What is a WorkCover progress certificate?
A WorkCover progress certificate is a certificate that is issued by a conciliator from the Workplace Injury Commission (formally known as the Accident Compensation Conciliation Service).
It is issued in situations where a matter, that has progressed to conciliation, needs to be adjourned for a specific period of time in order for certain things to occur that may assist the matter to resolve.
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When would a progress certificate be issued by a conciliator?
When matters reach conciliation, for a variety of reasons the conciliator may decide that the conciliation should be adjourned for a period of time.
Typical reasons as to why a progress certificate might be issued:
- Further medical or other material is required
- The parties need more time to consider the matter
- A further claim is lodged
- Unavailability of a party
Usually, conciliators will issue a progress certificate in instances where they believe that doing so may assist in resolving the dispute via the conciliation process.
Concilators might also issue progress certificates prior to a conciliation being held.
Sometimes what happens is the parties might discuss the matter prior to a conciliation and come to an agreement that the there wouldn’t be much point in having the conciliation at that point in time and that it might be best if the matter was postponed for a while.
In these instances the concilator might agree to issue a progress certificate adjourning the concilation for a period of time, without commencing the conciliation at the scheduled day and time.
How long a period do progress certificates generally go for?
It depends on why the progress certificate was issued.
If for example a medical report is required from your treating doctor clarifying a particular issue, then a conciliator might issue a progress certificate adjourning the matter for a couple of weeks to a month.
If you have a medical appointment coming up that might be relevant to the dispute the conciliator might issue a progress certificate adjourning the matter until just after the medically appointment has occurred.
What happens after the time period specified in a progress certificate has elapsed?
Usually what happens is if one or both of the parties to the conciliation haven’t already contacted the conciliator in an attempt to progress the matter after the progress certificate was issued, the conciliator will reach out to the parties asking for an update.
If the matter can be progressed at that time then discussions will usually be had over the phone between the parties (or via a scheduled conciliation conference).
If further time is needed then the concilator can issue another progress certificate or can allow the parties more time without issuing another progress certificate.
If it is apparent that the matter cannot be resolved then the conciliator can issue a genuine dispute certificate or refer the matter to the medical panel.
Different from a genuine dispute certificate
A progress certificate is different from a genuine dispute certificate (sometimes referred to as a ‘GD’).
A genuine dispute certificate is a certificate that is issued by a conciliator from the Workplace Injury Commission that confirms that an agreement could not be reached between the parties and therefore the matter remains unresolved.
A genuine dispute certificate allows a worker to progress a matter beyond conciliation.
A progress certificate is a certificate that can be issued by a conciliator from the Workplace Injury Commission.
It has the effect of pausing or adjourning a matter for a specific period of time.
A progress certificate can be issued either prior to a conciliation or during a conciliation.
The most common reason as to why progress certificates might be issued is because further medical or other material is required which may assist in resolving the dispute.