Stakeholder Engagement Framework
The Personal Injury Commission works closely with its users and other stakeholders to enable it to resolve disputes between people injured in workplaces and motor accidents in NSW, insurers and employers.
The Commission values and proactively fosters open and effective relationships and communication with its stakeholders on an ongoing basis to meet the objects of Personal Injury Commission Act 2020 (the Act).
Related objects include that the Commission is accessible, professional and responsive to the needs of all its users; is open and transparent about its processes; promotes public confidence in its decision-making; publicises and disseminates information concerning its processes; and establishes effective liaison and communication with interested parties concerning its processes and its role.
The Commission provides substantial engagement, education and support for its key stakeholders through a variety of channels.
Publications and website
The Personal Injury Commission News is the Commission’s key public engagement tool. The newsletter is issued to stakeholders via subscription on an as-needs basis, but no less than monthly, and is published on the Commission’s website. It provides stakeholders with information and updates about the Commission’s operations and changes that impact the dispute resolution process.
The Commission’s website at www.pi.nsw.gov.au is another of the Commission’s key public engagement channels and provides information about how to access Commission services, news updates and practice and procedure information relating to the Commission’s work.
The website hosts a number of other regular newsletters which include:
- Legal Bulletin: this weekly bulletin lists all recent decisions by the Commission, including headnotes, and is issued to subscribers and published on the website.
- Appeal Case Summaries: a monthly overview of the most recent Presidential and Court of Appeal decisions which is published on the website.
Additionally, the Commission prepares an Annual Review which reports on the Commission’s operations for the period from 1 July to 30 June each year. It is provided to the relevant Minister and State Insurance Regulatory Authority, and published on the Commission’s website after it is tabled in Parliament.
The Commission facilitates two reference groups that meet quarterly: the Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG) which is chaired by the Personal Injury Commission President, and the Compulsory Third Party (CTP) Insurer Reference Group which is chaired by the Motor Accidents Division Head, Additionally, a Self-Insurer Reference Group will be established in 2024, to be chaired by the Workers Compensation Division Head.
Stakeholder Reference Group
The SRG comprises senior Commission staff and representatives from several key stakeholder groups who participate on behalf of their cohorts. Represented groups include:
- The NSW Bar Association
- The Law Society of NSW
- Australian Lawyers Alliance
- Insurance Council of Australia
- icare NSW
- Unions NSW
- State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) Motor Accidents Insurance Regulation
- State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) Workers & Home Building Compensation Regulation
CTP Insurer Reference Group
The CTP Insurer Reference Group comprises senior Commission staff and representatives from several CTP Insurers and their legal representatives who participate on behalf of their cohorts. Represented groups include:
- CTP motor accident insurance companies
- legal representatives of CTP motor accident insurance companies
- Insurance Council of Australia
- Transport Accident Commission (TAC)
Self-insurer Reference Group
The Self-insurer Reference Group will comprise senior Commission staff and representatives from several workers compensation self-insurers and their legal representatives to be determined.
Terms of Reference
Each of the reference groups have a Terms of Reference which outline the purpose and conditions of membership.
Under the Terms of Reference, the reference groups enable the Commission to:
- inform representatives of changes in the Commission’s rules and procedures
- provide updates on Commission operations
- gather feedback on key issues
- consult on Personal Injury Commission matters as required.
The group also allows stakeholder representatives to:
- seek clarification and ask questions about Commission operations
- provide feedback on related issues.
The reference groups are not forums to discuss individual cases which are currently before the Commission.
Conditions of membership for the reference groups include that the membership is to be reviewed periodically (every two to three years) or as otherwise determined by the Commission.
Nominations for membership are to be sought by the President from each of the Commission’s key stakeholder groups. Members can also be nominated by the Commission.
Membership is for the term of two to three years, ahead of the Commission’s periodic review. Members can serve more than one term at the discretion of the President.
Members or their delegate undertake to attend at least three meetings per year.
Other external engagement
The Commission regularly consults and engages with stakeholders outside of its reference groups, including targeted communications about the Commission and its rules and procedures, engagement about proposed changes to operations and legal instruments, education and training, and representation of the Commission at key events within the community. The Commission is responsive to any concerns raised.
The President hosts regular external meetings and engagements with:
- Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) as required
- icare quarterly
- NSW Self-Insurers Association on invitation
- Unions NSW as required.
The Commission also engages with the following medical profession representatives:
- Australian Medical Association
- The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP)
- The Royal Australian College of Physicians (RACP)
- The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS)
Engaging with the legal profession
As representatives of the parties to disputes, legal professionals play a major role in the dispute resolution process and the Commission recognises the importance of a collegiate relationship. Legal professionals also need a good understanding of how the Commission works and what is required of them to ensure the smooth progression of disputes through the resolution process.
The President, Division Heads and other senior Commission representatives facilitate engagement opportunities which complement the profession’s representation on the Stakeholder Reference Group, including:
- regular consultation by the President with the NSW Bar Association and the Law Society of NSW regarding Commission operations and proposed changes to legal instruments
- roadshows by the Commission’s Division Heads with legal firms to educate them about changes in Commission rules and procedures and to encourage two-way communication
- regular participation in legal profession conferences, forums and other educational events
- regular engagement by the President with the NSW Chapter of the Council of Australasian Tribunals (the President is an Executive Member of the National branch)
- speeches delivered by the President and others at legal events
- contribution of articles to legal industry publications.
Engaging with the NSW Government and agencies
The Commission regularly engages with representatives of the NSW Government and its departments and agencies to update them about the Commission’s operations and consult with them on cross-agency matters. These include:
- Office of the NSW Attorney General
- Office of the Minister for Better Regulation and Fair Trading
- NSW Department of Communities and Justice
- District Court of NSW
- NSW Department of Customer Service
- State Insurance Regulatory Authority
- Independent Review Office.