This edition was issued on 9 June 2023
In this edition, I am urging all motor accidents tribunal users to please make their final preparations for the Pathway launch on Monday, 19 June. This has been a major project and I would like to thank everyone for engaging in the switchover to the new platform. There is also a guide to the Procedural Directions that support Pathway and a summary of the adjustments to COVID-19 safety settings for in-person events.
I will be in touch with another edition of the Personal Injury Commission News soon.
Reminder: New single digital platform will launch for Motor Accidents users from 19 June 2023
The Commission’s new single digital dispute resolution platform called ‘Pathway’ is scheduled to launch for Motor Accidents staff, decision makers and users in the week commencing 19 June 2023.
Commission staff will commence using the platform on Monday, 19 June 2023.
Parties and decision makers will commence using the platform on Tuesday, 20 June 2023.
User guides and eLearning now available
The Commission is providing comprehensive communication, education, training and associated reference materials for those who will use the Pathway platform.
User guides and eLearning modules are now available on the Commission website, along with further details about the implementation and what users need to do.
If you work on Motor Accidents matters, we strongly encourage you to complete the eLearning relevant to your role ahead of launch and familiarise yourself with the other details provided.
Reminder: Draft applications and replies will not be migrated – please act before 5pm Thursday, 15 June 2023.
Please note that draft applications and replies in the current Motor Accidents portals will not be migrated to the Pathway Portal. Parties should finalise and submit these by 5pm on Thursday, 15 June.
For drafts that are not ready to be filed, please take a copy of the details and keep an offline record so you can submit them via the Pathway Portal when it launches.
Reminder: Outage – 5pm Thursday, 15 June 2023 to start of business Tuesday, 20 June 2023
The current Nexus system and the Motor Accidents Claimant, Insurer, Legal and Decision Maker portals will cease operation at 5pm on Thursday, 15 June 2023 to enable the data to be migrated to the Pathway Portal.
Parties will not be able to lodge applications, replies or messages online during the outage.
The Commission strongly encourages parties to file anything time sensitive by 5pm Thursday, 15 June and to withhold filing until the new Pathway Portal goes live at 9am Tuesday, 20 June.
Parties can use the new Pathway Portal from 9am Tuesday, 20 June to file all applications, replies and other documents.
Reminder: Filing time-sensitive applications and replies during the outage
For any urgent applications or documents that need to be filed within the period Friday, 16 June to Monday, 19 June 2023 (the cutover period), Rule 23(3)(a) will be used as the mechanism to allow filing via email via email@example.com
Any applications or documents lodged during this time via help@pi will be taken to be filed at the time the email is received at the Commission.
Documents filed via email will need to be in the correct form with forms available on our website.
Insurers and legal representatives will need to register to use the Pathway Portal the first time they access it.
Users of the current Insurer and Legal Portal who need access to the new Pathway Portal will need to register to use it the first time they visit the Portal (on or after Tuesday, 20 June 2023). Registration can be performed via the Pathway Portal link that will be available on the Commission website.
What you can do to make this new platform work as intended
It is the duty of everybody who will be using Pathway to rapidly become competent in its use. Please engage with the education and training being provided. The smoothness of the transition and ultimate success of Pathway will rely on everyone taking the necessary steps to prepare themselves.
IMPORTANT – Amendments to Procedural Directions to support Pathway
Please note that Procedural Directions MA2, MA3, MA6, MA7 and PIC6 will be amended to support the launch of the Commission’s new digital platform, Pathway.
The Commission previously announced that it would be implementing a policy requiring the filing of indexed paginated bundles for all applications and replies. The Procedural Directions will be updated in line with this policy and the upcoming launch of Pathway.
The amendments provide the requirement to file indexed and paginated documents in all Motor Accident disputes. This will ensure that what is being uploaded in Pathway is not a number of separate documents which has been the practice in Nexus.
The amendments are as follows:
The insertion of a paragraph requiring that all relevant supporting documentation attached to an application or reply must be indexed and paginated in each of the following Procedural Directions
- MA2 – Merit Review, Commencement and reply;
- MA3 – Approval of damages settlement, Making an application for approval of damages settlement;
- MA6 – Review of a single merit review by a review panel, Commencement and reply;
- MA7 – Claims disputes, Application for claims assessment and miscellaneous claims assessments;
- PIC6 – Medical Assessments, Application for medical assessment.
The amendments will take effect from Monday, 19 June 2023.
Upcoming Adjustments to COVID-19 safety settings for Dispute Resolution events and in-person Medical Assessments
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Personal Injury Commission has taken a proactive approach to ensuring the safety of all its people, tribunal users and the injured claimants and workers it serves. The Commission’s risk assessments and associated safety controls for its office environment, in-person dispute resolution events and in-person medical assessments have been some of the most robust in NSW.
In recent months, however, the way in which pandemic-related risks are managed in the community and by Governments has changed, with mandates for vaccination, mask wearing, testing and isolation largely removed. These changes have occurred both in the broader NSW community and across organisations, including courts and tribunals.
Accordingly, the Commission is adjusting its safety settings for dispute resolution events and in-person medical assessments. From Tuesday, 13 June 2023, the following settings will apply:
COVID-19 Safety Requirements for in-person Dispute Resolution events
- An individual cannot participate in an in-person Commission event if they have cold or flu-like symptoms. Individuals are strongly encouraged not to attend an in-person Commission event if they or a member of their household is currently COVID-positive. The Commission can facilitate a participant’s virtual attendance at an event if required.
- Anyone who attends an in-person event must continue to comply with the Commission’s hygiene protocols.
- Parties must submit a witness schedule no less than 5 business days before the scheduled in-person hearing date.
- Summonses to Attend must specify the date of any attendance, the venue option being used and adequate details about how the relevant person will access the venue (e.g., via audio-visual link, audio, in-person etc.).
The Commission has dispensed with the requirement for masks in line with community, court and tribunal practice.
COVID-19 Safety requirements for Medical Assessments
The Commission will continue to maintain the following safety requirements for all in-person medical assessments undertaken on behalf of the Commission:
- Participants must wear face masks in the Commission’s Medical Suites and at in-person medical assessments undertaken at alternate venues as this is widely regarded as the most effective means of reducing the spread of respiratory diseases in the event of an infected Medical Assessor and/or participant being in close proximity while infectious in an assessment.
- Participants must answer health screening questions prior to an in-person medical assessment as this has also proven in practice to be an effective control at reducing the spread of disease in the community.
- Participants must not attend a scheduled medical assessment if they have cold or flu-like symptoms. Individuals are strongly encouraged not to attend an in-person medical assessment if they or a member of their household is currently COVID-positive.
- Participants must maintain appropriate physical distancing and personal hygiene when attending an in-person medical assessment.
The Commission has now dispensed with the following requirements that currently exist for all in-person medical assessments undertaken on behalf of the Commission:
- Participants are no longer required to conduct a Rapid Antigen Test and provide evidence of a negative result on site before attending an in-person medical assessment.
- Participants are no longer required to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination status (2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccination).
The Commission does, however, strongly recommend that everyone keep their COVID-19 vaccinations fully up to date and obtain their latest booster if they haven’t already, given that COVID-19 is still circulating and now that we are leading into the colder months. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are free for everyone in Australia.
Procedural Direction PIC10 – Personal Injury Commission Hearings and Procedural Direction PIC11 – Medical Assessments Procedure – COVID-19 will be updated to reflect these changes and come into effect from Tuesday 13 June 2022.
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