EBO-ESCRS Subspecialty Exam


The subspecialty examination in Cataract & Refractive Surgery is intended to provide formal recognition of subspecialty training and expertise in the field. Ultimately it will help to harmonize and improve cataract & refractive surgerical care across Europe.


To have a structure within which ophthalmologists who specialise in Cataract & Refractive Surgery have their skills and expertise assessed, acknowledged and certified
To define the knowledge that the specialist in Cataract & Refractive Surgery holds
To be recognised as a quality examination and consequent qualification for Cataract & Refractive Surgery specialists
To encourage standardised training/teaching and standardised care across Europe


Specialists in Ophthalmology with particular interest and experience in Cataract & Refractive Surgery have the opportunity to have their knowledge and expertise tested and officially acknowledged by sitting the EBO-ESCRS Cataract & Refractive Surgery Subspecialty Exam. Successful candidates will be awarded a diploma: the Fellow of the EBO Subspecialty Cataract & Refractive Surgery Diploma (FEBOS-CR diploma). This diploma is recognized as a proof of advanced knowledge and competence in this field.


The European Board of Ophthalmology (EBO), in collaboration with the ESCRS, organizes an annual subspecialty exam in Cataract & Refractive Surgery with the aim to formally recognizing subspecialty training and expertise in that field. By introducing exam criteria and standards, the EBO-ESCRS wish to harmonize and improve training across Europe.

Further information available here.

Applications for the 2024 FEBOS-CR Examination are open. Application deadline March 29th


The ESCRS and EBO have developed this examination to certify the expertise and advanced knowledge of experienced cataract and refractive surgeons, to prove their readiness to teach others and run a cataract service.

Successful candidates will earn the post-nominal title of FEBOS-CR (Fellow of the European Board of Ophthalmology Subspecialist in Cataract and Refractive surgery).
This is sure to distinguish those surgeons as teachers and potential leaders in the field, with superior knowledge, an ability to deal with more challenging cases and an appreciation for evidence-based medicine that can develop the subspecialty into the future.

Candidates must therefore be independent surgeons with a varied case mix who regularly deal with complex situations, and who are willing to have their expertise and theoretical knowledge challenged.

The 2024 examinations will take place during the 42nd Congress of the ESCRS in Barcelona, on Thursday 5th September 2024.

Overview of the process

Many applications are expected for the 2024 FEBOS-CR examination, so it is important for those applying to understand and carefully follow the process for application:

  1. Applicants must read the curriculum for 2024, to confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria (listed below, and in the curriculum).  Please note, application will include a non-refundable deposit of €150
  2. Supporting materials must be submitted by March 29, 2024:
    1. The EBO-ESCRS CV/ Application
    2. Letter of Recommendation from the Head of Department/ Clinical Director/ Director of Training (or – if the applicant holds one of these roles – the Practice Manager)
    3. 5-minute MP4 video of one of your complex surgeries, which should include 7 key steps (see curriculum, surgeries will be judged based on the steps listed)
  3. Applicants will pay €150 non-refundable deposit for the processing of the application. Successful candidates will pay the balance by a specified deadline.
  4. Applications will be reviewed, and candidates will have one opportunity to rectify any issues with their application or supporting materials.
  5. Selection will take place in April 2024, and candidates will be invited by May 17 2024 to sit the examination. They will have until June 14 2024 to confirm intention to sit the examination and settle the remaining fee (€700)
  6. In July/ August 2024, candidates will be sent 4 articles to read for the literature analysis section of the examination. They will be interviewed on one of these articles. A candidate handbook will also be sent, which includes the examination details and rules.
  7. On Thursday 5 September the examination will take place.
  8. Results of the examination will be released by email on the morning of 6 September.

FEBOS-CR 2024 Fees

The examination fee is set to €850 for 2024.

Please note: a non-refundable deposit of €150 must be paid for processing applications.

Applicants selected to sit the examination will then pay the balance (€700) by a deadline to be specified. Unsuccessful applicants will not be refunded their deposit.

Examination Deadlines

  • Monday 22 January 2024 applications open
  • Friday 29 March 2024 all materials submitted by applicants, as well as the non-refundable deposit (€150) paid
  • Friday 17 May 2024 confirmation for eligible candidates to sit the examination
  • Friday 14 June 2024 candidates confirm intent to sit examination, and pay balance of examination fee (€700)
  • Thursday 5 September 2024 date of Examination

Eligibility Criteria


Those selected to sit the FEBOS-CR Examination will be experienced surgeons, who are active in the community (local, national or international), as demonstrated by a commitment to teaching, research and/or publication. Those awarded FEBOS-CR will be future leaders in the cataract and refractive subspecialty, and will be running centres, training fellows, publishing research and continuing to contribute to the scientific knowledge and clinical practice of cataract and refractive surgery.

