DMHR 585 Capstone Course: Disability Management from a Human Resource Management Perspective

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.


DMHR 580: HR Role in Retaining Workers Experiencing Mental Health Challenges

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.)


DMHR 575: Communication and Interviewing Skills for HR and DM

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.)


DMHR 570: Managing Change from an HR and DM Perspective

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.)


DMHR 565: Legislation & Disability Management for HR Practitioners

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.)


DMHR 560: Introduction to Evidence-based Decision Making (EBDM)

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.


DMHR 555: Job Analysis for Human Resources Managers with Disability Management Responsibilities

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.)


DMHR 550: Introduction to Disability Management from a Human Resources Perspective

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.)


DMCS 450 Employer Return-to-Work Obligations Under Bill 41 Changes to the BC Workers Compensation Act

The Government of British Columbia has recently enacted amendments to the workers’
compensation legislation aimed at providing greater clarity and reinforcement of the
obligations placed upon organizations in facilitating return to work (RTW) for employees
who have sustained mental or physical injuries or illnesses resulting from workplace
activities. The Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), which was ratified in
November 2022, is slated to come into effect on January 1, 2024. This legislation
introduces two new obligations for both workers and employers: the duty to collaborate
and the duty to sustain the employment of an injured worker.

The primary objective of this module is to offer guidance to organizations in British
Columbia to prepare for the imminent changes to the British Columbia Workers
Compensation Act. These amendments are poised to have a significant impact on
professionals specializing in disability management, potentially necessitating adjustments
to the employer’s return-to-work processes and the provision of information to injured
workers. The learning objectives for this module include:

  • Describe the new requirements under the BC Workers Compensation Act.
  •  Understand the principles of the duty to cooperate and the duty to maintain
    employment so that they can prepare to apply these within their own organization.
  •  Explain jurisprudence related to the duty to accommodate and undue hardship and
    how the new BC amendments fit within the existing legal framework.
  •  Identify areas of policy, procedure, and process within their own organization that
    relate to the new amendments.
  • Relate the amendments to the wider Canadian context related to disability
    management, return to work, and occupational insurance—particularly when an
    organization has operations in more than one province.

Availability: April 22-28 2024, June 17-23, 2024

Please click the following link to register for this class:

BC Workplaces Supported with the DM and RTW Continuing Education Grant.
Learn more:


How will the Scholarship help me to progress my career?

  • Graduates of the BDM Program may go on to further studies and are recognized under the eligibility qualifications to write the professional certification examinations for the designations of:
    • Certified Disability Management Professional – CDMP
    • Certified Return to Work Coordinator – CRTWC

once they have met all of the following eligibility criteria:

    • Successful completion of the Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM) degree
    • Completed a minimum of 1 year performing the roles and responsibilities (during the last 5 years) with at least 50% or more of the time in the delivery of DM services, supervised by a qualified DM supervisor or management representative responsible for DM.
  • The BDM is accepted by the Ted Rogers School of Management at Toronto Metropolitan University as a qualifying program for consideration of acceptance to its:
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Science in Management
  • Master of Health Administration

In a survey by the Canadian HR Reporter, it was found that 90 percent of business leaders say the value of professional designations is increasing.

Where do Disability Management Professionals work?

Disability Management Professionals work as human resource professionals, workplace health specialists, case managers, return to work coordinators, or in a variety of related areas.

Prospective places of employment for Disability Management Professionals include:

  • Industrial work sites
  • Corporate offices
  • Insurance companies
  • Service providers
  • Human resources departments
  • Workers’ compensation organizations

There is an opportunity for experienced professionals to establish their own businesses offering disability management contract services to local employers.

What does a Disability Management Professional do?

Disability Management Professionals work internally within their own organizations or externally as providers to:

  • Develop positive workplace health and job retention policies.
  • Promote a positive and proactive workplace health and return to work organizational culture.
  • Promote and protect the health and productivity of the workforce.
  • Support workers with health conditions to remain at work.
  • Assist workers absent on health grounds to safely return to the workplace.

Disability Management Professionals work collaboratively with management, unions or employee organizations, insurance providers, government agencies, health care providers, and others.


How can Disability Management make a difference?

  • Approximately 80 percent of disabling conditions occur during an individual’s working life.
  • Disability benefit recipients have less than a one percent chance of exiting the social security benefit system to enter into employment.
  • This results in dependency and poverty for individuals with disabilities, unsustainable social protection costs, and increasing numbers of disability benefit recipients.
  • About 25 percent of all Canadians living in poverty today ─ an estimated 1.4 million individuals ─ are people with disabilities.
  • Effective Disability Management programs can make a crucial contribution to reducing poverty in Canada by promoting workplace health, preventing disabilities, and avoiding loss of employment due to a disabling condition.

Disability Management interventions are designed to:

  • Reduce the likelihood that workers will acquire an impairment that could place their jobs at risk.
  • Engage with workers with disabilities, before they have lost their attachment to their employer, to enhance the likelihood they will retain and return to their jobs.
  • Reduce the number of workers exiting the active labour market and entering into the disability benefits system.

Early intervention is at the core of an effective Disability Management approach.

A key success factor in effective Disability Management programs is a consensus-based process based on collaboration between management and worker representatives, often enshrined in a collective agreement, and overseen by a joint management-labour committee.

Why is the WDA Grant Scholarship important?

