Want to learn more about managing driving safety for patients on opioid agonist treatment?

Health professionals caring for patients who receive opioid agonist treatment (OAT) need to be aware of the potential impact of treatments and other factors on driving safety.

The Driving Safety: Sedating Medications and Opioid Agonist Treatment course is designed to support health professionals in assessing a patient’s fitness to drive, with a focus on sedating medications and OAT.

You can enrol in the course online at anytime, taking approximately 30 minutes to complete. You will receive a certificate upon completion.

The course contains information on:

  • Sedating medication, poly-pharmacy, opioid agonist treatment and driving safety
  • Clinical conversations about driving safety and assessing fitness to drive
  • Case studies relating to driving safety for OTP nursing staff, pharmacists, emergency department staff, opioid agonist treatment prescribers, and general practitioners.
  • Legal and regulatory information on fitness to drive and licensing.

By completing this short course, you will meet the following learning objectives:

  • Identify factors that can impact on driving safety and diagnosing risks to driving for patients, including those receiving opioid agonist treatment (OAT).
  • Develop an understanding of short-term fitness to drive and long-term medical fitness to drive, including key assessment considerations.
  • Incorporate knowledge around roles and responsibilities, patient confidentiality, and difficult clinical conversations to effectively manage patients in the context of fitness to drive.
  • Understand the medical standards for licensing and reporting legislation within New South Wales.

Members of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine (ACRRM) will be eligible to automatically receive CPD for completion of this activity, provided your member number is supplied during course enrolment.

Members of other professional associations should self-accredit upon completing this activity. For more information, visit the continuing professional development page, or contact your professional association.

Other Professional Development Courses

Are you a health professional who wants to learn more about opioid agonist treatment in New South Wales? 

The University of Sydney is funded by the NSW Ministry of Health to provide two free training courses to train health professionals in the development of knowledge, skills, and practices to support the safe prescribing of opioid pharmacotherapies for the treatment of opioid dependence.

The courses, which align with the NSW Clinical Guidelines: Treatment of Opioid Dependence 2018, allows medical and nurse practitioners to become an accredited prescriber of opioid pharmacotherapies in NSW.

Fundamentals Training in Opioid Treatment

A short, introductory, online course for all health professionals to develop knowledge about the operation of the NSW Opioid Treatment Program and the safe prescribing of opioid pharmacotherapies. The course forms the first step of the application process for medical and nurse practitioners to receive accreditation to prescribe opioid pharmacotherapies.

Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC)

A comprehensive, one-day, face-to-face course facilitated by addiction medicine specialists and is aimed at medical and nurse practitioners wishing to prescribe opioid pharmacotherapies for up to 200-300 patients.

Course content includes all stages of patient treatment; from induction, to stabilisation, to patient withdrawal from treatment. Consumer perspectives relating to treatment are also discussed. A short examination is administered to assess participant knowledge and for accreditation purposes.

For more information on these courses and to enrol, visit: www.otac.org.au

Accredited Prescribers

In order to prescribe opioids to up to 200-300 patients, prescribers are required to complete the Fundamental Training in Opioid Treatment course, the Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC) and a half-day clinical placement.

Unaccredited Prescribers

Methadone: Unaccredited medical practitioners may apply to the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Unit for an individual patient authority to prescribe for up to ten (10) low-risk patients who are being transferred from an accredited prescriber.
Unaccredited medical practitioners should engage with the previous accredited prescriber, or seek advice from the Drug and Alcohol Specialist Advisory Service (DASAS) if significant changes to treatment are required or the patient’s risk assessment changes adversely.

Buprenorphine and buprenorphine-naloxone: Unaccredited medical practitioners may apply to the PRU for individual patient authority to initiate patients with buprenorphine or buprenorphine-naloxone. Unaccredited prescribers may be authorised for up to 20 buprenorphine-naloxone patients.

Medical and nurse practitioners seeking to become an accredited prescriber of opioid pharmacotherapies should complete the following:

    1. The Fundamentals Training in Opioid Treatment Course
    2. The Opioid Treatment Accreditation Course (OTAC)
    3. A half-day clinical placement with an experienced OAT prescriber

Upon completion of these steps, prescribers can apply to the NSW Ministry of Health Pharmacotherapy Credentialing Subcommittee to be recognised as an accredited prescriber of opioid pharmacotherapies for the treatment of opioid dependence in New South Wales.

Additional details on the the placement and application are given upon completion of the OTAC.