Background of the International Association of Professionals in Disability Management (IAPDM) and its Canadian Chapter – the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management (CSPDM)
In 2003, the International Disability Management Standards Council (IDMSC) was established by senior representatives of business, labour, government, and other stakeholder groups from North America and Europe.
The Council’s goal is to reduce the human, social and economic costs of disability in the workplace. To achieve this end, it promotes standards that are international, professional, and based on consensus.
Two of the main functions of the IDMSC are to:
- Oversee the global certification process of the two professional designations: Certified Return to Work Coordinators (CRTWC) and Certified Disability Management Professionals (CDMP).
- Manage the global administration of the Consensus Based Disability Management Audit.
In order to maximize national acceptance, promote innovation and offer quality assurance, it was agreed that each jurisdiction move to create its own national society that would be responsible for the development and acceptance of the profession within its own country, providing ongoing educational support and collaboration as well as standards development.
Development of this organization, with its focus on quality standards, must be seen in the same context as quality assurance in other health and public policy fields, where maintenance of professional knowledge, skills and competency standards are critical for society at large.
For certified professionals in disability management, this quality assurance is critical to all individuals who are at risk of losing their employment due to the onset of a disabling condition and where maintenance of their employment relationship is essential for an ongoing meaningful role in all aspects of society.
Given that global hiring trends for persons with disabilities across all jurisdictions is most unfavourable, maintenance of the employer relationship is essential. The Workers’ Compensation Board of Germany, the largest WCB in the world providing coverage to 43 million workers under a single jurisdiction, immediately began to establish a society of professionals in disability management for the 350 accredited members (December 2005), and challenged the other founding members to do the same.
The founding Board of Directors met in late 2005 to begin the process of establishing the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management (CSPDM). The CSPDM is a founding member of the International Association of Professionals in Disability Management (IAPDM). The IAPDM has been established by the German Workers’ Compensation Board and will be headquartered in Berlin, Germany.
As of 2008, the IDMSC includes senior representatives from:
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
CSPDM’s first steps for the Society were to develop a Mission and Mandate and create a website and other promotional materials.