Q. Why should I seek the WWCP designation?
A. The WWCP is the state and region's premier professional designation for individuals involved in the workers' compensation industry in claims, safety, risk management, vocational rehabilitation, law, medicine, and more. Attainment of the WWCP showcases mastery and competence of all aspects of the system in Washington, adherence to high ethical standards and the WWCP code of conduct, and is outstanding for professional development. Furthermore, with recent changes in the legal requirements regarding state claims handler certification, comprehensive goal-oriented curricula like the WWCP will be required in the future in order to sit for the state examination.
Q. What are the new legal requirements regarding state claims handler certification?
A. Effective July 1, 2019, changes to WAC 296-15-350 and 360 went into effect governing state certified claims handlers. Starting July 1, 2020, all persons handling Washington claims (as described in the rule) outside the state of Washington must obtain state certification. Starting July 1, 2021, all individuals seeking certification must, in addition to two or more years' experience in time loss claims management, complete a "comprehensive goal-oriented curriculum approved by the Department and resulting in a workers' compensation professional designation" prior to sitting for the state's certified claims handler exam.
Q. What is a comprehensive goal-oriented curriculum resulting in a workers' compensation professional designation?
A. As defined by rule, a comprehensive, goal-oriented curriculum resulting in a workers' compensation professional designation must contain the following in order to be approved by the Department: training in all phases of basic, intermediate, and advanced issues related to claim validity, medical benefit management, compensation management, and work disability prevention and resulting in at least 72 credit hours of instruction.
Q. Is the new WWCP curriculum a comprehensive goal-oriented curriculum?
A. Yes. WSIA and our Industrial Insurance University have designed the new WWCP curriculum to cover all required levels of instruction and topics required by the Department and, upon successful demonstration of mastery in a final examination, results in conferral of the Washington Workers' Compensation Professional designation.
Q. Is the new WWCP curriculum approved by the Department?
A. WSIA is in the process of seeking Department approval of the new WWCP curriculum. It is our objective to secure approval by the end of 2019. We are in discussions with the Department to include any training courses in the new curriculum that have occurred prior to approval, with any necessary updates, in any official approval of the curriculum.
Q. Do I need to take all WWCP classes in one year?
A. We have designed the WWCP so that a participant may complete the entire curriculum in sequence in a given 12-month period. However, there is no requirement that the curriculum be completed in one year. WSIA will track course attendance and credits for individuals seeking the WWCP designation.
Q. Will WWCP classes be available online?
A. All WWCP classes will be presented in-person at WSIA's offices in Olympia and broadcast live online to remote participants. Furthermore, all broadcasts will be recorded for later on-demand use in the event the Department approves the use of recorded trainings to fulfill the requirements of the curriculum.
Q. How much will the entire WWCP curriculum cost?
A. Although courses will be registered for individually, For members of WSIA, investment in all eight courses and eleven days of instruction will be $2400 in 2019-2020.
Q. Are WWCP classes available a la carte for continuing education?
A. Absolutely. Several of the new WWCP curriculum classes are reformatted versions of longstanding WSIA continuing education training courses, such as Intro to Claims, Complex Claims, Wage Calculation Workshop, and so forth. These individual courses can be taken in pursuit of the WWCP, or by any individual seeking up-to-date training on the issues covered.
Q. I already hold the WWCP. Is it still valid?
A. Absolutely. All current WWCP designees who maintain their designation through continuing education will continue to have the region's premier designation for the workers' compensation industry. However, only WWCP holders who have obtained the designation as part of a Department-approved 72-hour curriculum may sit for the for the state certification exam as of July 1, 2021.