Certificate in Traffic Medicine

CPD Credits14

Manage complex challenges and conflicts in decisions affecting fitness to drive

Developed in association with the Road Safety Authority | Applications open 23 August 2021

It is important to ensure that a driver's health status does not increase their risk of crashing.

This Certificate in Traffic Medicine has been developed by RCPI and the Road Safety Authority with the aim of introducing health professionals to this important and growing area of practice.

You will learn how to complete a thorough assessment of fitness to drive. The course will also introduce you to the concepts of traffic medicine and the psychology of driver behaviour.

This certificate is suitable for all doctors and healthcare professionals, including GPs and those working in occupational health.

The course fee for 2021 is €495.

What is traffic medicine?

A relatively new specialty, traffic medicine focuses on reducing the harm caused by traffic crashes. It is also about making sure that people who have treatable illnesses or who have some loss of function retain their independence and mobility.

The best-known element of traffic medicine is the need for medical certification showing fitness to drive for those who are applying for or renewing their driver's licence or who have been diagnosed with a new condition during their licenced period.

What to expect

You will be required to complete the following:

1. Watch online video content

You are required to watch educational videos (5 hours) before attending the workshop. These videos will be available online from Monday, 23 August 2021.

The online videos will provide you with a solid base of information and knowledge that will allow you to participate fully in the workshop

2. Attend an online workshop on 21 October 2021

This virtual workshop will take place online on Thursday, 21 October 2021 and will focus on the practical skills and complex decisions involved in assessing medical fitness to drive.

3. Pass an examination

The examination consists of multiple choice questions and is delivered online. The exam is self paced and must be completed between 22 October and 5 November 2021.

On successful completion of this examination you will be awarded with a Certificate in Traffic Medicine.

Dates for 2021

  • Registration Opens: Monday, 23 August 2021
  • Registration Closes: Friday, 15 October 2021
  • Access to Online Content: from Monday, 23 August 2021
  • Online Workshop: Thursday, 21 October 2021
  • Online Assessment: 22 October – 5 November 2021

Skills and competencies you will gain

On completion of this Certificate, you will be able to

  • Effectively assess a patient's/client's fitness to drive in your own clinical setting
  • Participate in complex decision-making as part of a multidisciplinary team
  • Understand the necessary elements of a thorough assessment of fitness to drive for Group 1 and 2 license holders
  • Integrate elements of physical and cognitive assessment with theories of driver behaviour
  • Understand the role of the Road Safety Authority and guidelines for assessing fitness to drive (Slainte agus Tiomaint)
  • Demonstrate a thorough and efficient approach to assessing fitness to drive
  • Apply current best-practice guidelines to the assessment, documentation and communication of fitness to drive decisions
  • Manage complex challenges and conflicts in decisions affecting a patient's fitness to drive

Read a one page overview of this course (PDF)

Brought to you by the National Office for Traffic Medicine

At the National Office for Traffic Medicine, everything we do is aimed at making driving as safe as possible for all road users.

Our goal is to help doctors and licensing authorities promote safe mobility in Ireland.

Our office was jointly established by RCPI and the Road Safety Authority of Ireland in 2011, bringing the specialty of Traffic Medicine to Ireland for the first time.

We are led by Professor Desmond O’Neill, Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine, Tallaght Hospital Dublin and Professor of Medical Gerontology at Trinity College Dublin.

Read more about the National Office for Traffic Medicine

Delivered by leading experts in Traffic Medicine

This course is taught by Ireland's leading experts in Traffic Medicine.

Professor Des O'Neill

Professor Desmond O'Neill is a Consultant Physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine at Tallaght Hospital and Trinity College, and Director of the National Office for Traffic Medicine.

His major field of research is that of transportation, ageing and older drivers. He co-chaired the RCPI Working Group on Driving and Health and has written chapters on driving and health for three international textbooks of geriatric medicine, two international textbooks of dementia care, two textbooks of medical ethics, and an Irish textbook of geriatric medicine.

Dr Declan Whelan

Dr Declan Whelan is Chief Medical Officer to the CIE Group of companies, providing a comprehensive Occupational Health Service to some 12,000 transportation employees.

He is also a Member and former Secretary of the Board of the International Union of Railway Medical Services, and Immediate Past Dean of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine at RCPI.

Dr Whelan previously acted as Chair of the RCPI Working Group tasked with developing Medical Guidelines on Fitness to Drive for Ireland in conjunction with the National Programme Office for Traffic Medicine.

