The ins and outs of an OT Driving Assessment
A typical response after I’ve shared the fee for an OT Driving Assessment goes something like this: “Oh my goodness, it costs so much!”
Here’s the logic behind that statement: “It only involves a simple driving test, and I’ve been driving my whole life so I don’t understand why it should cost so much.”
If only it was that simple.
There’s a whole LOT more to an OT Driving Assessment or Fitness to Drive Assessment. Let me explain.
What’s involved with an OT Driving Assessment?
An OT Driving Assessment is used to determine the impact of a medical condition on your driving ability. And yes, it does involve an on-road test, but this makes up only one part of the in-depth assessment.
There are three parts to an OT Driving Assessment or Fitness to Drive Assessment.
- Preparation before the assessment
Before starting the assessment, I’ll make sure you have the correct referral from your GP or medical professional, and I’ll perform a licence check with the RMS. In some cases, depending on your situation, I will also get an optometrist report.
- OT Driving Assessment
The actual OT Driving Assessment has two parts including a clinical examination covering physical and cognitive functioning as well as vision:
- Two-hour Off-Road Assessment
- Medical history
- Driving history
- Physical ability
- Cognitive skills
- Knowledge of road rules
- One-to-Two-hour On-Road Assessment
- A qualified driving instructor
- An Occupational Therapist
- In the instructor’s dual controlled car
- Detailed report
I’ll then write a minimum 6- to 8-page report detailing my findings and making recommendations to the RMS, who will make the final decision regarding your driver’s licence. The report could be longer depending on your individual circumstances.
As mentioned before, an OT Driving Assessment is used to assess the impact of a medical condition on your driving ability, which is a complex assessment requiring a variety of medical and clinical skills. The only medical professional certified to carry out an OT Driving Assessment is a Driver-Trained Occupational Therapist (DTOT).
The following training is required to become a DTOT:
- Completed an OT university degree
- Practiced as a therapist for several years
- Completed a post-graduate qualification in driver assessment and rehabilitation
My experience and qualifications
As a qualified Occupational Therapist, I have 19 years’ experience working with many different people to help them maintain or gain their independence. I completed my PhD with the focus on returning to driving after stroke, making me an expert in my field with a passion to walk alongside people as they navigate life after a stroke or as they get older.
An OT Driving Assessment is an in-depth assessment to determine the impact of a medical condition on your driving ability carried out by a health professional who’s undergone extensive training.
As your highly experienced Driver-Trained Occupational Therapist, I’ll take the time to chat you through what’s involved with an OT Driver Assessment to help you understand the fees and make an informed decision.