Practice Domains

Role & Function Study Identifies Areas of Practice

The Commission conducts the Role & Function study every 5 years to determine the scope of practice and current knowledge and skills required of disability managers. The last study was conducted in 2014 and confirmed these four domains or practice areas, all of which are learning modules in the Core Knowledge Curriculum.

I. Domain for Disability and Work Interruption Case Management

This domain is the starting point for building a strong foundation of knowledge from which to work.

It focuses on the knowledge of and skills in gathering relevant case information; synthesizing information; interpreting case-specific local, state, and federal regulations; and developing a case management plan. This domain covers information related to:

  • developing appropriate and optimum interventions using best practices
  • promoting quality care, recovery, and cost-effective interventions
  • communicating and implementing effectively in compliance with practice standards and regulations
  • promoting collaboration among stakeholders for successful employment return-to-work outcomes and accommodations
  • facilitating informed decision making by employees about their benefits
  • developing solutions that address employee health and work/life issues in a holistic manner.

II. Domain for Workplace Intervention for Disability Prevention

This domain serves to establish the value of workplace intervention for employers and employees alike. It focuses on conducting organizational assessments, evaluating policies and procedures, presenting the business rationale for disability management programs, managing human resources, applying labor relation laws, and managing resources. This domain covers information related to:

  • integrating prevention as an essential component of organizational culture
  • promoting employee-specific health and wellness interventions to increase organizational health and productivity
  • developing transitional work programs for optimal productivity and employee retention
  • facilitating optimal functioning through worksite modification, job accommodation, or task reassignment
  • recommending strategies to address ergonomic, safety, and risk factors
  • evaluating alignment and effectiveness of integrated benefits plan designs

III. Domain for Program Development, Management, and Evaluation

This domain reflects the steep curve of expertise and experience needed in order to achieve established program goals that specifically meet your organization's needs. It includes organizing and planning disability management programs, applying qualitative and quantitative measurements, interpreting financial/risk data, designing programs with rewards and incentives, and tracking cost, operational, and outcomes data. This domain covers information related to:

  • assessing organizational needs and evaluating best practices in order to direct program design
  • collaborating and communicating effectively with a team of champions for desired outcomes
  • applying principles and analysis tools to develop financial plans viable over the long term
  • identifying costs, trends, and productivity loss in order to manage operational and financial performance
  • developing and leading staff to sustainable levels of effectiveness
  • using statistical analytics and information systems to integrate data and interpret results for strategic decision making and program improvement
  • using defined performance standards to procure and maximize the quality of provided services

IV. Domain for Employment Leaves and Benefits Administration

Identified in the 2009 Role & Function Study, the newest domain for disability management shows that the demand for expertise in workforce disability continues to expand. This domain focuses on managing health-related employment leaves, as well as identifying risks associated with interruptions and leaves. This is an invaluable source for disability managers and professionals who are engaged in tasks related to employment leaves and benefits administration. This domain contains information related to:

  • maintaining legal and regulatory compliance in accordance with local, state, and federal requirements for health-related leaves
  • identifying risks associated with health-related work interruptions and employment leaves
  • effectively communicating and explaining essential elements of benefits and employment policies to workers to mitigate adverse impact and facilitate informed decision making.