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11.1 Approved Rehabilitation Service Providers
"Approved program provider"
"Approved program provider" is defined in section 41 of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and section 34, 36 and 37 of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation (Defence-related Claims) Act 1988 (DRCA). An approved program provider will be Comcare approved, or in very unusual circumstances, may be approved by the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission (MRCC).
Rehabilitation providers must also meet a number of additional requirements, as outlined in section 11.2 of this library.
To work with DVA clients, rehabilitation service providers must be an approved Comcare provider. Comcare approved rehabilitation providers have been assessed as meeting Comcare-specific criteria and demonstrating an ability to achieve certain performance standards.
Comcare approved rehabilitation providers are accredited to deliver workplace rehabilitation services to help injured workers return to work. They have the employees who have the qualifications, experience and expertise appropriate to provide timely intervention, with services based on the assessed need of the worker and the workplace.
Further information about how to be approved and operate as a workplace rehabilitation provider under the Comcare arrangements can be found on the Comcare website.
There is some flexibility under section 41 of MRCA, for the relevant rehabilitation authority, either the MRCC or the Chief of the Defence Force (CDF), to approve non-Comcare approved rehabilitation providers to deliver rehabilitation services to DVA clients.
The approval of a service provider independent of the Comcare approval framework, however, would only occur in very specific and unusual circumstances where a client’s needs cannot be accommodated using the existing Comcare approved providers, and where the MRCC (or CDF) is satisfied that the individual or organisation has the appropriate skills and expertise to design and provide the appropriate rehabilitation programs.
If DVA Rehabilitation Coordinators are experiencing difficulties in locating Comcare-accredited providers with the appropriate skills and expertise to support a specific client, they must contact the Rehabilitation Policy section for advice via email to the 'Rehabilitation' inbox. This must be done before a referral is made to a provider who does not meet the Comcare approval requirements.
VVRS rehabilitation providers
Rehabilitation providers working with clients participating in the Veterans' Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme (VVRS), are expected to meet the same criteria as those working with clients with entitlements under the MRCA and the DRCA. That is, they must be an "approved program provider" and they must meet the additional DVA specific requirements.
According to section 363 of the MRCA, the Commission is a body corporate under the name of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission.