Exercise physiology services policy

Guidelines for providing exercise physiology services to injured workers.

Date last updated

Wednesday 22 Jan 2020

Industries and topics
  • Allied health

Who can provide exercise physiology services? 

The WorkSafe Agent (the Agent) can only pay for exercise physiology services provided by healthcare professionals who are: 

  • registered by WorkSafe to provide exercise physiology services 
  • eligible for accredited membership of Exercise and Sports Science Australia 
  • able to provide evidence of current professional indemnity insurance. Further information on WorkSafe's required level of professional indemnity insurance can be found on WorkSafe's Application for Registration to Provide Services to Workers. 
  • WorkSafe expectations for the delivery of exercise physiology services 
  • WorkSafe expects that all exercise physiologists providing services to workers as part of the Victorian Workers' Compensation Scheme integrate the principles of the Clinical Framework for the Delivery of Health Services to Injured Workers (Clinical Framework) into their daily practice. 

The Clinical Framework is based on the following principles: 

  1. Measurable treatment effectiveness must be demonstrated. 
  2. A biopsychosocial approach is essential for the management of pain. 
  3. Treatment must focus on empowering the worker to manager their injury. 
  4. Treatment goals must be functional and focused on return to work. 
  5. Treatment must be based on the best evidence available. 

Referral requirements 

  • A medical practitioner must provide a request for exercise physiology services prior to commencement of treatment: 
    • WorkSafe considers exercise physiology to be a referred service. A request from a medical practitioner must therefore be provided. 
    • Referred services include all approved health services with the exception of medical, chiropractic, physiotherapy, osteopathic, optometry, dental and podiatry services. 
  • No referral to other health services: 
    • WorkSafe does not allow exercise physiologists to provide referrals to other health services. 

How much can the Agent pay? 

The Agent can pay the reasonable costs of exercise physiology services up to the maximum amount as detailed in WorkSafe's Exercise Physiology Services Fee Schedule. 

What the Agent can pay for 

  • The Agent can pay the reasonable costs of exercise physiology services that meet all of the following criteria: 
  • Treatment is for a work-related injury or illness 
  • The provider is currently registered as an exercise physiologist with WorkSafe 
  • A medical practitioner has provided a request for treatment 
  • The service is in line with the principles of the Clinical Framework. 

What the Agent will not pay for 

  • Non-attendance/cancellation: 
    • The Agent will not pay for appointments where the workers cancels or does not attend. 
  • Telephone conversations: 
    • The Agent will not pay for telephone consultations or conversations, either to the worker or other related parties (such as the employer, WorkSafe or other healthcare professionals). 
  • More than one consultation on the same day: 
    • The Agent will not pay for more than one exercise physiology consultation provided on the same day to the same worker. 
  • Provision of more than one allied health service on the same day: 
    • Where an exercise physiologist is registered with WorkSafe for more than one allied health service (for example, exercise physiology and remedial massage), the Agent will not pay for the provision of more than one service type to the worker on the same day.

Gym and Swimming Programs 

In some circumstances, the Agent can pay the reasonable costs of a gym and/or swimming program for the rehabilitation of a work-related injury or illness. 

Refer to WorkSafe's Gym and Swimming Programs Policy for further information.

Note: This policy is a guideline issued by WorkSafe Victoria under Victorian workers compensation legislation in respect of the reasonable costs of services, and services for which approval should be sought from the WorkSafe Agent or self-insurer (as the case may be) before the services are provided.

Important information