Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the purpose of the audit?
The purpose of the audit is to evaluate the excellence of any organization’s disability management program and to provide suggestions for improving it.
2. Who developed the audit?
The audit was developed at a cost of $2.5 million, and is administered through the International Disability Management Standards Council Secretariat, based in Victoria, BC, Canada. Designed by a broad group of government, provider, business and labour organizations, the audit is unique in that it requires consensus between workers and management whenever it is administered. It was developed after a global review of best practices in disability management which involved contributions from Canada, the United States, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and the International Labour Organization.
3. Who would want to take the audit?
Any organization that wants to improve its disability management program should consider this audit. There are three main reasons why organizations want to improve their disability management programs:
- It’s the law. In many countries, employers are legally required to assist employees back to work.
- It’s good business. Work accidents cost billions of dollars each year in direct and indirect costs. For companies, disability costs can be expensive, typically in the range of $2 million per year per 1,000 workers. Effective disability management has been shown to reduce these costs by 30 to 50 percent.
- It’s the right thing to do. Effective disability management programs allow individuals who acquire a disabling condition to continue to work and avoid lives of poverty.
4. What happens during an audit and how long does it take?
An audit takes less than a week. Auditors review policies, procedures, minutes from meetings and any other data the company has collected. Then, auditors meet with a group representing both workers and management to present an 80-point questionnaire dealing with the specifics of the operation’s disability management program. Both sides must agree on the answers. Finally randomly selected employees – representing both management and workers – are surveyed for their views on the operation’s disability management program.
5. Who conducts the audit?
The audit is conducted by a licensed firm with trained and accredited professionals.
6. What happens when an audit is completed?
The auditor provides a complete report, giving the organization a score (out of 100) and offering detailed advice on how to improve. In some jurisdictions, Workers’ Compensation Boards or other insurers may offer financial incentives for workplaces that achieve a certain minimum score.
7. How much does it cost to take an audit?
Cost varies with the size and scope of the operation. The cost can often be recouped almost immediately. Even minor improvements in disability management programs, suggested as a result of the audit, typically can lead to significant savings in short- and long-term disability costs.