Advanced FEBOS-CR Exam/ Diploma (Cataract and Refractive Surgery)

FEBOS-CR Examination

Applications for the 2020 FEBOS-CR Examination will open in December 2019. All documents currently on this page are in relation to the 2019 examination, and will be updated before applications open in December.

The fee for the 2020 examination will be €850.

For queries about the examination please email

FEBOS-CR has been developed by the EBO and ESCRS to certify the expertise and advanced knowledge of experienced cataract and refractive surgeons.

Successful candidates earn the right to use the post-nominal title FEBOS-CR to show they:

  • hold a superior theoretical and practical knowledge
  • can deal with more challenging cases and a complex case mix
  • appreciate the importance of evidence-based medicine, and its purpose in developing scientific knowledge and clinical practice of the subspecialty
  • are, or have the ambition to become, trainers and leaders in the cataract and refractive surgery subspecialty

Candidates must therefore be independent surgeons with a varied case mix who regularly deal with complex situations, and who are willing to be challenged by having their expertise and theoretical knowledge tested by a rigorous theoretical examination and interviews with some of the opinion leaders in European and worldwide ophthalmology.

The 2019 examination will take place immediately before the 37th Congress of the ESCRS in Paris, on 13th September 2019.

Overview of the process

It is important for those applying to understand and carefully follow the application process:

  1. Applicants must read the curriculum for 2019, to confirm that they meet the eligibility criteria (listed below, and in the curriculum)
  2. Supporting materials must be submitted by March 14, 2019:
    1. The EBO-ESCRS CV/ Application (download here)
    2. EBO-ESCRS Examination Letter of Recommendation (download here) signed by the Head of Department/ Clinical Director/ Director of Training (If the applicant holds one of these roles, and there is no one in one of the other suitable roles, the practice manager can sign and stamp the letter)
    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). ”Complex” is not to be confused with “complicated” or recovery from an initial mistake. The video should showcase your advanced skill and knowledge. If your video is not considered to be complex by the Examination Board you will not be invited to sit the examination.
  3. Applications will be reviewed, and candidates will have one opportunity to rectify any issues with their application or supporting materials by May 1st 2019.
  4. Selection will take place in May 2019, and candidates will be invited to sit the examination by early June 2019. Candidates must confirm they intend sitting the examination and pay the examination fee by July 1st 2019.
  5. In July/ August 2019, 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.
  6. On September 13th, the examination will take place.
  7. Results of the examination will be released by email on the morning of September 14th.


For 2019, the examination fee is €650.

Candidates invited to sit the examination will pay by July 1st 2019.

Examination Deadlines

  • December 2018 application process opens
  • NOTE EXTENDED DEADLINE: 22 March 2019 all materials submitted by applicants
  • 3 June 2019 confirmation for eligible candidates to sit the examination
  • 1 July 2019 deadline for candidates to confirm intent to sit examination, and pay examination fee.
  • 13 September 2019 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 (or have the ambition to be) 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 who have completed an ophthalmology residency program in a country member of the UEMS as well as cataract and refractive surgery fellowship training – ESCRS membership is not required.

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

  • have at least 5 year’s 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 practiced 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.

Full eligibility criteria and curriculum is available to download here.

Supporting Materials Required by the Candidate

  • A letter (using this template) from a Director/Head of Department/other senior figure in your Institution that recommends you as a surgeon of advanced experience and expertise. If the applicant holds one of these roles, and there is no one in one of the other suitable roles, the practice manager can sign and stamp the letter. Please click here to download the recommendation letter template.
  • Completed CV/ Application (using this template), which lists surgical, teaching and publication experience. A section of this form also asks for information on the complex video you submit.

Please note: The ESCRS reserve the right to audit an applicant’s declared surgical experience, by requesting further details.  This may be a registry report (e.g. EUREQUO, EMS report, etc), accounts statement (IOLs implanted by the applicant) or an appropriately anonymised log book for the applicant.   In all aspects of your application, it is your responsibility to ensure proper data protection and patient confidentiality in the process.

