The Special and Advanced Modules 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 who are involved in returning workers who have incurred injuries and illnesses to jobs, as well as to those working in associated fields. You do not need to be a disability management practitioner to enroll in, or benefit from, these workshops.
While the Disability Management Practitioner Certificate Program covers the breadth of skills and knowledge required by disability management and return to work practitioners, the Special and Advanced Modules provide an opportunity to explore related topics or specific topics in more depth.
The modules vary in length and cost. When offered online, study activities may be carried out over periods ranging from one week to several weeks or in a classroom setting from one to six days.
All courses have been endorsed by the Canadian Society of Professionals in Disability Management (CSPDM) for continuing education credit (CEC) hours for the professional designations of Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWC). Successful completion of each course provide 12 CEC hours.
How to Enroll
For details regarding enrollment, please click here: How to Enroll
Supporting workers with chronic and episodic health conditions can be challenging because impairments may not be obvious and visible and workers may prefer not to disclose their issues. When workers ask for support, a one-time solution may not be sufficient and work arrangements may need to change over time. The module provides people with responsibilities in the area of workplace health with approaches that can be used to retain workers and mitigate the effect of chronic and episodic health conditions on work performance and work absence.
The module will cover the types and characteristics of chronic and episodic health conditions and explore some common conditions. The costs for workers and workplaces when chronic and episodic conditions are not addressed will be examined as well as issues of disclosure and privacy; strategies for mitigating the impact of such conditions on workers and their employment; return to work planning and accommodation from a biopsychosocial perspective; the role of service providers; and wellness initiatives.
Worldwide, back pain is the most common cause of activity limitations and absences from work. Back injuries are complex and can be difficult to diagnose because the etiology or causes of back pain can lie in muscle, bone and joint and nervous systems; arise as a result of unrelated health conditions such as cancer; result from work, home and leisure activity; and be compounded by mental health issues such as stress and anxiety. In the workplace back injuries affect the physical and emotional wellbeing of workers leading to lowered productivity and lost time.
This module will examine the incidence and causes; job-related factors that might contribute to back pain; approaches that have been successful in treatment and rehabilitation; a multi-faceted approach to work ability and maintain people in jobs; the development and implementation of return to work and remain at work plans for worker with back pain; appropriate job accommodations; and the role of wellness and OH&S programs as an adjunct to disability management programs.
The purpose of this module is to explore the steps that can be taken to assist and retain workers who have been diagnosed with cancer and who, during the course of their treatment, must deal with challenges including treatment effects such as fatigue and pain, anxiety about the future and financial losses and costs. Individuals may wish to continue working during some of their treatment or may need to take time away from work.
The module covers topics including information on cancer in general and why it is approached as a chronic and episodic illness. The benefits and challenges related to retaining workers who are dealing with cancer are examined, and the biopsychosocial impacts on individual workers who are dealing with cancer. Participants will consider how disability management plans address the interplay among a range of factors related to the type and stage of cancer, individual characteristics and situations, and the current job in which the person is engaged and their workplace. They will also identify appropriate job accommodations for workers who are dealing with cancer.
This module will provide professionals with disability management and workplace health responsibilities with an understanding of the causes and experience of pain and with some tools to support workers who are dealing with pain. Participants will explore the physiological process through which pain is experienced; the types and causes of pain; the impact of pain on workers and the workplace; common treatments for pain; methods for supporting workers with pain both at the organizational and individual level; a biopsychosocial approach to assisting workers in remaining at work or returning to work when their disability involves pain; and work accommodations for workers with pain.
DMCS 670 Upper body injuries in the workplace: repetitive strain, awkward postures, and other hazards
While motion is essential to maintaining musculoskeletal health, the wrong kind of motion can result in short and long-term disability. Because people use their hands and arms so much while working, upper limb pain and impairment can be a significant impediment to carrying out work tasks with ease. Upper limb disorders are injuries that affect the shoulders, neck, arms and hands. They include a range of impairments that are most often caused by repetitive movements, force, awkward postures, rapid movements, and heavy loads, often in combination, and often emerging over a period years.
