Professional Standards FAQ Banner

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of these designations?
These designations give employers, workers and insurance/service providers the assurance that their return to work/disability management professionals are well-educated, properly trained to an international standard and have kept their knowledge up to date. For the person carrying the designation, it provides credibility in the workplace, portability to other jobs, even in different countries, and an invaluable connection to peers in the field.

2. Who developed the designations?
The process began in 1997 with extensive research into the experience, skills and competencies required to define a professional standard of excellence in disability management. Academics, professionals and workplace practitioners from Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the International Labour Organization contributed to the development of the standards, which are now administered through the IDMSC.

3. How is the designation earned?
Disability management can be studied at a growing number of colleges and universities around the world. Applicants must also have workplace experience in disability management. The final step towards earning the designation is to write a seven-hour exam administered by the IDMSC. The exam was created by a highly reputable test development agency, Assessment Strategies Inc., of Ottawa, with input from a broad cross-section of employers unions, workers compensation boards, and private insurance and service providers.

4. Who is likely to seek these designations?
Anyone working in the field of return to work / disability management who wishes to demonstrate his or her professional competence, individual and organizational leadership, and commitment to quality assurance.

5. What is the difference between the two designations?
Certified Return to Work Coordinators expedite, coordinate and facilitate the return to work of persons with injuries, illnesses and disabilities in a range of settings. Certified Disability Management Professionals may provide direct services to workers with disabilities but in addition they often perform executive functions which may include administration of disability management services, development of policies and procedures, promotion of return to work concepts through education and training, consulting to joint labour-management committees, program evaluation, etc. In both cases, return to work / disability management services may be provided internally by an employee within the workplace or externally by a provider.

For further details, please refer to the Occupational Standards in Disability Management.