General Advice – July 2019


Is Your Expert Qualified?

I have written previously on the topic of experts straying beyond their field of expertise. There is the Neurosurgeon who is sometimes found to comment upon shoulder injuries. Occupational Physicians stray into the orthopaedic surgical arena.


This time, I am referring to a different paradigm. Every expert requires some form of certification or qualification according to legislation. For example, WorkCover expert reporters, providing independent medical opinions, must be certified and registered with WorkCover. Transport Accident Commissions also exist in the southern states and again, the experts must be registered.

Registration usually requires some form of validation of competence. It usually includes course work and examinations.

The American Medical Association publishes the “Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment”. We are up to the sixth edition. Some jurisdictions insist upon AMA 4, AMA 5 or AMA 6. It is imperative that your expert has been both trained in the relevant module and has certification that the training has been completed.


Without this type of insurance, your expert’s report might be rejected. The answer? Ensure that your expert is appropriate for the jurisdiction in which you are working.