How to complete a certificate of capacity

A certificate of capacity is the primary communication tool between you and your patient's support team.

Completing a certificate of capacity will ensure your patient's recovery needs are communicated accurately to the rest of their support team, including their employer, the case manager and any other medical professionals treating your patient.

Completing the certificate of capacity will also help ensure:

  • The insurer is able to assess your worker's claim
  • Your patient is able to receive compensation payments
  • Your patient has a clear plan for treatment, rehabilitation and guidance to return to work.

Finding alternative duties

Many employers are able to provide alternative duties, or support a return to work on fewer hours.

If you are unclear on what the employer is able to provide, you can:

  • Ask your patient to talk to their employer or case manager
  • Contact your patient’s case manager
  • Contact your patient’s employer to discuss available options
  • Request a referral to a workplace rehabilitation provider, who may be able to assist with identifying duties at the workplace
  • Recommend a worksite assessment
  • Ask for a copy of your patient's position description.

Learn more about your role as a Nominated Treating Doctor

You can access a detailed guide on how to complete the certificate of capacity on the SIRA website.

Below is a summary of key points on how to complete the certificate of capacity.

Medical certification

Even if you are unsure of your patient’s diagnosis, you should include a provisional diagnosis on the certificate until further information is available to make a formal diagnosis.

For psychological conditions, terms such as ‘stress’ are not acceptable under workers compensation legislation and may lead to delays in your patient’s claim being accepted as the insurer will need to seek additional information.

Management plan

You should include on the certificate details of all treatment recommended for your patient's work related treatment, including details of referred specialist, anticipated physical treatment duration, and type and dosage of prescribed medication.

Capacity for employment

As the NTD, you will need to certify whether your patient has capacity for:
  • all pre-injury duties
  • selected pre-injury duties
  • other work; including suitable or alternative duties that are not necessarily their pre-injury work, or
  • no work.

If you certify your patient has having no capacity for employment, you must estimate the time frame you expect they will have some work capacity.

If you recommend a referral to a workplace rehabilitation provider, the insurer may then arrange the referral to a workplace rehabilitation provider in consultation with your patient.

The certificate of capacity should not exceed 28 days. If it does exceed 28 days, you will need to provide clinical reason why in the ‘comments’ section below the review date.

Learn more about the importance of recovery at work

If the medical practitioner completing the certificate agrees to be the nominated treating doctor (NTD), they must tick the box agreeing to the role.

Your agreement to be the NTD means that you agree to communicate with all relevant parties to manage your patient’s return to work.