PACFA has negotiated recognition for eligible PACFA Members with WorkSafe Victoria, ReturnToWorkSA, WorkSafe Qld, and the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) in NSW. Negotiations with other states and territories well under way.
Clinical Victorian PACFA members who have a Bachelor or Master’s degree in counselling can register as providers with WorkSafe Victoria.
WorkSafe Victoria has provided guidelines for providing counselling services to injured workers.
The WorkSafe Victoria counselling policy describes counsellors as ‘skilled healthcare professionals who provide psychological interventions that support a worker's journey through rehabilitation, recovery and return to work.’
Under the policy, counselling services are expected to integrate the principles of WorkSafe Victoria’s Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services.
Applicants to provide counselling services should note that the application form as of February 2022 states ‘loss and grief counselling’. PACFA has been advised that until the form is updated, members should tick this option and cross out ‘loss and grief’.
For assistance with applications, further information, or if you have not received a response to your application within two weeks, contact the WorkSafe Victoria Provider Registration Team on 03 9641 1626.
Read WorkCover Victoria's announcement.
Apply for registration with WorkSafe Victoria.
View the counselling services policy.
View the counselling services fee schedule.
View WorkSafe Victoria provider information.
PACFA members in South Australia are able to provide services for work injured people, under the South Australian work injury scheme, ReturnTo Work South Australia (RTWSA).
Recognising the need for counsellors and psychotherapists in the mental health and rehabilitation workforce, RTWSA will pay for counselling and psychotherapy services where appropriate.
Access to counselling services
Under the Return to Work Scheme, workers are entitled to be compensated for the costs of services that are reasonably incurred as a result of having suffered a work injury.
In most instances, it is the treating medical practitioner (usually the worker's GP) that makes a referral for counselling services. Once a referral has been received, RTWSA recommends that the provider of the service (the counsellor) contact the worker’s claims manager before commencing services. The worker will provide their claims manager’s contact details to the counsellor.
When contacting the claims manager, the provider should:
· discuss the request for service (e.g. I have received a referral for treatment from XX)
· confirm whether the service will be paid by the claims manager
· discuss the proposed service, including recommended hourly rate/fee, expected service duration (e.g. X sessions), and any requirements the claims manager may have (e.g. communication, treatment plans etc)
This is an important step, as a referral from a treating medical practitioner does not mean the worker will automatically have their claim for counselling approved. The claims manager needs to determine whether the service is reasonable in relation to the compensable work injury.
RTWSA does not provide a fee schedule for counselling services, so they recommend counsellors charge what they would usually charge a private patient, ensuring that it is reasonable for the provision of the service. Services should also be linked to the work-injury and delivered in accordance with the Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services.
Watch RTWSA's short video for an overview of the scheme.
PACFA members are welcome to complete RTWSA's free online course for allied health practitioners on providing return to work services.
For queries, contact RTWSA at [email protected]
Clinical members based in Queensland are eligible to register to provide services to WorkSafe Queensland clients.
Register via WorkSafe Queensland's website. Initial registration takes 15 minutes, and you will need to provide details of your Australian Business Number (ABN), contact details (including business email, phone number and physical address), payee and practitioner details, and bank details for your business.
Read about your responsibilities as a provider.
View WorkSafe Queensland's table of fees.
New South Wales
Appropriately qualified practitioners in NSW who meet the PACFA Training Standards may apply to be registered providers with the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), formerly WorkCover NSW.
To apply, you must be a PACFA Clinical member.
How to apply
For information on how to apply to be a WorkCover NSW Provider, please go to the Allied Health Practitioners page at the SIRA website.
Applicants are required to complete the Allied Health Practitioner Online training course with the Personal Injury Education Foundation (PIEF).
The following fees are applicable to any registrations with PIEF on or after 4 September 2019:
Part 1: NSW workers compensation system for allied health practitioners: $80
Part 2: Clinical framework for the delivery of health services: $80
Part 3: Requirements to practice in the NSW workers compensation system: $140
For details of the training, see the PIEF website.
Administrative requirements for SIRA providers:
Allied health recovery request
From 1 August 2016, all SIRA approved Allied Health Practitioners will be required to complete an Allied Health Recovery Request (AHRR) when requesting pre-approval for treatment services from insurers. The AHRR replaces the previous Psychological/Counselling Management Plan.
Download the Allied Health Recovery Request.
If you are a SIRA approved provider, please ensure that you complete the AHHR form and return to SIRA at [email protected] for each new referral to obtain pre-approval for any treatment services to be provided. SIRA approved Counsellors will be able to invoice the insurer $25 (+GST) for the completion of the initial AHRR.
Use of the AHRR for motor accidents claims is optional at this stage and providers may continue to use existing Motor Accident Insurance Regulation forms.
SIRA has developed a technical document to assist with downloading the AHRR and a guide to completing the AHRR.
There are significant changes to exemptions from pre-approval and insurer decision making time frames. Please refer to pages 33 and 34 of the Guidelines for claiming workers compensation.
The NSW workers compensation Fees Orders for allied health practitioners have been updated and take effect from 1 August 2016. The Fees Orders reflect changes to exemptions for workers to seek pre-approval prior to treatment. They also include new specific provisions that apply for workers with severe injury.
Practitioner Contact details
Practitioners that have been approved by SIRA should ensure their email contact details are correct as practitioners whose details are not current risk suspension of their SIRA approval. Please forward any changes to your contact details to [email protected].
For further information on SIRA administrative matters, please contact the SIRA Customer Service Centre on 13 10 50, or email [email protected].