I Introduction Article 1.0

The Union of European Medical Specialists (U.E.M.S.) entrusts its specialist sections with the formation of their own European Boards for their respective specialties. Members will be leading representatives of the national organizations representing their country on a professional, scientific and university basis.

The board shall be constituted in accordance with the statutes and rules of procedure of the U.E.M.S. and the specialist sections of the U.E.M.S.

The European Boards shall open up new dimensions in promoting both high quality specialist medicine and the free movement of doctors in the European Union (E.U.).

II Objects Article 2.0

The aims of the European Board of Ophthalmology shall be as follows:

The main objective is to guarantee the highest standards of care in the field of ophthalmology in the countries of the E.U., by ensuring that the training of the Ophthalmologist is raised to the highest possible level.

This aim shall be achieved by the following means:

The board shall recommend the standards required for the training of Ophthalmologists as defined by national regulations, and for the maintenance of these standards.

They shall make proposals for the quality of training and for the ‘core’ syllabus in ophthalmology.

They shall recommend procedures to assist the free movement of specialist doctors throughout the E.U.

They shall recommend the minimum standards to which the training centers and trainers must conform.

They shall assess the content and quality of training in the different countries of the E.U.

They shall facilitate the exchange of their specialist trainees and teachers between training centers of the various countries of the E.U. to ensure harmonization and quality of training.

They shall set up a system for voluntary recognition of qualifications. This is to be known as the ‘Diploma of the European Board of Ophthalmology’ (E.B.O.D.).

The European Board shall be considered as being a working group of the specialist section of the U.E.M.S.

Through the intermediary of the specialist section, it shall report to the Executive Bureau of the U.E.M.S. and also the Advisory Committee for Medical Training (A.C.M.T.).

The Executive Bureau of the U.E.M.S. shall currently be entrusted with communicating all opinions issuing from the specialist sections of the European Boards to the Commission of the E.U. and the Advisory Committee for Medical Training.

The Executive Bureau of the U.E.M.S. shall officially communicate with the specialist section and the European Board on behalf of the E.U. bodies.

The specialist section shall submit to the U.E.M.S., for ratification, draft statutes relating to the membership and functioning of their Board so as to ensure cohesion between the various specialities.

III Definitions Article 3.0

The European Board of Ophthalmology shall recommend the minimum requirements of practical & theoretical training programs in ophthalmology.

Full membership of the European Board of Ophthalmology shall be confined to representatives as laid down in statute 4.1. In addition, there shall be one representative from the European Professors of Ophthalmology (E.U.P.O.), and one member from the Permanent Working Group of Junior Hospital Doctors (P.W.G.). The other European countries may be invited to take part in the European Board if they are associated members of the U.E.M.S. accepted as observers by the Council of Management of the U.E.M.S.

Recognition of qualifications (Diploma of the European Board of Ophthalmology).

The European Board of Ophthalmology shall issue a diploma.

Only Ophthalmologists who satisfy the training requirements of the European Board may apply for recognition.

This recognition shall give the candidate the right to the European Board of Ophthalmology Diploma of the European of Ophthalmology (E.B.O.D.), and title Fellow of the European Board of Ophthalmology (FEBO).

Concerning the movement of specialists in the E.U.:

The Diploma of the European Board of Ophthalmology is optional and shall not be a condition for free movement in the European Union.

The Diploma of the European Board of Ophthalmology shall be considered by the authorities as a proof of the quality and relative equivalence of the content of training.

IV Composition Article 4.0

The European Board shall comprise two representatives of the specialty of ophthalmology for each country. One delegate must represent the practicing profession and one must represent the universities and/or academic bodies. They shall be nominated by the recognized national professional organization of ophthalmology. If there are two organizations, each organization shall nominate the appropriate representative. In addition there shall be, ex-officio, a member each from E.U.P.O. and the P.W.G with maximal term of 4 years.

One of the two representatives of each country shall be a member of the national delegation to the specialist section of ophthalmology of the U.E.M.S.

Countries not belonging to the E.U. but having observer status in the U.E.M.S., may also send two representatives to the European Board. They shall have the right of consultative status.

The Board shall be administered by an elected Executive Committee: The President, The Past President and The President Elect, four Committee Chairs, Secretary General and Treasurer.

The Board may form working committees for specific purposes.

V Members of the European Board Article 5.0

5.1 Members of the Board shall be elected for a four year period by the national professional association, or associations of ophthalmology. This term of office may be renewed only once including one possible term as an ExCo member. On reaching the age of 65 all delegates should retire and the appointed alternative members should then replace the retiring delegate until the next elections are held.

The Board may call upon one or more experts who shall not have the right to vote. This includes, but is not limited to, the advisory board members.

Advisory board comprises of persons with outstanding contributions to the EBO. They are elected for initial term of 4 years, and depending on their level of contribution, they may subsequently be awarded a life-long advisory role within the EBO (Honorary EBO Advisor). All advisors must be available for completing tasks requested by the ExCo. Their position during the first 4 years may be terminated:

  • by resignation notice in writing;
  • by failing without good reason to complete 2 consecutive ExCo tasks;
  • at the sole discretion of the ExCo

5.3 Voting rights

Each delegate shall have one substantive vote. Each delegate must have a fully nominated and recognised alternate.

Ex-officio E.U.P.O. and P.W.G. members shall have one vote each subject to the payment of the annual subscription.

For each delegate the right to vote is subject to the payment of the annual subscription.

Observers who represent associate European Countries have consultative status.

