Centre for Continuing Education

Driver Assessment & Training Course for Occupational Therapists

Occupational Therapy. Rehabilitating our community.

Learn Occupational Therapy the smart way with Occupational Therapy courses at CCE, the University of Sydney.

In partnership with Rehab on Road
Developed and delivered by the Rehab on Road, a coordinator of training for occupational therapists, driving instructors and doctors in the area of driver assessment and rehabilitation.

Driving is a complex task integrating physical, cognitive, visual and psychosocial skills in a rapidly changing environment. Any loss of function in these areas as a result of a medical condition, disability, accident or the ageing process may impact a person’s ability to drive safely. Identifying ‘at risk’ drivers is a public health and safety issue and presents a challenge for licensing authorities and medical practitioners.

In Australia and many other countries occupational therapists conduct practical assessments to determine fitness for driving. Occupational therapists working in driver rehabilitation facilitate return to safe, legal and independent driving where possible. The University of Sydney has been conducting training and research in this specialised area since 1990.

The Driver Assessment & Training Course for Occupational Therapists provides a combination of theoretical and practical sessions conducted by occupational therapists and driving instructors with considerable clinical experience in the area. The course also incorporates presentations from professionals in the areas of vehicle modifications, orthoptics, psychology, mental health, and pharmacology.

Course outcomes

At the conclusion of the course successful participants will qualify as registered occupational therapy driving assessors, a qualification which is mandatory when working in this highly specialised field.

A registration number will be issued together with a certificate of course completion. The registration number is forwarded to and recognised by the RTA and Occupational Therapy (OT) Australia/NSW. Relevant state licensing and professional associations are informed on behalf of interstate and overseas participants.

After completion of the course participants will be able to:

  • Assess the level of driving competence of a person with a disability.
  • Identify skill deficits in the components of the driving task.
  • Document the findings of the assessment appropriate for medico-legal use.
  • Prescribe appropriate vehicle modifications.
  • Design training programs to assist a person with a disability to develop competent driving skills.

Course content

The following subjects will be explored through formal lectures and a variety of practicums, several with disabled clients.

  • Biomechanical, sensorimotor, cognitive and psychosocial aspects of driving
  • Defensive driving in both manual and automatic vehicles
  • Road craft theory and application
  • Vehicle prescription
  • Modification appreciation and application
  • Off road assessment methodology
  • On road assessment methodology including evaluation, analysis and interpretation
  • Driver remediation program design
  • Medico-legal issues including indemnity, report writing and duty of care
  • RTA policy and procedures

High standards of achievement are set in this intensive course to reflect the level of responsibility assumed by qualified driving assessors.

If course standards are not met, an opportunity for additional tuition may be provided. Unsuccessful candidates may alternatively be advised to attend all or part of a future training course. Attendance at all sessions is required and there is work to complete outside course hours.

Course participants must meet related costs incurred for additional tuition. It is also expected that participants will undertake the pre-course work, which includes both reading and practical assignments.

Course suitable for

Occupational Therapists who wish to qualify as registered occupational therapy driving assessors.

To be eligible to enrol applicants must:

  • Be a qualified occupational therapist and provide a certified copy of their degree(s)
  • Have a minimum of two years postgraduate experience (preferably in a physical setting)
  • Possess a current driver’s licence

This is an intensive course with a high standard of achievement expected, reflecting the level of responsibility assumed by qualified driving assessors. It is recommended participants to not attempt to do outside work during the course. Full time attendance is required. Knowledge in strength and range of movement testing is assumed (however there will be opportunity to refresh these skills in the course).

At the conclusion of the course successful participant will qualify as ‘registered occupational therapy driving assessors’, a qualification which is mandatory when working in the is highly specialised field. A nationally recognised registration number will be issued together with a certificate of course completion. (This course is no longer part of the occupational therapy master’s programme).

If course standards are not met opportunity for additional tuition may be provided. A pass mark must be achieved in all course assessments and course requirements must be met for registration to be achieved.

Course delivery

Participants will be required to complete both driving and theoretical course components. In addition to a practical driving test, assignments will be set. These are to be submitted during the course. A complete on and off road assessment on a client and completion of the report occurs on the second last day of the course. Your ability to assess the client, demonstrate clinical reasoning skills and document this will be assessed. All assessment tasks will be graded at a level appropriate for a post-graduate subject. It will be necessary for all participants to achieve a satisfactory standard in all evaluations before a certificate of course completion and driving assessor registration number is issued.


For enquiries regarding eligibility, course content or assessment requirements please contact the course coordinator:

Beth Cheal
Driver Trained Occupational Therapist
0422 265 330
or Send an email


  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • Very professional tutors. Overall the course content is relevant to my practice.

  • Great course – very well presented and supported, with excellent access to resources. Beautiful building also.

  • The DATO course was excellent preparation for work completing OT driving assessments. The course ran well to time each day with an excellent venue that was easily accessed by public transport. The venue catered well to food allergies. One of the best courses I’ve invested in!

  • This was an excellent course in content, both theoretical and practical. Very experienced presenters and well organised. Always ran to time. Very pleased to have been able to complete the course.

  • Very experienced presenters and the practical components were very useful.

  • Fantastic and informative course. Well organised and methodical in the approach to driving for those with a disability.