Project leads, Edward Trewhella, CEO, Driving Mobility (left) and Dr Anuraj Varshney, Head of Service, South East DriveAbility, pictured at Oxford Brookes University.

Driving Mobility, the national charity which accredits driving assessment centres, has announced a new partnership with @Oxford_Brookes University, to deliver higher education courses in ‘Driving Assessment and Outdoor Mobility’.

Supported by The Department for Transport, Driving Mobility provides a range of driving and mobility assessment services to assist disabled individuals so they can gain or maintain independence. Its 20 centres, with over 70 outreach facilities across the UK, assist clients who self-refer or are signposted from the DVLA, Motability, Police and the NHS. To ensure employees, such as Approved Driving Instructors and Occupational Therapists, remain at the forefront of their profession, all staff are required to achieve certification from an independent educational institution. This maintains high standards within their duty of care and protects client outcomes. As a leading university provider of vocational and blended learning, Oxford Brookes University has been chosen to partner with Driving Mobility, its staff and clients.  

Oxford Brookes University (OBU) is a top 50 UK university* with a learning platform that is world-class and departments relevant to Driving Mobility.  OBU has chosen to lead this course, as a clinical discipline, whilst underpinning delivery through a robust accessibility policy.

The educational programme from Oxford Brookes provides a qualification for employment at Driving Mobility or to gain certification for commercial and academic work elsewhere. The courses allow learners to work towards a Certificate in Higher Education, a Postgraduate Certificate or a Postgraduate Diploma in Driving Assessment and Outdoor Mobility, with the possibility of continuing onto Masters and Doctoral level study. Certification in ‘Driving Assessment and Outdoor Mobility’ is essential for all mobility practitioners including Approved Driving Instructors and Occupational Therapists. Study topics include medical conditions, fitness to drive, cognition, vision, assistive technology, driver behaviour and rehabilitation.

By qualifying, their strengthened clinical and technical knowledge will enhance professional practice and ensure better outcomes for clients with disabilities. Studying is possible at either undergraduate or postgraduate level to suit academic backgrounds and to meet professional aspirations.

Edward Trewhella, CEO, Driving Mobility comments:

“Ensuring all our instructors and clinicians are able to fulfil their roles effectively through the latest education is key. Now with the support of Oxford Brookes University, we can deliver world-class training for employees, so service levels remain high through advanced understanding and practice. As our new educational programme rolls out, we also intend to offer the course to professionals and academics outside of the charity who will benefit from enhanced knowledge regarding mobility. Both in the UK and worldwide, Driving Mobility has affiliations with many associated driving organisations hence welcomes all international students, with an interest in assisted driving, to gain invaluable insight through our new courses.”   

Victoria Gilbert, Placement Lead at Oxford Brookes University, said:

“Oxford Brookes University is delighted to have launched this exciting partnership with Driving Mobility. As an organisation, Driving Mobility continually strives to provide exceptional quality of driving care in line with current best practice. The support of staff to undertake university accredited courses demonstrates their commitment to, and expectation of, high levels of expertise and skill within practice. Oxford Brookes University is proud to provide the academic support to allow the driving team's clinical skills to be showcased through this clinical-professional development opportunity.”

Tanya Rihtman, Occupational Therapy Programme Lead at Oxford Brookes added:

“The Oxford Brookes University-Driving Mobility courses, housed within the Occupational Therapy suite of programmes, are in their first year of delivery, and the academic modules support a clear pathway through the qualifications on offer.”

“Looking to the future, the Oxford Brookes University-Driving Mobility collaboration hopes to expand on the teaching and learning offer. For example, widening course availability to university students on healthcare courses and to our North American occupational therapy students who require mandatory Driving Mobility training as a prerequisite to professional registration in their home countries. We look forward to the years ahead working collaboratively to successfully run these courses.”

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