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Workplace Disability Management Program a First


  • Published: 2009-03-17 : Author: Otago Polytech
  • Synopsis: Institution to offer a specialized training and professional certification program in workplace disability management.

Otago Polytechnic is about to become the first New Zealand-based institution to offer a specialized training and professional certification program in workplace disability management, designed to plan for better management of valuable "people resources."

Workplace Disability Management Program a First for New Zealand

Otago Polytechnic is about to become the first New Zealand-based institution to offer a specialized training and professional certification program in workplace disability management, designed to plan for better management of valuable 'people resources.'

The online Disability Management in the Workplace program prepares professionals to facilitate a successful return to work for those living with a disability either through illness or injury. It includes disability management theory and practice, the New Zealand service delivery environment and interpersonal skills for those involved in the return-to-work process.

Workers with a disability may face significant social, psychological and financial challenges. Graduates of the program will have the necessary skills to promote these workers returning to normal employment, and assist employers who seek to retain trained, experienced and committed staff.

Otago Polytechnic will offer the online program on a national scale drawing on resources from their internationally-respected School of Occupational Therapy.

"This program is endorsed by the International Disability Management Standards Council (IDMSC) as meeting best practice for workplace rehabilitation. It complements our current programs and we are delighted to have been granted the exclusive contract to offer the program in New Zealand," explains Jackie Herkt, Head of the School of Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytechnic.

"It has been internationally proven that co-ordinated return-to-work programs improve outcomes for both organizations and their employees and the introduction of this program can only benefit New Zealand's businesses and workers."

The Canadian-developed program has been adopted by 13 countries around the world including England, Ireland, Australia and Germany.

The New Zealand license for the program has been managed by a Steering Group comprising ACC, Business New Zealand, the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health, who saw that it had application for New Zealand workers affected by injury or ill-health. Otago Polytechnic was awarded the right to deliver the program following a tender process.

The IDMSC has also endorsed two occupational standards - the Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWCTM) and the Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP). These certifications are awarded to professionals who successfully pass the professional certification examination managed by Otago Polytechnic. The examinations will be suitable for people with a strong background in the disability management field either as a rehabilitation provider, case manager or who work in organizational Health and Safety and who are looking to gain an internationally-recognized certification.

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