Disability Management from a HR Perspective Certificate Program

Human Resources Management Professionals play a role in ensuring that workers with the skills and work capacity to productively carry out the work of their organization are available. Many of the traditional human resources functions such as provision of benefits and insurance and recruitment and training involve aspects of disability management. Human resources practitioners may be directly or indirectly involved in return-to-work planning.

This eight-course certificate program is designed for human resources management practitioners with disability management responsibilities and focuses on knowledge and skills that they use when workers incur disabilities.

Participants who have taken similar courses in the Disability Management Practitioner Program may use up to two of those modules towards their certificate.

This course provides an overview of disability management from a human resources perspective. It explores the field of disability management, the goals of a disability management program, and the key concepts that underlie an effective disability management program. Disability management is a broad area that includes not only return-to-work coordination but also the interactions among return to work and rehabilitation, compensation, prevention and health and wellness prevention programs.

Human resources professionals will gain an understanding of the linkages between human resource management and disability management; the benefits that DM programs bring to both the organization and worker; and the steps needed to develop or improve a program.

(If you have previously completed DMCCA – Effective Disability Management Programs within the last three years, you may be eligible for an exemption that can be used as part of the HR certificate upon presentation of an original transcript.)


Job analyses are fundamental to human resources management, and they inform most other HR practices. They are also critical for return to work or disability management processes. A comprehensive job analysis provides insight into the tasks and behaviors that comprise a job; the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics (KSAOs) required for the job; performance standards, as well as the physical, cognitive and psychosocial demands of the job. A completed job analysis can be an effective tool to assist with injury prevention strategies, return-to-work planning and job accommodation.

This course covers the creation and interpretation of job analyses and describes how job analyses can be used not only in traditional HR responsibilities such as recruitment, training, and compensation but can also make a contribution to maintaining a healthy and productive workforce.

(If you have previously completed DMCCE – Job Analysis within the last three years, you may be eligible for an exemption that can be used as part of the HR certificate upon presentation of an original transcript.)


Human resources management, which includes a role in the workplace health areas of disability management, occupational health and safety, and health promotion, has a more strategic approach today in focussing on the needs and priorities of the organization. This shift demands that HR managers understand the broader business and organizational contexts of employment and work activity, and collaboratively devise solutions to address related challenges. Critical to this is the capacity for effective decision-making rooted in credible evidence.

This course outlines the process of evidence-based decision-making (EBDM) and its merits, particularly within the context of disability. Participants will work through a straightforward model for implementing EBDM. The course includes strategies to identify both internal and external data sources that provide credible evidence, and in some cases to develop reliable data when a novel or unexpected problem arises. Students will find out how to recognize and surmount common barriers to EBDM within an organization.


Many workplace policies have a foundation in legislation and regulation including occupational health and safety requirements, minimum standards of employment, designated work holidays, equity, accessibility, and work retention and reintegration after injury or illness. Human resources managers draw on their knowledge of federal and provincial laws, and in some cases. international obligations in developing policies and procedures.

This course provides an overview of legislation that impacts the workplace response to disability and reviews relevant legislation and how it is applied, including the duty to accommodate workers with disabilities. Also addressed is the HR role in communicating legal obligations to workers, supervisors, unions, and other stakeholders; and generally contributing to organizational practices that ensure the workplace is in compliance with legislation. Frequently

HR practitioners are involved in determining the requisite components of an accommodation when individual workers need a plan for returning to work.

(If you have previously completed DMCCI – Legislation and Disability Management within the last three years, you may be eligible for an exemption that can be used as part of the HR certificate upon presentation of an original transcript.)


Human resources practitioners have commonly been involved in change management processes when economic factors and technological advances have impacted areas such as worker recruitment and retention. Increasingly, workplace health programs such as disability management, occupational health and safety, and health and wellness promotion that support the capacity of employees to make a contribution in the workplace are receiving attention. The ability to manage change in these areas has become more important.

This course will explore how theories of change are applied in the workplace, both in terms of organizational change and personal change, with a specific focus on disability management. The topics covered include the steps involved in most change management models, strategies for overcoming resistance to change and other barriers to change, the role of change agents, effective communication, and processes for evaluating whether a change was successful.

(If you have previously completed DMCCS – Managing Change within the last three years, you may be eligible for an exemption that can be used as part of the HR certificate upon presentation of an original transcript.)


Disability management and human resource professionals must build and maintain relationships with managers, supervisors, labour representatives, workers with disabilities, treatment providers and others. This course provides a foundation for effective communication with stakeholders, needed to coordinate disability management interventions and services at a worksite.

Course participants will consider how context and environment influence communication and will review interpersonal communication skills that, when put together, form the basis of effective interviewing and group facilitation. These skills include listening, questioning, paraphrasing and summarizing, and non-verbal communication. During the week of study activity, these skills will be applied from the perspective of return-to-work coordination.

(If you have previously completed DMCCG – Communication and Interviewing Skills within the last three years, you may be eligible for an exemption that can be used as part of the HR certificate upon presentation of an original transcript.)


This course will focus on the role of human resources and disability management professionals in retaining workers with mental health challenges and in optimizing worker capacity in a time of technological, economic, and evolving pandemic-related change. Both a systematic process for the retention and reintegration of workers experiencing negative mental health conditions and the policies, procedures, and processes designed to create a psychologically safe work environment will be explored. Issues arising from disclosure and stigma as well as barriers and facilitators to return to work will be examined. The ongoing development of evidence-based tools to enhance practice decision-making will be considered. The intent is to assist HRM professionals in working with stakeholders to support overall workplace health and a steady recovery for the workers with disabilities with a mental health component.

(If you have previously completed DMCS 780 – Strategies to Retain Workers Experiencing Mental Health Challenges within the last three years, you may be eligible for an exemption that can be used as part of the HR certificate upon presentation of an original transcript.)


This final course in the Certificate in Disability Management from a Human Resources Management Perspective brings the skills and knowledge acquired in the initial seven modules together and focusses on the interplay between human resources management and disability management. Participants will consider:

  • The business case for disability management, including the legal, economic, and social reasons for effective disability management
  • HRM practices that promote employee health, accommodation practices, and inclusivity, and prevent either disability or disability severity
  •  The relationship between disability management and human resources in the areas of recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management, and compensation and benefits.


Disability Management Practitioner Certificate Program

The courses in the Disability Management Practitioner Certificate Program may be taken independently or as a complete 25-course program. These courses emphasize the skills and knowledge required to return to work individuals who have incurred injuries or illnesses, and provide an introduction to the competencies that are required to introduce and administer disability management programs.

Those students wishing to obtain the Certificate of Completion for the entire program and who have previous education in a particular course subject area may apply to obtain an exemption or prior learning assessment credit. For further details, please refer to the current Continuing Education Guide which can be accessed via the link at the bottom of this webpage.

Effective Workplace Responses to Mental Health Certificate Program

The Effective Workplace Responses to Mental Health Certificate Program consists of eight courses addressing mental health aspects and provides a holistic approach to foundational and current challenges related to evolving societal changes, the realities of a global pandemic and resultant workplace challenges. Those whose responsibilities include disability management, return to work, human resources and health and safety are on the front lines as mental health conditions represent the greatest proportion of disability management claims.

Special and Advanced Courses

The Special and Advanced Courses cover a range of topics in the field of workplace health and safety, human resources and labour-management relations. They will be useful to those whose responsibilities include the return to work for workers who have incurred injuries and illnesses.