Please note: the FEBOS-CR is open to cataract and refractive subspecialists from UEMS member countries – ESCRS membership is not required.

To be accepted to sit the FEBOS-CR examination, applicants must:

  • Have at least 5 years’ experience operating without supervision, having completed a minimum of 4 year’s general ophthalmology training. This training should be documented by a recognised fellowship programme (FRCOphth, EBOD, etc.)
  • Have completed 1,000 cataract surgeries, without supervision
  • Be able to demonstrate superior knowledge of cataract and refractive surgery.
  • Have experience that includes practice without supervision in an institution that offers adequate capacity and the appropriate infrastructure for high quality, diverse exposure to cataract and refractive surgical cases and their management. The institution should have a sufficient number patients as well as an area fully equipped with access to current diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical equipment.

Supporting Materials Required by the Applicant

  • A letter from a Director/Head of Department/other senior figure in your Institution that recommends you as a surgeon of advanced experience and expertise. You can download a template here. If you are in this role, the Practice Manager can sign and stamp the letter instead.
  • A video of a complex case you operated on, which demonstrates your current skillset. This video should meet the following criteria (failure to do so will lead to rejection of the video and thus the application):
  • MP4 format
  • Titled as follows: “LAST NAME_FIRST NAME_CASE TYPE.mp4
  • Maximum 5 minutes. Editing should not affect the core surficial procedure.
  • The video must be the sole work of the candidate, and must state that this is the sole work of the candidate
  • There must be no music, narration, or credits on the video
  • Include the following steps (videos will be judged to determine suitable candidates for the examination): incision, capsulorhexis, hydro dissection, nuclear disassembly, irrigation/aspiration, IOL implant and closure. More information is available in the curriculum
  • No FLACS, the surgery must demonstrate your current skill set in a complex situation
  • No patient-identifiable information should be included/ remain in the video.
  • Provide the following information about the complex surgery video in the CV/ Application: Background case data and a short description of what makes the surgery complex for you
  • Completed CV/ Application, which lists surgical, teaching and publication experience. A section of this form also asks for information on the complex video you submit – click here to download template.

This process will not be considered complete until you have submitted all the information listed above. Failure to submit these documents automatically excludes you from consideration to sit this examination. All materials can be emailed to ukamc@mci-group.com, or sent by a file transfer service such as Wetransfer or Dropbox. All materials will be acknowledged. All candidates will be informed of their eligibility to sit the examination no later than 1 May 2023. The Examination Board reserves the right to accept or refuse any applicants based on their eligibility. Their decision is final. Applicants who are found to submit false materials (letter of recommendation, logbook or videos) will be automatically excluded from the process.

Format of the Examination

Please note: this examination will be conducted in English only.

  • The examination will follow the ‘Multiple Choice Question’ and oral structure.
    • 50 multiple choice questions (each question will contain a statement in the ‘stem’, and 5 true/false statements in relation to the statement)
  • 1 hour viva voce with 4 stations (15 mins each):
    • Candidate discusses their own surgical videos (submitted prior to the exam)
    • Candidate discusses a surgical video that they have not previously seen
    • Exhaustive case review (video, images, corneal topography, OCT scans, etc.) in which the candidate must discuss how they would manage a case, given diagnostic information etc.
    • Critical evaluation of the literature, sent prior to the examination

Documents and videos will be reviewed by the Examination Board and successful candidates will be invited to register and pay for the examination.

Downloads & Resources

The Curriculum (.docx download)
The Recommendation Letter template (.docx download)
The CV template (.docx download)
Deadlines and Checklists (.pdf download)
http://www.eurequo.org (resource link)
http://player.escrs.org (resource link)

Candidates will be informed whether they are eligible to sit the examination before the end of May. Queries not answered on this page should be sent to education@escrs.org


Important Dates FEBOS Cataract & Refractive Exam

  • Monday 22 January 2024 applications open
  • Friday 29 March 2024 all materials submitted by applicants, as well as the non-refundable deposit (€150) paid
  • Friday 17 May 2024 confirmation for eligible candidates to sit the examination
  • Friday 14 June 2024 candidates confirm intent to sit examination, and pay balance of examination fee (€700)
  • Thursday 5 September 2024 date of Examination



Subscribe to our updates & instant alerts | Enter email below

EVER Logo SOE Logo UEMS Logo ICIO Logo