This module covers the causes of upper body disorders, symptoms, treatment, accommodations and return to work/remain at work planning, and the rationale for initiatives that address this common health condition. Participants will also focus on tools that can be used to assess awkward postures and repetitive movements that might cause problems for workers and how these can be eliminated or mitigated in the workplace.
The workforce in many countries is aging. People are living longer and birthrates are decreasing in many developed nations—and when fewer younger workers are moving into the labor market, helping older workers to remain productive and stay in jobs becomes more important. Many older workers prefer to stay in employment because they need the income and because they are able to maintain a sense of purpose. Further many government policies tend to support this including policies related to retirement age and retirement income. There are many ways of characterizing who is an older worker, although most research defines this group as people who are 55 years of age and over.
This module will explore the benefits to retaining older workers and the challenges; push and pull factors related to whether older workers stay at work; the concept of work ability as it applies to older workers; strategies related to the work environment, job design and other supports for older workers; and barriers and facilitators of return to work and remain at work.
Change, both welcome and unwelcome, is inevitable, ongoing and multi-faceted. More than ever, people within organizations need strategies for reacting quickly to problems and opportunities—both external and internal to their workplaces. This course is designed to provide those who are involved with workplace health systems—disability management, wellness, and health and safety programs—with tools and techniques to identify and respond to disruptive events, new situations and changing conditions in the most positive way possible by:
• Recognizing unanticipated problems and challenges or needed changes.
• Applying problem-recognition and problem-solving strategies.
• Using idea generation tools and techniques to identify innovations and solutions.
• Using change management processes.
The course includes print materials and video, a workbook for trying out tools and techniques, discussion forums and a short assignment. Course activities will span 2 weeks, requires an estimated 22 hours of study activity, and has been endorsed for 22 continuing education credit hours for the designations of Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and Certified Return to Work Coordinator (CRTWC).
Addressing the sensitive issues of mental health or mental illness with an individual worker who is believed to be at risk of, or experiencing, mental distress can be challenging for DM professionals.
The primary purposes of this module are to describe first, how best to raise a concern about mental health with a worker who may not have considered that they may face challenges in this regard and, secondly, how to respond to a worker who approaches you with mental health concerns. In any conversation about mental health the way in which the topic is raised and how the conversation is completed are just as important as the key messages that need to be communicated about mental health and wellness.
This module covers three core areas: key messages and themes that must inform discussions with a worker related to mental health and illness, brief descriptions of mental health disorders that are most likely to emerge in work or return to work, and approaches that can create an open space for a worker to explain their perceptions about the challenges they face.
Resources that can be signposted by the DM professional to assist workers in exploring their mental health challenges and personal recovery and coping are reviewed.
The circumstances within the workplace that can enhance or reduce mental health and wellness—the organizational context—are the focus of this module. To be effective, workplace strategies need to address mental health in an integrated manner, including initiatives aimed at prevention, health promotion and remain at/return to work.
The first section of this module describes the context and influences that need to be taken into account in discussions about mental health and mental illness with stakeholders. It describes the main workplace stakeholders addressed in the module; addresses the distinction between mental health and mental illness; briefly describes the meaning of common mental health disorders (CMDs); explores the mental health impact of Covid-19; and overviews electronic and mobile mental health tools. The second section provides an overview of an integrated approach to workplace mental health and covers the business case for more effective workplace mental health programs; the cost of presenteeism and the benefits of self-disclosure; and the components of an integrated approach to workplace mental health including workplace strategies to protect psychological health and safety, creating mental health promoting organizations, and addressing the accommodation needs of workers experiencing mental distress or illness.
Effective Workplace Responses to Mental Health Certificate Program
While the Special and Advanced Modules cover a range of individual topics in the field of workplace health and safety, human resources and labour-management relations. This NEW eight-course Certificate Program addresses the mental health aspects of disability management and applies a holistic approach to foundational and current challenges related to evolving societal changes, the realities of a global pandemic, and workplace demands.