Domain Areas

Occupational Standards/Domain Areas

The Occupational Standards identified nine domain areas as core skills and competencies for effective Disability Management practice with sub-domains as listed below:

  1. Demonstrate Knowledge of Disability Management Theory and Practice
    • Identify and define key components of effective disability management.
    • State the rationale and objectives for disability management practice.
    • Identify the economic and social benefits of disability management in the workplace.
    • Describe the principles of effective disability management programs.
    • Describe the disability management service delivery process (model programs) for large and small work sites.
    • Describe the roles and functions of professionals involved in disability management.
    • Describe the scope of a disability manager’s caseload.
    • Develop strategic planning approaches to disability management.
    • Develop and utilize an informational network with other disability management professionals through professional associations and attendance at educational conferences and seminars.
  2. Apply Legislation and Benefit Programs
    • Utilize employment and disability legislation and regulations, including Duty to Accommodate, Employment Equity Act, Workers’ Compensation Act, and Human Rights Legislation in disability management planning.
    • Explain eligibility and entitlement of benefit and compensation systems to workers and their families or refer individual to appropriate resource persons for benefit information.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of public and private disability benefit schemes related to return-to-work.
    • Interpret health and safety regulations.
    • Communicate implication of medical review/plateau decisions.
    • Apply policy and legislation in arriving at decisions.
  3. Labour/Management Relations
    • Analyze workplace disability experience.
    • Understand differences and similarities between union and non-union work sites with respect to disability management program implementation.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of inter-related workplace systems, i.e. union, employer, human resources, benefit carrier, health care systems, etc.
    • Collaborate in the development of a joint labour/management disability management committee.
    • Establish workplace-oriented disability management mission and goal statements.
    • Collaborate with labour and management programs in non-union workplaces.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of employment standards legislation entitlements for non-union workers/managers.
    • Describe impact of collective agreements or terms and conditions of employment.
    • Apply knowledge of arbitration and grievance procedures.
    • Negotiate with labour and management to develop policy, structure, and strategies to resolve conflicts and disputes related to disability management.
  4. Utilize Communication and Problem-Solving Skills
    • Apply conflict resolution skills in interactions with various stakeholders.
    • Negotiate/facilitate return-to-work agreements.
    • Demonstrate logical thinking and problem-solving skills.
    • Utilize leadership strategies to influence organizational change including workplace communication, team building, and conflict or dispute resolution.
    • Communicate understanding of disability management interventions (e.g. job accommodation, ergonomics, early intervention) to labour/management committee.
    • Intervene effectively in crises.
    • Provide leadership to return-to-work team at the workplace.
    • Demonstrate effective team meeting leadership skills.
    • Promote active participation in the disability management program.
    • Establish rapport with workers and families.
    • Communicate and relate to persons from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.
    • Demonstrate tact and empathy with others.
    • Demonstrate sensitivity to family coping strategies.
    • Assist worker in adjusting to the impact of injury or disability.
    • Demonstrate ability to lead groups, to understand group dynamics.
    • Prepare written reports.
    • Make oral presentations.
    • Educate stakeholders on importance of disability management principles.
    • Present disability management process and accomplishments to the broader community.
    • Promote the disability management program utilizing varied presentation formats.
    • Promote disability management programs and best practices to worker and employer representatives as well as to external providers.
    • Utilize adult learning strategies in developing an oral presentation.
  5. Disability Case Management
    • Understand the roles and functions of multidisciplinary health care providers in diagnosing and treating injury or impairment.
    • Utilize early timed intervention for return to work.
    • Apply physical and functional (work) capacity evaluations.
    • Evaluate worker adjustment to disability.
    • Assess return-to-work needs of the worker.
    • Assess workplace factors that impact disability management outcomes.
    • Assess factors that contribute to motivation and readiness to participate in disability management program.
    • Identify incentives and disincentives to involvement in disability management planning.
    • Develop goals and plans with the worker.
    • Coordinate internal and external resources to implement disability management plans.
    • Consider positive and negative characteristics of “outsourcing” case management services when developing disability management programs.
    • Establish collaborative relationships with multidisciplinary health care providers.
    • Develop criteria to assess effectiveness and quality of provider services.
    • Describe assistive technology options and typical costs.
    • Identify and access funding programs.
    • Build and maintain local community resource network.
    • Establish relationships with advocacy organizations.
    • Utilize cost containment strategies.
    • Manage time effectively.
    • Plan and organize a schedule.
    • Establish priorities within caseload.
  6. Return-to-Work Coordination
    • Assess personal and work adjustment needs.
    • Coordinate assessment of functional capacity of worker.
    • Analyze job duties and requirements.
    • Conduct detailed functional job analyses.
    • Demonstrate working knowledge of functional ergonomics.
    • Develop capacity within the workplace to provide early intervention with the worker with a disability, the worker representative, the supervisor, and health care providers.
    • Facilitate rehabilitation interventions and return-to-work coordination with short-term and long-term disability insurance representatives.
    • Develop methods to ensure accountability among supervisors and managers with respect to return-to-work practices.
    • Identify systemic barriers to return to work or employment.
    • Develop guidelines and procedures for transitional work program.
    • Facilitate job modification, accommodation, workplace redesign and assistive technology.
    • Provide information to health care providers on transitional work or modified work opportunities to gain their “buy-in” to the process.
    • Facilitate ongoing contact between the employee and other support systems.
    • Develop return-to-work plan with the worker, worker representative, manager, and health care providers.
    • Implement return-to-work plan.
    • Monitor and adjust individual return-to-work plan.
      Understand alternative dispute resolution (ADR) principles and how to utilize resources to resolve return-to-work issues.
    • Maintain case management records.
    • Assess service providers, e.g. rehabilitation facilities, physiotherapy services, and EFAP.
    • Develop disability management consultation skills.
  7. Health, Psycho-social, Prevention, and Functional Aspects of Disability
    • Utilize medical, physical, and functional capacity evaluations in disability management planning.
    • Demonstrate understanding of cultural issues to injury, disability, and work.
    • Demonstrate understanding of prominent causes of disability including repetitive strain injuries and workplace stress.
    • Relate medical and physical information or acute and chronic illness and disability to functional demands of job.
    • Utilize information from medical examinations to coordinate treatment plan.
    • Evaluate worker’s adjustment to disability.
    • Assess personal and work adjustment needs.
    • Promote worker health and wellness.
    • Analyze home and work environments.
    • Demonstrate a sound understanding of accident prevention processes and practices.
  8. Development of Program Management and Evaluation Activities
    • Perform evaluations to measure disability management program outcomes.
    • Track costs of disability management programs.
    • Identify and implement realistic cost containment strategies.
    • Conduct qualitative evaluations.
    • Conduct quantitative evaluations.
    • Evaluate worker/supervisor satisfaction with program.
    • Assess effectiveness of health care provider services and resources.
    • Identify key elements of an effective data management/program management system.
    • Demonstrate basic computer literacy.
    • Implement confidentiality safeguards around disability management data storage.
    • Incorporate accident and illness reporting system into disability management information system.
  9. Demonstrate Ethical and Professional Conduct
    • Develop and implement a plan to maintain own wellness.
    • Participate in ongoing professional development activities to upgrade competencies.
    • Demonstrate ethical and professional conduct to workers, employers, health care providers and other stakeholders.
    • Contribute to the development and ongoing quality improvement of the disability management process.
    • Promote equitable access to services.
    • Respect confidentiality of information under the guidelines of ethical code, laws, and regulations.
    • Understand reasonable course of action when confronted with ethical dilemmas.