If you are a veteran or are in the process of leaving the military, then you may want to check out the Disability Management Practitioner program offered by Pacific Coast University. To promote veterans getting back to work, the program has opened up 25 positions free to veterans and soon to be veterans this year. Any interested veterans have until the end of August to fill the remaining seats. The funding to continue this initiative next year, with another 25 fully funded seats for veterans, has been requested.
The program qualifies you to become a Certified Disability Management Professional, a role which, according to the National Institute of Disability Management, performs executive functions such as administration of disability management services, development of associated policies and procedures, promotion of return-to-work concepts through education and training, consulting to joint labour-management committees, program evaluation, and more.
The program was developed using the Government of Canada guidelines for occupational standards and professional certification examination standards, so it sets the bar for domain competencies. But education is only the first step in the certification. After completing the program, “then you’d need to have two years of practical experience, and then you can write the professional certification exam,” said Joyce Gravelle, the Vice President of Administration at Pacific Coast University.
The one year course “consists of 25 module topic areas, which cover the competency domain areas for those working in the field of disability management and return to work as identified in the occupational standards,” said Gravelle. Students need to be able to devote 10-12 hours a week to school work, and that work involves written assignments, online discussion boards, case studies, and scenarios. The program is delivered online through Moodle, a proven distance education platform. Veterans who choose to do this program must commit to completing the one year program.
The disability management practitioner program is now also offered at the university as well as online. With an annual enrolment of about 1200, it draws a diverse student body. “Because it’s very specialized and it is one of a kind, we have students from Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Africa, South Africa, Libya, and so on,” said Gravelle
Gravelle says there are plenty of opportunities for work, “There is a career, there’s huge opportunity at the moment because so many jurisdictions across Canada have legislation with regard to disability management return to work.”
Now with a newly passed federal bill, there is even more focus on retention and return to work, continues Gravelle, “There’s more and more focus on getting people back to work.”
To be eligible to take the program, prospective students need to have the equivalent of secondary (high) school, proficient in grammar, adequate reading and writing skills, as well as basic computer skills.
For more information about the roles and responsibilities of a Disability Management Professional, check out their website here.
For more information on the Occupational Standards in Disability Management for those working in the field, you can check out this website.
For more information on the program, check out this website.
As for Veterans Affairs information, check out the VAC website.