Dr Tadhg Stapleton

Dr Tadhg Stapleton is Associate Professor in Occupational Therapy at Trinity College Dublin. Since qualifying as an Occupational Therapist, his primary clinical work has encompassed stroke, brain injury, and older adults, working as an Occupational Therapist in both clinical and community settings. He completed his master’s degree at the University of Southampton researching the area of attention deficits after stroke, and has completed his Ph.D. at Trinity College Dublin researching the process of assessing fitness to drive after stroke within an Irish context of practice. He has completed specialised postgraduate training at La Trobe University, Melbourne, leading to a qualification as an Occupational Therapy Driving Assessor.

Presently he is the Association of Occupational Therapists of Ireland representative on The National Programme Office for Traffic Medicine (RCPI/RSA) Working Group. He is currently an active member of ICHaT, an international collective of occupational therapy researchers with an interest in driving and community mobility issues among older adults and people with disabilities.

Dr Eugene Wallace

Dr Eugene Wallace works as a consultant in Rehabilitation at the National Rehabilitation Hospital and St, James Hospital, Adelaide and Meath Hospital (incorporating National Children's Hospital). Dublin.

Eugene has a Diploma in Cerebrovascular and Stroke Medicine from RCPI and has a special interest in Spinal Injuries, Neurorehabilitation and in Prosthetics Rheumatology.

He achieved European Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Board Certification, UEMS (Union Européenne des Médecins Specialistes) in 2013.

Mr Tony Regan

Tony Regan has over thirty years experience in working with driving and transport assessment for older and disabled people. He has worked at mobility centres in Belfast, Great Britain, Boston USA and Cleveland Ohio and was the Driving Advisor at the UK Department of Transports' MAVIS Mobility Centre from 1985 to 1990.

Since his return to Ireland in 1993 Tony has worked for the Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland and the Irish Wheelchair Association before setting-up his own consultancy business, Transport and Mobility Consultants Ireland. He was a founder member of the UK Forum of Mobility Centre, the Association of Driver Educators for People with Disabilities, and has certification in assessing and teaching people with disabilities to drive.

Dr Declan Bedford

Dr Declan Bedford is a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine at RCPI. He worked as a Specialist in Public Health Medicine with the HSE and as Director of Public Health in the North East for seven years until his retirement from the HSE in August 2012.

He is currently chair of the RCPI Working Group on Traffic Medicine and chair of the Health Research Board.

His published research includes research in the areas of suicide and mental health, men's health, alcohol, injury prevention, infectious diseases, health services and utilisation of hospital services.

Professor Ciaran Simms

Ciaran Simms, BA, BAI, PhD, FTCD, MIEI is Professor in Biomechanics and Head of Discipline in the Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Biomedical Engineering at Trinity College Dublin with research expertise in impact biomechanics, soft tissue mechanics and device design. He is also a Principal Investigator in the Centre for Bioengineering in Trinity College, Dublin.

Prior to joining TCD as an academic staff member in 2001 he held research engineer positions with TNO Automotive in Delft and Detroit and with Denis Wood Associates Forensic Investigators in Dublin.

His principal area of interest lies in human body modelling for injury prevention and device development. This began with mainly experimental models of the head, neck and jaw for his PhD thesis and progressed to computational modelling through work with the Dutch Research Corporation TNO in Delft, The Netherlands and Detroit, USA. His ambition is to develop a suite of global human body models applied to protective equipment optimization in the fields of pedestrian and cyclist protection, wheelchair user transportation and sports accident biomechanics, as well as medical devices.

He has a well-established teaching and research programme in the areas of mechanics and biomechanics focussed on pedestrian, cyclist and wheelchair user transport safety, soft tissue mechanics, sports injury biomechanics and device design. He has written over 100 Journal papers which have generated over 3000 Google scholar citations, and he has an h-index of 31. He has written the only textbook on the biomechanics of pedestrian and cyclist impact, and was President of the International Research Council on the Biomechanics of Injury (IRCOBI) and soft tissue editor of the Elsevier Journal of Mechanical Behaviour of Biomedical Materials until 2018.

Ciaran has research funding from diverse sources, including Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Health Research Board, the European Union, the National Roads Authority of Ireland, Intertrade Ireland, EIT and Enterprise Ireland. He has academic collaborations in Ireland, Europe, the US and Asia. He has had commercial collaborations with industrial partners in Ireland (North and South).

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