Support to obtain professional designations in disability management/return to work

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The Government of Canada is supporting a number of course for Canadian residents looking to achieve designations in disability management/return to work.

This special initiative, funded by the Government of Canada’s sectoral initiatives program for Canadian residents located outside of British Columbia (which developed its own similar initiative), provides for a limited number of free continuing education courses in disability management and return to work delivered through the Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences.

The goal is to upskill individuals through various training levels depending on their educational background, work experience and responsibilities within their workplace, which will determine the type and number of modules they require. Module topic areas include competency domain areas identified in the occupational standards in disability management, and a range of mental health special and advanced topics.

This continuing education opportunity is designed to:
• build basic disability management/return-to-work program, policy and practice knowledge for managers and supervisors,
• provide foundational knowledge for others whose responsibilities include disability management and return to work, such as human resources, labour relations, or health and safety professionals who are often the first point of contact for individuals who acquire a mental or physical health impairment as 80 per cent of all impairments occur during a person's working life), and
• provide the development of dedicated accommodation expertise.

Research has shown that workplace staff who have the knowledge and skills to implement and administer accommodation policies, practices, and procedures also support employers in developing and implementing successful return-to-work accommodations for current employees who are off with health impairments, and are open to and successful in, hiring persons with disabilities from outside the organization.
This special initiative covers the cost of enrollment for a limited number of first-time applicants on a first come, first served basis in continuing education courses for the duration of this program until June 30, 2024.

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Certificate programs now available:

  • Disability Management Practitioner Program - 25 individual courses on a range of topics covering the competency areas for those working in the field.
  • Mental Health Certificate Program - eight individual courses on a range of mental health issues.
  • Disability Management from a HR Perspective - this NEW program was specifically designed for human resources management practitioners with disability management responsibilities and includes eight individual courses.
  • Special and Advanced Courses -10 individual courses on a range of topics for those involved in returning workers who have incurred injuries and illnesses:

Guidelines and eligibility


Details regarding the development of the occupational standards in disability management, following Government of Canada guidelines, as well as the development of the professional certification examinations following Canadian, North American and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standards, can be found on the National Institute of Disability Management and Research (NIDMAR) website.

Qualifications to write the professional certification examinations include having completed an accepted educational program, one of which is the bachelor of disability management. A range of other education degrees are also accepted, such as occupational health and nursing, occupational and physiotherapy, kinesiology and chiropractic, plus having completed disability management and return-to-work competency related education. 

Additionally, depending on the educational level, there is a requirement for various amounts of relevant work experience.

This Initiative covers the examination fees for first-time applicants, on a first come first served basis, who are fully qualified. 

To apply for a program, visit the “Eligibility qualifications” NIDMAR webpage. Submit a complete application package including all documentation required, which includes completed application form, education summary form including official original transcripts, and signed letter of attestation on employer letterhead.

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Download the application form and fill it out with your information. Once completed send to

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