The WDA Grant Scholarship is designed to:

  • Significantly increase availability of Disability Management Professionals for BC employers.
  • Build enhanced recognition of the importance of effective Return to Work programs and the priority of maintaining employment for disabled workers.
  • Reduce the unacceptable poverty rate of people with disabilities.
  • Improve socio-economic outcomes for disabled workers, employers, and society at large through greater professionalization of those working in the Return to Work / Disability Management field.

When will I know if I have been selected to receive the WDA Grant Scholarship?

Deadline extended to June 30: 
For applications received after May 30 and by June 30 2024:
  • Applications will be reviewed as they come in; you should expect to be notified of the outcome of your application by July 31 at the latest.
For applications received by May 30, 2024:
  • Successful applicants will be notified by June 30, 2024.
  • Successful applicants must notify PCU-WHS that they have accepted the Scholarship by July 12, 2024. If the Scholarship is declined, it will be awarded to another qualified applicant. Applicants who fail to respond to an offer of scholarship by the specified deadline will be considered to have declined the scholarship.

What is the deadline to apply?

Application packages must be received in their entirety no later than June 30, 2024.

Scholarships are awarded on a first-come-first-qualified basis.

How do I apply?

All expressions of interest and applications must be addressed to the Office of the Registrar at PCU-WHS (see contact information below).

DEADLINE: June 30, 2024

To apply, submit a WDA Grant Scholarship application package which includes:

  • Completed WDA Grant Scholarship 2024 Application Form
  • An application fee of $100
  • Reflective essay
  • Official transcripts issued from previous post-secondary institutions
  • Letters of Attestation (2) for previous work experience

The WDA Scholarship can only be applied to the first 3 years of the 4-year part-time program. Applicants will be responsible for covering the full tuition and all other expenses of the final 1 year of the part-time program.

Applications packages must be addressed to the Office of the Registrar at PCU-WHS, and can be sent by email, Canada Post, or courier to:

WDA Grant Scholarship
Office of the Registrar
Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences
4755 Cherry Creek Road
Port Alberni, BC V9Y 0A7

What is the difference between the part-time and the full-time 2+2 BDM program?

Full-time study in the 2+2 BDM program: For students who are not employed full-time:

  • Completion of the BDM program in 2 years
  • Completion of a minimum of ten (10) 3-credit courses per year (based on admission with 60 credits):
    • Typically: 4 courses in the Fall trimester, 3 courses in the Winter trimester, 3 courses in the Spring trimester.
  • The courses for the 2+2 BDM program are 12-week courses, with an anticipated time commitment of 8-9 hours per week per course, including approximately 4 hours on the required readings and 4 hours on either a discussion exercise or assignment. Expect to be enrolled in 3-4 courses per trimester.

Part-time study in the 2+2 BDM program: For students who are employed full-time:

  • Completion of the BDM program in 4 years3
  • Completion of a minimum of five (5) 3-credit courses per year (based on admission with 60 credits):
    • Typically: 2 courses in the Fall trimester, 1-2 courses in the Winter trimester, 1-2 courses in the Spring trimester.
  • The courses for the 2+2 BDM program are 12-week courses, with an anticipated time commitment of 8-9 hours per week per course, including approximately 4 hours on the required readings and 4 hours on either a discussion exercise or assignment. Expect to be enrolled in 1-2 courses per trimester.


2+2 BDM Program
Full-Time study Part-Time study
Time to completion of program 2 years 4 years3
Minimum number of courses per year 10 5
Duration of each course 12 weeks 12 weeks
Number of courses taken at one time 3 or 4, depending on trimester 1 or 2, depending on trimester
Time commitment per week per course 8 hours 8 hours


3The WDA Scholarship can only be applied to the first 3 years of part-time study. Applicants will be responsible for covering the full tuition and all other expenses for the final 1 year of their program.

How will I access courses at PCU-WHS?

PCU-WHS is located in Port Alberni, British Columbia, but all BDM courses are offered exclusively online. Residents of British Columbia can study from their city or town of residence.

All courses at PCU-WHS are offered online by highly qualified faculty with a depth of multidisciplinary experience.

Students require a computer, an Internet connection (high-speed internet is recommended), and internet browser software to participate in the courses. Students should have a computer with a sound card and speakers to listen to course videos and audio, plus a microphone to participate in synchronous sessions. All courses require a word processing application such as Microsoft Word. Individual courses may have additional software requirements. Technical assistance is available for all courses.

The online platform provides you with:

  • 24-hour access to course resources and materials.
  • More opportunities to directly communicate with faculty.
  • Constructive interaction with other students.
  • Greater flexibility and convenience in managing your time. (Courses are not self-paced, however; timelines for course work are provided.)
  • An environment to participate at a time and place best suited to your needs.
  • Additional time to reflect before responding to discussions and other activities.
  • An environment where the independent learner flourishes.

Students will have 24-hour access to most course resources, activities, and materials. The few synchronous activities (Zoom sessions, student presentations) will be scheduled in the Pacific time zone.

What commitments do I need to make?

  • Successful candidates are required to attend the PCU-WHS online 2+2 BDM program beginning in September 2024.
  • You are also required to attend an online orientation to the program in advance of the first academic term.
  • You must maintain an academic standing of 3.0 (B) or higher each trimester throughout your studies. If you fail to achieve this, you will be given the following trimester to restore your standing.
  • You must be in a position to register in full- or part-time study in the 2+2 Bachelor of Disability Management (BDM) program beginning in September 2024, and to complete the degree within a 2-year period for full-time study or 4-year period for part-time study.
  • To qualify for admission to the full-time WDA Grant Scholarship program, you must not be working full-time.