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SRCC Licence Compliance and Performance Model FAQs
Note: This document is limited to providing information relating to the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission's (the Commission’s) regulatory powers and functions. This does not change Comcare’s functions as the regulator of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988. Further information regarding Comcare’s regulatory Compliance and Enforcement Policy is available on Comcare’s website.
1. What has changed under the new model?
- On 1 July 2016 the Commission introduced a revised model for the regulation of self-insured licensees under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1998 (SRC Act).
- The new Licence Compliance and Performance Model (LCPM) document has been published and is available on the Commission website.
- The model seeks to ensure compliance with licence conditions.
- The model replaces the tier-based model previously used.
- The model focuses on licensee performance against set standards and measures in the areas of claims management, rehabilitation and Work Health and Safety.
- Licensees in the first two years of licence will be classified as ‘developing’. This involves Comcare working with the licensees to develop their management system capabilities.
- After two years, licensees may move to the ‘established’ classification. This involves demonstrating maintenance of systems with a reduced level of regulatory oversight.
2. What is a 'transition year'?
- As agreed by the Commission, the implementation of the model will be an iterative process as new components of the model are developed and introduced throughout the 2016–17 ‘transition year’.
- Licensees have been moved across to the new model and are now working towards the new performance standards and measures and will be assessed against a new set of targets.
- While some elements of the new model have already been implemented, until such time as an element is ready for introduction, the existing arrangements will continue to apply throughout the transition year.
- At the conclusion of the transition year there will be a review of the implementation with an opportunity to refine the methodology to introduce improvements and address any identified concerns.
3. What is the role of the Commission under the new model?
- The Commission is the body responsible for granting, extending, suspending and revoking self-insurance licences under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act).
- Under the new model, the Commission continues to set licence conditions, and monitor licensee performance against endorsed performance standards and measures, and licence conditions.
- The Commission continues to be the decision maker on the regulatory response to be taken based on licensees’ performance against the standards, measures and licence conditions.
4. How is licensee performance monitored?
- Comcare continues to assess licensee performance against the conditions of licence and the endorsed licensee performance standards and measures on behalf of the Commission.
- Assessments are based on a range of information, including data and information provided by licensees, as set out in the Licence Compliance and Performance Model.
- Performance results will be reported to the Commission at its quarterly meetings or otherwise as required.
5. How is licence performance managed?
- Where Comcare identifies a performance issue, the Account Manager will liaise with the licensee to verify the result and ask the licensee to resolve the issue in a timely manner.
- If the performance result cannot be resolved or performance issues are detected for two relevant consecutive periods, Comcare will report the situation to the Commission and recommend a proportionate regulatory response.
- Note: In exceptional circumstances, the severity of the performance issue may warrant an immediate response from the Commission which will not permit the licensee the opportunity to resolve the issue without Commission involvement.
- Information on the performance assessment methodology and regulatory responses of the Commission can be found in the Licence Compliance and Performance Model.
- Licensees will be given the opportunity to respond or provide further information to the Commission as part of Comcare’s reporting.
6. What is a Targeted Review?
- Targeted reviews will be short, sharp reviews that are focused on the area of concern. Depending on the issue, they may make use of the relevant parts of the audit tools or may require additional information or evidence.
- The nature, scope and timing of each Targeted Review will depend on the specific performance issue(s) identified and the perceived level of associated risk.
7. When will a Targeted Review occur?
- A Targeted Review will be performed at years two and six of an eight year licence, if required. The Commission can also direct a Targeted Review as a regulatory response at any time as a result of performance issues.
8. Do licensees still need to do yearly audits?
- The condition of licence requiring yearly performance audits of claims management, rehabilitation and Work Health and Safety systems has been removed (other than for developing licensees).
- Licence conditions state that a licensee must maintain its Claims Management, Rehabilitation and WHS management systems. It is expected that licensees will continue their efforts to periodically audit or review their systems, and share this information with the Commission in annual reporting or other efforts. If performance or other information indicates systems are not being maintained then the Commission could request more information, review or even an audit.
- How licensees demonstrate the maintenance of their systems is a question for each individual licensee. Some may choose to continue undertaking internal audits, others may choose a combination of some audit elements and other information. The Commission and Comcare will work with licensees to provide further guidance on this area over the next few months.
- Comcare is working on the interaction between the Guidelines for Rehabilitation Authorities 2012 (which sets out requirements for all rehabilitation authorities, including licensees) and the revised Commission regulatory model. A clear position on what is required to satisfy both the guidelines and the model will be provided shortly.
9. Are audits stopping?
- As noted above, the condition of licence requiring yearly performance audits of claims management, rehabilitation and Work Health and Safety systems has been removed (other than for developing licensees). It is, however, likely that many ‘established’ licensees will continue with the use of their own internal audits to assess their management systems and confirm compliance with condition of licence requiring ongoing maintenance.
- The Commission retains the power to direct a licensee to complete an audit, conducted by either Comcare or an external provider (professional audit firm) should it deem it necessary due to identified licence compliance or performance issues.
10. What is the reporting cycle for licensees under the new model?
- The Licence Compliance and Performance Model outlines general reporting requirements and timeframes for demonstrating compliance with the conditions of licence.
- Items that require annual certification by licensees will be reported on as part of each licensee’s annual Licensee Compliance and Performance Improvement (LCPI) Report
- Historically, LCPI Reports, previously known as LIP Reports, have been provided by 31 March each year. However, the Commission or licensees may request a different annual reporting cycle, noting that it is at the discretion of the Commission to endorse the request.
11. What level of Comcare support will be provided to licensees under the new model?
- Comcare will continue to provide support to licensees through the assigned Account Manager. This will include regular contact with licensees to understand the drivers and context behind performance outcomes.
- All licensees will continue to receive monthly performance information reports.