Now accepting applications for the WorkSafeBC – PCU-WHS Scholarship

When this Scholarship program was first announced in 2019, BC’s Minister of Labour Harry Bains said, “One of my top priorities is to ensure that injured or ill workers get the resources and support they need. This scholarship program supports that priority by helping fill a gap in BC’s workforce, increasing the availability of skilled workers in disability management, and ensuring graduates have a consistently high standard of practice.”

Vice Chair of WorkSafeBC’s Board of Directors Lee Loftus said, “These scholarships will ultimately help workers who’ve been injured access highly trained and qualified professionals to support their transition back to employment. Effective return-to-work programs are critical to maintaining an injured worker’s physical, mental, and financial health.”

For further details regarding the Scholarship opportunity, please visit the website at:

Or contact Jennifer Murray in Student Services at:
Tel: 778-421-0821, ext. 209

Belgium Government Demonstrates Disability Management Leadership

Belgium’s Social Security Organization, INAMI/RIZIV, is advancing strategies, programs and practices designed to maintain successful and productive employment for individuals who acquire a mental or physical health impairment and who are at risk of losing their jobs and who often never re-enter the labour market again. The shift has been towards a pro-active job retention strategy versus waiting for re-integration measures attempted once individuals enter the social security system.

In 2014 INAMI/RIZIV signed a 5-year license agreement which provides access to the entire NIDMAR continuing education framework as well as the ability to offer the Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWC) examinations across Belgium.

Following a formal review of the RTW/DM intervention improvements that individuals trained through the education program and subsequent professional certification were able to achieve in Belgium – the improvements being consistent with the outcomes achieved in other jurisdictions – Belgium has extended the license agreements for education and professional certification license arrangements to 2025.  More Information

Federal Minister and Deputy Minister Veterans Affairs Canada Visit PCU-WHS

The Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) was honoured to welcome to its campus the Federal Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, the Hon. Lawrence MacAulay, his Deputy Minister, General Walter Natynczyk, and our Member of Parliament Gord Johns who stopped by the University to learn more about its unique and innovative Return to Work and Disability Management programming and delivery format.

Veterans Affairs Canada is currently supporting 25 Veterans going through the 25-module Disability Management Practitioner continuing education program with a waiting list of 25 individuals to participate.

More Information

NIDMAR Celebrates 25 Years

An event was held in Vancouver on December 2 to recognize and celebrate NIDMAR’s 25 Years of developing and implementing professional and program standards in the field of Disability Management and Return to Work.

Speaking at the event were the Honourable Shane Simpson, BC’s Minister for Social Development and Poverty Reduction; MP for Courtenay-Alberni, Gord Johns; international guests from Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom; and founding and current NIDMAR Co-Chairs. A presentation was also made on the Enhanced Disability Management Program (EDMP) re the joint collaboration between the unions and the employers across the health care sector in BC.

For further information regarding the event and the various initiatives that NIDMAR has successfully undertaken over the last 25 years, please see details in the bulletin attached – highlights are:

– Establishment of the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS), a statutory, not-for-profit, post secondary, degree granting University focused in the areas of health and safety, health promotion, disability management and return to work, and rehabilitation.

– Development, validation, and promotion of Occupational Standards in Disability Management, and the associated professional certification examinations, now adopted in 64 countries and referenced in the ISSA global best practice guidelines on Return to Work and Reintegration

– Developed, tested and validated a three-level consensus-based Disability Management / Return to Work program assessment protocol – the basis for which was used to create the EDMP in the health care sector in BC.

– Creation of the biennial international congress – the International Forum on Disability Management – NIDMAR hosted the first IFDM in 2002, and brought it back to Vancouver in 2018 hosted by PCU-WHS following successful IFDMs hosted around the world in the intervening years.

