Design for Care

Using work design to improve mental health outcomes for workers in the healthcare and social assistance industry.

Healthcare and social assistance workers provide essential care for us when we are most in need. Their work is incredibly rewarding and can be emotionally and physically demanding, but critical for our community. icare claims data shows that in recent years, workers in this industry have experienced a rise in psychological injury-related claims.

In a new initiative for the Workers Compensation Nominal Insurer, icare is partnering with Curtin University's Centre for Transformative Work Design. The Design for Care Program aims to support innovation in work design to prevent and reduce psychological injuries for workers in private healthcare and social assistance, such as residential and community care providers.

Poor work and job design are key psychosocial risk factors. This highlights the need to move to a more integrated focus on mentally-healthy workplaces.

Through this initiative, we are developing a deeper understanding of how psychosocial risk factors can be reduced through work design and other organisational factors.

In order to support innovations that prevent and reduce psychological injuries in the healthcare and social assistance industry, icare began an Expression of Interest (EOI) process on 10 December 2020, which closed on 15 January 2021. After evaluating all responses to the EOI invitation, a shortlist of invitees participated in a competitive selection process and Curtin University's Centre for Transformative Work Design was selected as the preferred partner.

The Design for Care program commenced implementation in July 2021.


  • Review of Evidence of Psychosocial Risks for Mental Ill-health in the Workplace, Brain and Mind Centre.
  • Creating Mentally Healthy Workplaces, National Mental Health Commission/The Mentally Health Workplace Alliance/UNSW/Black Dog Institute.