You are here

4.1.1 The ADF Rehabilitation framework

Last amended 
4 October 2017


The principles of the ADF Rehabilitation Programs are:

  • early intervention and the provision of a biopsychosocial model of rehabilitation to reduce the impact of injury, illness or disease and contribute to enhanced capability through a durable return to work;
  • evidence-based rehabilitation assessments and programs based on an individual's needs and the inherent requirements of their ADF service. This includes the identification and facilitation of suitable alternate or modified duties;
  • workplace-based rehabilitation to provide, where possible, the most realistic environment to assess fitness for work;
  • coordinated participation of the member, health practitioners, command elements, Rehabilitation for Reservist (R4R) Case Manager/ADF Rehabilitation Program (ADFRP) Rehabilitation Consultant and other relevant stakeholders in the development and execution of rehabilitation programs;
  • a coordinated approach towards a common goal, maximising the potential for a positive rehabilitation outcome for the individual, the ADF and the community;
  • regular review of rehabilitation progress and risk factors for a durable return to work;
  • clear roles and responsibilities reflected in organisational performance agreements combined with accountability; and
  • confidentiality and privacy of information obtained about the member during the rehabilitation program is maintained.


Key components

The key components of ADFRP and R4R Programs are:

  • a Rehabilitation Assessment of a member's capacity to undertake rehabilitation. This includes an assessment of the member across clinical, occupational and psychosocial parameters; and
  • the development and implementation of an appropriate Rehabilitation Program, providing a structured series of activities and services designed to meet the member's rehabilitation needs. The program outlines what should be done during the member's rehabilitation including the responsibilities, services, time frames and goals.



The three goals of ADF rehabilitation are, in priority order:

Goal 1

Fit for duty in the pre-condition work environment. This relates to deployability as well as day-to-day tasking. It means that, as a result of a Rehabilitation Program, it is likely that the member will return to their pre-condition level of physical and mental fitness and duties.

Goal 2

Fit for alternative duty in another ADF occupation as MEC* 4 J41 (implies MEC 1 or 2 in new trade/category/muster/corps or service). As a result of a Rehabilitation Program, it is likely the member will be able to remain in the ADF and return to work with different duties and/or in a different location and/or in a different Service.

Goal 3

The member is unable to perform any duties within the ADF as a result of the injury or illness. The member will be transitioned out of the ADF for medical reasons (i.e. MEC* 4 or 5 and therefore medical discharge).

Rehabilitation goals may change during the Rehabilitation Program process depending on the member's condition or circumstances.

*Refer to section 4.1.3 for further information about the Medical Employment Classification (MEC) system.