To view the Gallery of Photos, click on the following link: Gallery of Photos

For further information, please contact:

More Information

CDMP and CRTWC Certificates Awarded in Canada

Two events were recently held in Canada – one in British Columbia and one in Ontario – for the presentation of CDMP and CRTWC certificates, and 10-year pins to those who have maintained their professional designations for 10 years.

The Honourable Harry Bains, BC’s Minister of Labour, attended the event in Burnaby, BC and said of the event, “It was wonderful to be a part of a celebration for graduates of the Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) certificate program at the BC Nurses’ Union. BC’s professional network to support injured workers to return to work just got a little bigger.”

A second event was held in Toronto during the Conference hosted by the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management (CSPDM) when the CDMP and CRTWC certificates and 10-Year Pins were presented by IDMSC Co-Chair Prof. Dr. Joachim Breuer and Chair of the CSPDM Evie DoCouto who is Vice President, Return-to-Work Program at the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario.

Prof. Dr. Joachim Breuer said of the event, “There’s no successful inclusion of sick or injured people without a return to work philosophy; there’s no successful return to work without highly qualified experts who guide the process; and there would be no experts of such kind without the worldwide accepted certification for disability managers and return to work coordinators from NIDMAR.”

Please see the attached Communiqué for quotes from the main speakers at the events along with photos. More Information

Collaboration Agreement Signed between University of Lübeck and PCU-WHS

October 23, 2019: PCU-WHS is pleased to announce that a Letter of Intent was signed between the University of Lübeck and the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences. One area of collaboration is for PCU-WHS to make available courses related to Disability Management and Return to Work as electives for students at the University of Lübeck.

Signing the Agreement were Prof. Dr. Joachim Breuer (seated right) on behalf of the University of Lübeck, Institute for Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Insurance Medicine, and Wolfgang Zimmermann (seated left), President of PCU-WHS. Witnesses to the signing were PCU-WHS Board of Governors Member Sari Sairanen, Health Safety and Environment Director for Unifor, and Ken Neumann, Co-Chair of PCU-WHS, Canadian National Director, United Steelworkers.

PCU-WHS Announces New Board members

The Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) is pleased to announce two new members to its Board of Governors.

Lance Blanco, Senior Vice President Corporate Development for Hardwoods Distribution located in Vancouver has joined the Board. After sustaining a spinal cord injury in a mountain biking accident, his role at Hardwoods was modified and he continues to be instrumental in the company’s success, overseeing its growth to 66 branches with 1,300 employees and $1.2 billion in annual sales.

Shanna Ramm, CPHR, is Senior Disability and Wellness Specialist, Human Resources, with The Mosaic Company located in Regina. She is currently completing her fourth year of the Bachelor of Disability Management degree program at PCU-WHS, achieving a 4.0 GPS and is the first student representative to sit on the Board.

Wolfgang Zimmermann, President of PCU-WHS, said, “There is an increasing emphasis on better return-to-work outcomes across many public and private sector workplaces today, recognizing that more than 80 percent of all mental and physical health impairments occur during someone’s working life. Our Board is committed to making return to work part of the recovery process in tandem with all other facets of the workplace health spectrum.”

For further details with regard to these appointments, and ongoing initiatives of PCU-WHS, please see the attached newsletter.

Scottish Government Funds Training for 300 CDMPs Over Five Years

The Scottish Government has invested in the provision of a five-year program aimed at training up to 300 individuals to become Certified Disability Management Professionals (CDMPs) to serve the country’s public and private sector groups dedicated to maintaining meaningful employment for workers with long term health conditions, injuries or disabilities.

Attached please find the IDMSC Communiqué with further details.

