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4.6.1 The ADF Process

Last amended 
14 July 2016

Please note that the Defence and DVA points of contact noted below are currently under review. Should there be any situations where contact is necessary please refer the matter to the Deputy Commissioner Victoria.

There are two distinct phases of activity regarding serving members who are severely injured, have multiple and complex needs and who may also be classified as 'high profile' cases.


A case will be high profile if:

  • the member was involved in a major incident involving deaths and/or severe injuries; or
  • the case could attract media attention.

A case will be complex if it is likely to require a greater input of resources, both in terms of the number of stakeholders involved and the input required from the ADF Rehabilitation Consultant. A Case Complexity Flags Model is used to assess:

  • the nature and severity of the member's clinical conditions, including for example, significant disability, multiple injuries or illnesses (red flags);
  • issues identified during the psychosocial assessment including for example, withdrawal from activity of daily living and work, or lack of family or social support (yellow flags);
  • perceived features of the work or social environment that may delay recovery or present a barrier to returning to work (blue flags); and
  • other objective risk factors relating to financial security, work contact and compensation and include for example, duration of sick/convalescence leave (black flags),

Each coloured flag has an associated rating and the total rating scored is used as an indicator in determining if a case is complex. A rating score of 10 or above may be considered complex, but it is the manner in which the individual manages the problems that identifies complexity, and not necessarily the score.

Phase One

ADF Action

  • The ADF Rehabilitation Consultant uses the Case Complexity Flags Model tool during the initial rehabilitation assessment phase. The results of the Case Complexity Flags tool are documented in the Rehabilitation Assessment Report.
  • Where a case is identified as complex, the ADF Rehabilitation Consultant will raise the case with ADFRP or Rehabilitation for Reservists Program Regional Rehabilitation Manager.
  • Case complexity is reviewed on a three monthly basis as part of the Case Review Report.

ADF - DVA Notification

  • The Directorate of Rehabilitation and Compensation (DRC) will inform the Director General Garrison Health Operations (DGGHO) of the case and provide regular progress reports as directed.
  • The DGGHO will liaise with the Director General Defence Community Organisation (DGDCO) and the DVA Assistant Secretary, Determination Support and Reviews Branch.
  • This is the first formal (high level) communication between the ADF and DVA, which is the trigger point to managing these cases according to the High Profile Case Protocol and the case management framework described in this section of the Guide.

ADF - DVA Communication regarding Rehabilitation and Treatment Needs

  • The ADF Rehabilitation Consultant confirms with the DVA National Director, Rehabilitation and Benefits, Determinations Support and Reviews Branch (DS&R), to advise DVA of the status of this 'high profile and or complex case'.
  • This is the next level of two-way operational communication required between ADF and DVA.  National Director of Rehabilitation and Benefits will advise the ADFRP or Rehabilitation for Reservists Program Regional Rehabilitation Manager, who in DVA will be assisting in the management and, if required, the transitioning of this case.
  • The ADF Rehabilitation Consultant will provide the DVA contact with:
  • a report on the current assessed needs of the member, when the member's treating Medical Officer has determined and confirmed that the member is to be released from hospital (military or community);
  • details of the member's posting locality;
  • what has been recommended by home/ADL assessment;
  • what is being provided by other parties; and
  • what is being requested of DVA to provide.

Sound communication and regular reporting are essential for the management of these 'high profile / complex cases', especially during the early stages or key stages.  Any change in client's circumstances including for example, discharge from hospital to home, or commencing a Return to Work element of their Rehabilitation Program are of highest priority if the case progresses to the transitioning from the ADF phase.  Refer to Section 4.5 of this chapter for information regarding what assistance DVA can provide to a serving member.

Case conferences are an excellent communication tool and should be conducted wherever appropriate to ensure all key stakeholders are kept informed of the case progress and provide opportunity for stakeholders to contribute to management strategies.

The ADF Rehabilitation Consultant will provide regular progress reports to the Senior Medical Officer/Senior Health Officer.  This is an internal ADF process.