What is WorkCompCollege?
WorkCompCollege.com is a service of Workers’ Compensation Educational Services, LLC. This endeavor does not in any way represent itself as a certified college or university, and it does not offer “degrees.” WorkCompCollege.com will, however, provide a valuable training platform and certification in a virtual environment to improve outcomes for those injured in an occupational setting as well as the organizations that employ them. We chose the “college” theme to reflect a higher level of learning and have designed many of our processes to reflect and honor those elevated aspirations. The many professionals contributing to this community-driven effort are dedicated to improving the entire workers’ compensation industry and meet its noble purpose: To assist people in need with a “Whole Person Recovery” mindset to restore broken and shattered lives.
Who is WorkCompCollege?
We are a community of people that aspire for the workers’ compensation industry to achieve the potential as set forth by the original Grand Bargain. We are comprised of people in the industry with a broad base of service time and experience, as well as those from outside the industry, with an interest in its improved performance. We have purposefully democratized content and those that provide it by making it accessible to all in a convenient virtual format and recruiting leadership outside of the “standard Rolodex.” This is an effort by the community for the community. It started with the three founders, who created a Board of Trustees, who helped recruit the School Deans, who as a group constructed a Faculty (page coming soon). WorkCompCollege.com has continued to expand its horizon and scope with a growing list of strategic and supporting partners. The result will be a community of work comp professionals, educators, and students who want to grow in their professional and personal lives, and by doing so leave our industry better than we found it.
Why was WorkCompCollege Created?
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention and that is certainly the case with WorkCompCollege.com. For over a decade, there has been growing recognition of the need for change in the way that occupational injuries and illnesses are managed. Cocooned in a highly regulatory environment and driven by economic pressures, the workers’ compensation system has evolved into one that is process-driven, where the humanity of the people we serve is often not given its just due. This current process often leads to expensive litigation, unnecessary delays, and reduced quality of outcome. These situations can become needlessly expensive and often produce inferior results.
For the past decade or so, voices have been rising to call for an improved way to manage claims and improve outcomes for these injured workers. Different names have been used to define this idea – Workers’ Recovery, Advocacy Based Claims Management, Bio-Psychosocial Adoption, Whole Person Care – but all center around the same critical realization. Treating the “entire person,” understanding the psychology and thought process of the injured worker, and employing clear, concise, and consistent communication methods will improve clinical outcomes while reducing friction and cost. Simply put, restoring humanity to the process is a win-win for all involved.
Yet today, despite the growing acceptance of this movement, no formal training system has existed that embraces whole-person recovery management. WorkCompCollege.com is a community-driven effort designed to remedy that and will help continue the trend toward lower costs and improved results through education, information exchange, and mentorship.
What is Our Mission?
The mission is to empower all workers’ compensation professionals to elevate the standard of practice with a whole-person recovery management approach to optimize outcomes for each stakeholder. It is our belief that this mission will:
- Create an industry-wide “Whole Person Recovery Management” mindset
- Educate and empower the next generation needed for long-term viability
- Focus on the “how” (technical proficiency) as well as the “why” (goals & rationale)
- Add-on to the standard onboarding training that will create more effective new hires
- Provide a Work Comp 360° view personal development model so all involved in the work comp system see beyond their desk
Who Should Attend?
Who could benefit from a Workers’ Recovery Professional (WRP) Certification? The answer is anyone involved in touching the world of an injured worker. That would include experienced professionals as well as those new to the industry. This program and certification will benefit those in claims, legal, risk management, nurse case management, regulatory and government agencies, service providers, brokers/agents and more.
One of the original motivations behind this effort was to address the tremendous staffing shortfall faced by the workers’ compensation industry. We have been facing a “gray tsunami” for years, but events surrounding the recent pandemic, including the so-called “great resignation,” have exacerbated this situation. Younger generations are looking for a different quality of work than their predecessors and want to have a real impact in the world. When it comes to work comp, properly applying the parameters of the Grand Bargain is a truly noble way to meet that desire. Creating an educational system that enables better outcomes through improved communication and reduced friction is the ideal way to attract quality people and reach those goals.
