three options better than the others? Also, what can I expect from this process? What level of retraining (if at all), job search help, work placement are they likely to provide? Will this most likely just be a very basic ie a short computer course etc.

During the IOA process the list of jobs is prioritized to most closely match my pre-injury skills, qualifications etc. Will this apply when moving into the Return to Work phase or is it likely that they will get me "work ready" for any (the easiest for them) of the jobs on the list? There are a couple of jobs on the list that I worked in 15-20 years ago for a short amount of time and I am concerned that these are the ones that I will be pushed into.

If I have a specific job in mind that is on the list and have researched a path to help me get into that job, will this be taken into account or (as stated above) are they likely to just choose the option that gets me through the process the quickest?

Any help, insight and advice would be greatly appreciated.


to determine who is most suitable you need to ask the ACC which one has qualification and experience that relate to your existing qualifications and past experience so as to properly utilise those attributes to the maximum extent practicable as is required by ACC legislation. So you need to get information from the ACC for purposes of your choice.

Nobody can provide you with any kind of advice as to who is most suitable if they don't have any information regarding the previous qualifications and experience.

I think everyone agrees that the relevance of the medical assessors qualification experience is fairly well understood. However when it comes to the occupational assessor what kind of qualification and experience as a pre-requisite for their involvement? Obviously we could not possibly entertain the idea that an assessor could be someone who has no qualification or experience relevant to our own as that would be totally ridiculous and contemptuous of the legislation.

a common trick that they will play on you is to ask you to choose what you think you could achieve. Remember that you are never qualified nor experience to make such a choice and therefore your choice cannot possibly be qualified as having any relevance to the rehabilitation process. All they are doing is trying to obtain your consent to progress you along a conveyor belt to have a label on your forehead as opposed to actually successfully achieving a capacity to earn the end of the process.

The ACC are required to fund this process for up to 3 years after which the success has not been achieved at that time you are to be considered permanently retired in accordance with the criteria of the 1982 legislation which is clearly explained in the 1992 legislation when the process of rehabilitation into a new occupation was introduced. That trade-off between one when/than the next has not been diminished by subsequent legislation.


Getting back to the various back to work type organisations your note that they are commercially driven aiming to sell their own expertise such as some kind of cheap and cheerful computer course that will teach you the fundamentals of the keyboard and all about floppy drives etc with their tutors expert in being a teacher but not actually on the subject being taught.

Before you start the course your need to understand the fact that you are entering into a contract of which at the end some form of concrete criteria should be achieved whereby you actually have a capacity to earn as opposed to having a capacity to work. Remember the legislation provides an entitlement for funding for rehabilitation to provide capacity to earn. That is something far more significance than having some kind of a diploma or, god forbid, a course completion certificate. This means that you need to be in a position of being actually employed in the open market place. By understanding and enforcing these basic principles prior to embarking on any course you will avoid ending up on the scrapheap was all of the others on social welfare with the label of a job title on your forehead.

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#3 User is offline   Chiko 

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Posted 18 September 2018 - 10:03 AM

Thank you for the information you have provided Alan.

I contacted each of the providers and explained my circumstances, I was given a very similar answer "we are all pretty much the same and follow the guidelines dictated to us by ACC".

My case manager has also given me a similarly generic answer "Providers have basic guidelines set out by ACC around reporting etc, they look at the sustainable jobs from the initial medical assessment and a vocational rehabilitation plan is formulated based on that".

I also asked my case manager about the prioritization of the jobs on the list created during the IOA process and about what level of training they can provide. I received this in reply;
"No, each of the 11 jobs that "x" identified as being medically sustainable up to 30 hours per week hold equal weight. A reminder also that ACC will only fund short courses during the back to work programme. So tertiary level courses that take years to complete will not normally be funded by ACC".

What is the point in ACC asking the IOA person to prioritize the list of jobs if once the process progresses they end up holding equal weight?

I did not have the expectation that ACC would fund a course that would take years to complete so the answer I received in that respect is not a huge surprise.

It appears my assumption is correct, that the bare minimum effort required for the job on the list that will get me through the process the fastest is the route this is most likely to take.

Oh well, hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

Thanks once again
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