All voting for elections within the European Board of Ophthalmology shall be by secret ballot. Electonic ballots are also permitted. A secret ballot will be held on any specific matter or if, at any time, it is requested by any voting member of the European Board.

The office of a member of the Board shall be terminated at the unanimous discretion of the Executive Committee (other than by the passage of time);
(a) if he ceases to be a member of his national society
(b) if by written notice to the Secretary he resigns his office
(c) if he becomes incapable by reason of mental disorder
(d) if he shall fail without good reason to attend two consecutive meetings
The national organization shall then be notified by the Secretary General.

VI Executive Committee Article 6.0 (as amended in 2002)

Election of the Executive Committee. The Board shall elect an Executive Committee from its members. The Committee shall comprise the President, the Past President, a President-Elect, the Secretary General, the four Committee Chairs (Education [which comprises the exam], CME, Residency exchange and Training centers accreditation) and the Treasurer. The ExCo appoints also Spring and Autumn examination educational coordinators. Their role is outlined in Appendix 1

The Executive Committee shall establish the rules of procedure to be communicated to the Secretary General of the U.E.M.S. It shall undertake the organization of meetings and the execution of decisions.

Duration of terms of office of the Executive Committee. The President shall be elected for a period of two years and will further serve the board for another two years as past-president (the service is all together 6 years). The President-Elect will be elected for two years prior to taking up office as President and the four Chairs shall normally remain in office for four years and the Secretary and Treasurer for four years. Only the Secretary General and Treasurer may remain in office for a second period of four years. These terms are inclusive of the terms of Board membership (excluding the president who may serve for 10 years). The ExCo members are elected active members of the Board. More than 2 years of service is counted as full mandate.


Executive Committee (ExCo) elections are called in autumn and include a secret ballot for President Elect, Chairs of the committees, Secretary General and Treasurer. Electronic voting is permissible. The candidate must officially submit their interest to a certain position and must be approved by the ExCo. In special situations out of term elections might be called. If the service upon out of term elections exceeds 50% (2+ years) a full term is counted.


Advisory board committee (ABC) members are proposed by the ExCo on the basis of their expertise. The board elects members to the Advisory Board Committee.  Electronic voting is permissible.


The Subspecialty exams are fostered by EBO according to the contracts. The past president takes the role of Subspecialty examination coordinator, and makes proposal for appointment or exchange of EBO subspecialty representative. The representative is appointed by the ExCo for a period of 4 years, one term. The representative must be a recognized expert in the field of the relevant subspecialty and must be a member of the subspecialty society. Representatives must be present at the examination and all relevant meetings upon Society request and must report to the Subspecialty coordinator the progress of the exams and all related issues.

VII Honors Article 7.0 (as amended in 2019)

7.1 The European Board of Ophthalmology values the contributions of the examiners from all over Europe. In order to acknowledge them in 2019 we introduced a Honours system as follows:

  • Bronze Fellow (5 points over maximum of 5 years)
  • Silver Fellow (10 points over maximum of 8 years)
  • Gold Fellow (20 points over maximum of 12 years)
  • Platinum Fellow (30 points over maximum of 15 years)
  • EBO Medal for outstanding lifelong contribution (active participation as examiner over a period of 20 years, and/or outstanding contribution to the exam)

The points are collected as follows:

  • Viva voce exam (5 or 6 rounds) 1 point
  • MCQ supervisor 1 point
  • Chair of topic committee 1 point per exam
  • Sub-chair of topic committee 0.5 point per exam
  • Contribution to the MCQ bank 0.2 points per 1 approved question
  • Contribution to the Viva voce bank 0.3 points per 1 approved question

The executive committee may introduce new modalities for point collection and may vote for up to 2 points per person for outstanding contribution.

7.2 The European Board of Ophthalmology acknowledges one outstanding achiever in the broader educational field of Ophthalmology once a year with the Peter Eustace Medal. Nominees can be proposed each autumn by each voting National Delegate and all nominations are subject to ballot, including electronic ballot. The elected person is invited to the Spring EBO meeting and receives a grant of up to 500 Euro to cover travel expenses.

7.3 Overall prize and Alan Ridgway award to the best candidates are given two times a year at Spring and Autumn ceremony.

Appendix 1

The EBO exam coordinator is appointed from the ExCo and must be a Board member. The term of appointment is 2 years for up to 2 terms (same as the term of the President). The chair is a part of the ExCo committee with full voting power. The chair is responsible for:

  • Organisation of one part of the examination (either MCQ or Viva Voce), including collection, selection, correction and preparation for final approval;
  • Compulsory participation in Autumn examination working body summit;
  • Lease with the relevant society in order to provide the best infrastructure for the exam;
  • Coordinate the exam organization;
  • Report to the President regarding any issues during the exam organization;
  • Coordinate Diploma ceremony;
  • Organize a symposium with the society in order to promote EBO;
  • Negotiate with the society possibilities for examiners and examinees to attend the Society Meeting.

The spring and autumn examination educational coordinators are responsible, together with the Chair of the Education Committee and the President, to form: Examination working committee. The Examination working committee consists of 16 experts in the fields of ophthalmology according to the four topics of the EBO examination (4 experts per topic, 2 per subtopic). They are appointed by the ExCo on the basis of their internationally recognized expertise, proven teaching background and other qualities which might contribute to the task. They are appointed for period of 4 years. Their role is to collect, select and correct the MCQ and Viva Voce questions. Once a year they participate in a working committee summit where they perfect the questions for the 2 exams of the following year.

During the working summit each group of 4 experts is expected to test and select pool of MCQ questions and Viva Voce questions for forthcoming autumn and spring examinations.

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