It was also not lost on us that a truly holistic, “whole person” approach would be a beneficial change for the work comp industry overall. To that end, professionals with years of experience could benefit from updated strategies that are intended to get better results than those currently in use.
WorkCompCollege.com is built around better understanding the world in which we work and learning to see those we assist in a more comprehensive light. Therefore, anyone who, in the course of their duties, is involved with an injured worker or their employer will benefit from the expanded viewpoints provided in this community-driven effort.
What is a “WRP”?
The Workers’ Recovery Professional (WRP) certification is a way to elevate the professionalism of the workers’ compensation industry through improved communication and additional education. We strongly believe that every stakeholder – claims team, risk management, clinicians, attorneys, service providers, governmental agencies, brokers/agents – will create consistently better outcomes by understanding the entire system or what we call a Work Comp 360° view. Many existing professionals understand what they need to do but may not fully comprehend how their contributions fit in the larger picture of a recovering worker’s experience. In other words, they understand the What (they need to do) and How (they need to do it) but may not necessarily understand the Why (their role in the big picture). Beyond knowing the intricacies of this complex ecosystem, we also believe it’s imperative for consistently better outcomes to instill a workers’ recovery mindset (also known as claims advocacy, patient-centric, biopsychosocial) approach in every interaction. Our carefully curated curriculum is meant to present best practices that are applicable in any specific state/situation. We believe the WRP, with a Work Comp 360° view infused with a workers’ recovery mindset, will revolutionize how our industry collaborates to ensure the two most important stakeholders – the injured employee and employer – receive the most effective service possible.
What is required to procure a “WRP”?
Complete all required coursework and pass a comprehension test for all Core courses across all Schools of Discipline, as well as successfully complete the Final Examination.
What Curriculum is Included?
Our curriculum has become so extensive that it was too much to list here. It has earned its own page – you may view both established courses and those currently in development here.
What is Included in a Course?
Each course will include a description, learning objectives, a pre-recorded video (with closed captioning available) by the instructing Faculty member, a transcript of the presentation, a bibliography of supporting materials, a Course Forum for student-student / student-faculty correspondence, and a Feedback option to provide us your thoughts on the efficacy of the course. Also included is a full biography and headshot for the instructor, and optionally their personal contact information. After the video, transcription and bibliography have been consumed, a course comprehension test will be required to complete the course and move onto the next course. Individual course tests must receive a score of 70% or greater to be considered passing. Students will be guided through the courses in a specified round-robin sequence within all of the Schools of discipline to ensure we deliver the well-rounded education promised.
Want to see what a course will look like inside our virtual campus? Check out our 7-minute Course Video Tour.
What Happens if the Course Test is Failed?
We will have an online Appeal Process for grades of less than 70% on the required course comprehension tests. Each student is limited to three appeals in total during the entire WRP program so these should be used judiciously. An online form will be used to submit the course appeal to the Provost for consideration. If the appeal is granted, your ability to retake the test will be restored and your new test score will overwrite the original score. All of the tools necessary for a successful outcome are provided on our platform – it is up to the student to utilize them properly.
What Does the WRP Cost?
The cost per student to secure a WRP certification is $995, a one-time fee. There are volume discounts, government and not-for-profit discounts, and scholarships available. There are further discounts for organizations that want to join our Promotional Associates program.
We also have the following scholarships available, overseen by a Scholarship Committee:
- Named scholarships by generous organizations / individuals
- Athletic scholarships for current work comp professionals that participated in collegiate or professional sports
- Any individual who received a Kids’ Chance scholarship and wishes to pursue a career in workers’ compensation is entitled to a full WRP scholarship
Scholarship application pages will be available shortly.
How Long Does it Take to Complete?
This is a self-directed program to be completed at your own pace. You will need to complete approximately 55 hours of training to gain a WRP certification so the duration will be up to each individual student.
What Happens After the WRP?
Once all WRP core courses have been completed and the student has compiled an aggregate score of at least 80%, each student will take a Final Examination to confirm comprehension of the learning objectives of the WRP generalist program. This Final Exam will include conceptual and philosophical questions to reinforce the need to apply what was learned to your professional life. If that Final Exam achieves at least an 80% score and you have completed all required core courses, you will be granted the WRP certification!