WorkSafeBC Scholarship Provides Career Opportunities

Photo Back Row L to R: Ken Neumann, Canadian National Director United Steelworkers and Co-Chair PCU-WHS; Dean Winsor, Sr Vice President Human Resources Teck Resources and Co-Chair PCU-WHS; Lee Loftus, Vice Chair Board of Directors WorkSafeBC; Honourable Wayne G. Wouters, OC, PC, Chancellor PCU-WHS
Photo Front Row L to R: Honourable Harry Bains, Minister of Labour; Wolfgang Zimmermann, OBC, President PCU-WHS

Please find attached a News Release regarding a joint WorkSafeBC – Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) initiative announced March 8 which provides interested students with the opportunity to receive an annual $6,000 Scholarship for each of the last two years of the Bachelor of Disability Management program at PCU-WHS.

There is an increasing focus on better Return to Work outcomes for individuals who acquire a mental or physical health impairment while employed, as there is significant evidence that all too often, when continued employment is not maintained, the individual with a disability starts the slide towards poverty, homelessness, addiction or worse.

Improved Disability Management efforts have become a priority for Workers Compensation Boards, employers, unions, and other stakeholders right across the country.

In the process, systematic initiatives by many organizations are creating tremendous and increasing professional opportunities in the field of Disability Management and Return to Work, while also being able to positively influence socio-economic outcomes for many.

This WorkSafeBC initiative is a first, with potentially a number of others to follow, and is a strategic effort to increase the pipeline of potential professionals interested in a rewarding career in the area of major emerging professional opportunities, not only with WorkSafeBC, but employers, insurance companies, unions and private rehabilitation providers across British Columbia, Canada and internationally.

For further details, please visit the website at:

Or contact the University at:
Jennifer Murray
Student Services & Records Coordinator
Tel: 778-421-0821, ext. 209

Joint Initiative – Veterans Affairs Canada and PCU-WHS

Career Opportunities for Veterans / DND Personnel
in Disability Management / Return to Work

Through a special initiative with Veterans Affairs Canada, Veterans and DND personnel have an opportunity to participate in a subsidized training program – at no cost to the participant – to become Disability Management Practitioners. The tuition cost is covered for 25 personnel, Veterans and DND, to participate in this online continuing education program.

The program will commence September 2019 and be completed June 2020. When applying, participants must commit to completing the entire program.

There is currently a shortage of qualified disability management practitioners due to the increasing focus on better return to work outcomes by organizations across all sectors, public and private, related to the aging workforce, increasing disability costs, incidences of mental health impairments, and return to work obligations.

For further details, please click on the following link:

Change in Role for Prof. Dr. Joachim Breuer, Board Member of PCU-WHS

On June 27, an event was held in Berlin to celebrate the retirement of Prof. Dr. Joachim Breuer as Director General of the DGUV (Germany’s national occupational accident insurer), and to acknowledge his 17 years of service in that role. Although this was a “retirement”, it does not signify the “retirement” of Prof. Dr. Breuer who continues in a special consulting role with the DGUV and who is also now offering his expertise through a Professorship at the University of Luebeck. Prof. Dr. Breuer also continues in his capacity as President of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) of Geneva.
Wolfgang Zimmermann, President of PCU-WHS, delivered the Keynote address at the special event which was attended by approximately 200 individuals from across the globe. In the photo from L to R Back Row: Edmund Cheong, Deputy Director of the SOCSO Rehabilitation Center and Dr. Mohammed Azman, CEO of SOCSO Malaysia. L to R Front Row: Wolfgang Zimmermann, President of PCU-WHS and Prof. Dr. Joachim Breuer, Board Member of PCU-WHS.

MOU Signed with CIESS for Promotion of Disability Management to its Members

In late January, a MOU was signed between the Inter-American Center for Social Security Studies (CIESS) and the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) and the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR).

The CIESS, headquartered in Mexico City has developed programs of activities that address priority aspects of social security for their region which encompasses the Americas and the Caribbean, covering 36 countries and a membership of more than 80 institutions.

The MOU creates the opportunity for the adoption of educational programming and the best practice professional and program standards in Return to Work and Disability Management for the member organizations of the CIESS, and expands the global membership in the International Disability Management Standards Council (IDMSC) to 64 countries.