  • One video of one complex case you operated, 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):

Video Submission Requirements:

  • MP4 format, of at least 800 x 600 resolution (1024 or better is preferred)
  • Titled as follows: “LAST NAME_FIRST NAME_CASE TYPE.mp4”
  • Maximum 5 minutes. Editing should not obscure or alter the core surgical 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 (which will be judged to determine suitable candidates for the examination): incision, capsulorhexis, hydrodissection, nuclear dissassembly, irrigation/aspiration, IOL implant and closure. More information is available in the curriculum
  • No FLACS, the surgery must demonstrate your current manual 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 document: Background case data and a short description of what makes the surgery complex for you

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 eligible candidates will be invited to sit the examination no later than June 1st 2019. 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, 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 has 5 parts, divided into two broad sections:

  1. Multiple choice (written) section (2.5 hrs). This is composed of 50 questions formatted as follows:
    • A stem provides a context for the subsequent statements
    • 5 independent statements are provided. Each statement must be marked True, False or Don’t Know
    • A correct answer will score 1 point. An incorrect answer is negatively marked -0.5 points. “Don’t Know” gives a score of 0. Unanswered questions, or “double marked” (e.g. marking 2 or all of True/ False and “Don’t Know”) are negatively marked -0.5 points
  2. Oral exam (1 hour), consisting of four 12-minute stations:
    • In Literature analysis, candidates will be asked to discuss one of four articles sent in advance of the examination. Candidates should be able to discuss the article or identify considerations they would make if they were reviewing the article for a peer-reviewed journal.
    • In Case Study, candidates will be given clinical data and imagery, and asked to discuss the case with their examiners.
    • In Candidate Video, candidates will discuss the video they submitted with their examiners, covering why they chose the technique they did, as well as the complexities of the case
    • In Unseen Video, candidates will take the role of trainer, discussing a video they have not seen, as if the examiners were their trainees. They will provide an ongoing narrative of the surgery, including the likely outcomes of certain surgical steps, as well as alternative approaches and procedures.


The written (MCQ) section of the examination is scored through machine scanning (answer sheets are passed trough an optical mark reader). The scores from all candidates are used to define the standard for a passing score. This standard will then be used and scaled to assign candidates a score between 1 and 5 (corresponding to the same grading levels as the oral section of the examination, see below). The EBO-ESCRS examination board reserve the right to award a “Pass” to any candidate who scores 70% or above, in the unlikely event that this score is lower than the passing score derived from all results.

Each oral examination will be marked on a 5-point scale, which translates to the following
performance grades:

  1. Absolute Fail
  2. Clear Fail
  3. Marginal Fail
  4. Clear Pass
  5. Exceptional

The deliberation (to determine pass or fail for each candidate) is performed using a matrix, based on the outcomes of each of the five sections in the examination.

You will pass if you score:

  • Five Exceptional and/or Clear Pass (in any combination)
  • Four Clear Pass and a Clear Fail for the Literature Analysis section only
  • Four Pass and one Marginal Fail
  • Three Clear Pass and two Marginal Fail, if one Marginal Fail is for Literature Analysis

You will fail if you score:

  • One Absolute Fail in any section
  • One Clear Fail for any section other than Literature Analysis
  • Two Marginal Fails if neither of these is for Literature Analysis
  • Three or more Marginal Fails or lower grades (in any combination)


By applying for the exam, the applicant accepts the judgement of the jury members as being just and adequate. However, the candidate can appeal in the following conditions:
The grounds for an appeal should be limited to procedural irregularity, examiner misconduct, administrative errors or extenuating circumstances that have adversely affected the candidate’s performance. Any illness affecting performance must be declared at the time, and supported by a timely medical certificate (supplied within five working days).

Queries not answered on this page should be sent to

Applications Now Closed

Downloads & Resources

The Curriculum (.docx download)
The Recommendation Letter template (.docx download)
The CV template (.docx download) (resource link) (resource link)


About the Portal

With our new range of online resources, you can continue your education year-round with ESCRS.

All of our resources together in one place:

  • iLearn (online CME accredited courses)
  • On Demand (A new updated layout for ease of use)
  • Player (videos from many different categories)
  • Landmark Journal Articles
  • Case Studies
  • Course Handouts and more…
Read more