You will receive a digitally verifiable certificate as well as a framed certificate delivered via standard mail. In addition, you will receive a graphic badge that can be used on social media. We will have quarterly virtual graduation ceremonies where you can “walk” to formally receive your certificate (and invite your family and friends). We are, after all, building a community that will continue to educate and support the WRP family. You should be publicly celebrated for your accomplishment.
Once you have successfully completed the program and are a credentialed WRP, we hope that you will join our Alumni Association. WorkCompCollege.com is building a WRP community where best practices can be shared to help elevate the entire industry. For $19.11 per month, you will have access to the following services:
- Ongoing access to all Electives as they become available (Continuing Education)
- School Library
- School Bookstore
- Center of Educational Excellence (webinars for external organizations that we host)
- WRP Group Projects that enable growth and networking
- Regulator Roundtable (correspond with jurisdictional leadership)
- Dean and Faculty virtual roundtables
- Exclusive content (original articles from the Board of Directors, Board of Trustees, Deans, Faculty, and special guests)
- Student-Faculty Forum
- WRP Connection (Student Union, “the Quad”) where students can collaborate
- Live webinar / live streaming/townhall events
- Live in-person events with discounted / complementary registration
- Local “chapters” for in-person gatherings of the WRP community
How Long is the Certification Valid?
Your WRP certification will need to be renewed every three years. We are providing two options to obtain the recertification:
- If you join the Alumni Association and take a minimum of 24 hours of WRP CE (Elective) courses during the three-year period, you can recertify by completing the appropriate paperwork with no additional fees.
- All WRP CE (Elective) courses and grades taken will be automatically tracked by our platform so there is no documentation required. All WRP CE hours applied toward renewal must be earned and documented by the date of the year you are due to recertify.
- You can complete the designated recertification courses, complete the appropriate paperwork, and pay a $499 fee.
- You MUST take the exam in one of the scheduled exam windows in the year you are due to recertify. Renewal candidates are not allowed to defer taking the exam to a future date since their certification will have expired.
What Additional Training Opportunities will there be?
We will be constantly adding WRP CE (continuing education) courses, or what we call “one to infinity” Elective courses, in each school. As ideas are developed, and our rigorous standards are achieved, additional courses will be added. Access to every Elective course will be a benefit of being a member of our Alumni Association or they can be purchased individually on an ala-carte basis. These courses will evolve as new trends / best practices are noticed, new faculty members are added, and we receive feedback from students on what interests them. While the core courses are foundational to a WRP mindset, we are very excited about the opportunity to have an evergreen product that constantly expands as ideas arrive. This will enable our students to always stay relevant in not only their education but the application of what they’ve learned to their daily job.
WRP state-specific: This is a program to train individuals on the unique details of each specific jurisdiction. As we have come to learn, Work Comp is the same – and different – in each jurisdiction. Knowing those differences is extremely important to maintain compliance. State modules will cover claims, legal and ethics details along with links to forms and helpful resources. For example, there will be a WRP-Montana, WRP-California and WRP-Florida that use the same curriculum framework but whose content is provided exclusively by an in-state expert who documents the nuances in that particular state. A WRP generalist certification will be required before a student can pursue the WRP state-specific program. These modules are currently included in the cost of the Alumni Association. We anticipate starting rollout in early 2023.
The following programs are being considered for development:
WRP Masters: This is a program for students who want a deeper dive into subjects (maybe some of the general subjects or even new subjects) expected in a graduate level course. For example, a mock mediation in our School of Legal will have attorneys role play how that process works. A WRP generalist certification will be required before a student can pursue the WRP Masters program. The timeframe and cost is TBD but we anticipate starting rollout in mid-2023.
WRP Leadership: This is a program for individuals that want to advance their career into leadership positions, for example into supervisory or management roles. A WRP generalist certification will be required before a student can pursue the WRP Leadership program. The timeframe and cost is TBD but we anticipate starting rollout in mid-2023.
WRP discipline-specific: This is a program to provide detailed instruction on a specific discipline, for example risk managers or public entities or legal or case management. A WRP generalist certification will be required before a student can pursue the WRP discipline-specific program. The timeframe and cost is TBD but we anticipate starting rollout in mid-2023.