It is hoped that the further adoption of best practice standards in Disability Management and Return to Work will help change the narrative with regard to detrimental outcomes when an individual with a disability does not have a return to work option and is forced into poverty, homelessness, addiction or potentially worse scenarios.

We congratulate the CIESS on their leadership.
More Information

New Board of Directors of CSPDM Holds First Meeting

The newly selected Board of the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management (CSPDM) held its first Board meeting in Toronto at the offices of the WSIB, under the leadership of CSPDM Board Chair, Evie DoCouto, WSIB Vice-President for Return-to-Work.

Recognized in the International Social Security Association’s Best Practice Guidelines on Return-to-Work as the gold standard in professional competence, CDMPs and CRTWCs now reflect a global professional community of over 4,000 individuals in 13 countries across all continents and expanding at a brisk pace with almost 700 across all Canadian provinces and territories.
More Information

IFDM 2018 Videos Available for Viewing

Videos are available for viewing on the IFDM 2018 website. They include opening and welcome videos by Master of Ceremonies Wayne Wouters; Federal Ministers Carla Qualtrough and Patricia Hajdu; Premier of BC John Horgan, and presentations by Yazmine Laroche, DM for Accessibility, Government of Canada; Dr Joachim Breuer, Director General, DGUV, Germany; Francois Perl, Director General, INAMI/RIZIV, Belgium; and the handover to Belgium for IFDM 2020.
To view videos, please click on the following link: Video Library

International Forum on Disability Management – Towards IFDM 2020 – Brussels

During the conclusion of IFDM 2018 held in Vancouver, Canada, October 15-17, attended by 400 delegates from 30 countries, organized by the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS), the handover took place to Brussels, site of the 10th International Biennial Congress on Disability Management and Return to Work – IFDM 2020 – to be hosted by the Belgium Federal Social Security Organization, INAMI. To view the bulletin with further details, please click on the following link: More information

Prior to the handover to Belgium, the Hon. Wayne G. Wouters, PC, OC, Chancellor of PCU-WHS and Master of Ceremonies for IFDM 2018, read the IFDM 2018 Canada Declaration, which sets out a series of challenges and opportunities for relevant stakeholders on a range of key initiatives which could be undertaken and contribute towards achieving much improved and sustained social and economic outcomes for disabled workers, employers, and our society at large. The Canada Declaration is available for downloading and viewing on the IFDM 2018 website at:

Over 80 Presentations were delivered by experts from 20 countries during the conference. These have been uploaded to the IFDM 2018 website. Please click on the tab marked Program on the website and click on the links provided in the titles of the Plenary presentations as well as of the Concurrent Workshop presentation titles.

To view the Gallery of Photos taken at IFDM 2018, please visit the IFDM 2018 website and click on the tab marked Gallery of Photos.

To view the Welcome videos from Federal Ministers Carla Qualtrough and Patty Hajdu and BC Premier John Horgan, please click on the tab marked Video Library on the website.

International Forum on Disability Management – IFDM 2018 Third Update

We are extremely pleased to advise that an agreement has been reached, and will be signed during the Opening Session of IFDM 2018, between the International Social Security Organization (ISSA) a UN affiliated, Geneva based organization, with over 330 members in more than 150 countries, and Canada’s National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR), effecting the legal transfer of IFDM associated intellectual property, currently held by NIDMAR to ISSA.
For further details, please see the attached Third Update

IFDM 2018 – Second Update

Keynote Address: Bill C-81, An Act to ensure a barrier-free Canada
We are pleased to announce that Ms. Yazmine Laroche, Deputy Minister, Public Service Accessibility, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, will be the opening keynote speaker taking place on Monday, October 15, 9:00 am – 10:00 am. Ms. Laroche was appointed to this position by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on August 7, 2018 with a mandate to lead the Government’s public service accessibility agenda. For further details, please see the attached Second Update.