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5.1.1 'Approved Guide' - S4(1)


Section 4(1) of the SRCA defines 'Approved Guide':

'Approved Guide' means:

a)the document, prepared by Comcare in accordance with Section 28 under the title 'Guide to the Assessment of the Degree of Permanent Impairment', that has been approved by the Minister and is for the time being in force, and

b)if an instrument varying the document has been approved by the Minister – that document as so varied.

The purpose of the Guide is to provide an objective basis for the assessment of the amount of lump-sum compensation payable to an injured Commonwealth employee in respect of permanent impairment and non-economic loss resulting from that injury.


The second edition of the Guide was released in 2005 and applies to claims received prior to 1 December 2011. The current edition of the Guide, Edition 2.1 was released in 2011 and applies to claims received on or after 1 December 2011.


Edition 2.1 of the Guide was developed by Comcare in response to criticisms received from doctors and other key stakeholders concerning the application and operation of the second edition of the Guide. It was also developed to address the decision of the Federal Court in the matter of Broadhurst v Comcare [2010] FCA 1034 and the decisions of the High Court with respect to Canute and Fellowes.


The Guide is set out in two parts. Part 1 is for claims made under the SRCA by employees who are not members of the ADF.


This manual is concerned with Part 2, used to assess Defence-related claims for current and former members of the ADF.


Part 2 is split into Division 1 - for assessing the degree of permanent impairment resulting from an injury, and Division 2 for assessing the degree of non-economic loss resulting from impairment. Both Divisions are discussed in more detail later in this chapter.    


Section 28 of the SRCA establishes the Approved Guide and mandates its usage in the assessment of compensation for permanent impairment and non-economic loss.