Rotator cuff injuries: Understanding ACC cover

Estimated Duration: 
1 hour

What to consider when deciding whether your patient’s rotator cuff injury is likely to qualify for ACC cover.


Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) no-fault scheme covers everyone in New Zealand if they’re injured in an accident. 

When your patient is diagnosed with a rotator cuff tear, it’s not always easy to determine whether the injury is caused by an accident. ACC takes into account a number of different factors when assessing ACC cover in these situations.

This short course will help you think about what you need to consider when deciding whether your patient’s rotator cuff injury is likely to qualify for ACC cover.

First, this course describes the concepts fundamental to ACC decisions on injury cover.

Second, the course takes you through the current evidence and consideration factors on rotator cuff tears. This information is taken from a document that was developed in partnership between ACC and the New Zealand Shoulder and Elbow Society and endorsed by the New Zealand Orthopaedic Association.

At the end, you can work though a quiz and gain an insight into the reasoning ACC clinicians apply when making recommendations on whether the rotator cuff tear meets the legislative criteria and should attract ACC cover.

Course objectives:

  • understand key ACC concepts, such as accident, personal injury, cover and, causation
  • apply these concepts to an injury
  • understand what factors ACC considers when making decisions on whether to cover rotator cuff tears.


Once you have completed this short course and quiz, please click 'submit' where you will be taken to the results page. From here you can print your certificate for 1 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hour.


The content was developed and reviewed in 2020 by a group of clinicians working at ACC:  

  • Fraser Wilkins, BHSc (Physiotherapy) RNZP Masters of Health Practice (MSK Physio), PG Dip in Rehabilitation (Hand and Upper Limb), PG Cert in Health Science (Acupuncture)
  • Dr Penelope Warring, BHB MBChB DipComEmMed FRNZCUC FRNZCGP
  • Dr Michael Austen, MBChB LLB DIH DipComEmMed FRNZCUC FAFOEM (RACP - NZ)
  • Mr Craig Ball, MBChB, FRACS (Orth), Orthopaedic Surgeon, Shoulder & Elbow Specialist



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