Ocularists

The National Examining Board of Ocularists (NEBO) was chartered in November 1980. NEBO currently operates as an independent agency whose primary function is the assessment of competence of ocularists of the professionals who fit and fabricate ocular prostheses (artificial eyes). Candidates, who wish to be awarded the credential B.C.O., must first successfully pass a four-part examination. The NEBO board of directors is comprised of ocularists, members of related professions including ophthalmology, and a member of the public community.

Our Mission

The National Examining Board of Ocularists (NEBO) is chartered to develop, maintain and administer a certification examination as a means of attesting to the competency of the ocularist. In addition, NEBO issues renewable and dated certificates, and maintains a registry or list of those who are currently certified.

What is an Ocularist?

An ocularist is a carefully trained professional skilled in the science and art of fitting, fabricating and painting ophthalmic prostheses (artificial eyes). In addition to creating it, the ocularist shows the patient how to handle and care for the prosthesis, and provides long-term care through periodic examinations and replacements.

The Title B.C.O.

Those ocularists that have achieved and maintained certification are designated as Board Certified Ocularists, B.C.O. It is the intent of NEBO to provide a national standard that can be used as a measure of competence by interested agencies, groups and individuals. When deciding who is qualified to serve the patients’ needs, the B.C.O. indicates experience, training, competence and generally, many years of experience helping patients or constituents.

The Examination

The certification examination was designed by studying the work that ocularists do and the knowledge they rely on to perform their work competently. A nationally representative committee of highly qualified certified ocularists carried out such a study to define precise content areas that are important, critical and relevant to the profession. The results of this Role Delineation study are included in a set of specifications for the test. The exam consists of the following four parts:

1. Written

The written section of the Certification Examination consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.

2. Fitting

This examination consists of 100 multiple-choice questions using photographic prints of cases seen by ocularists.

3. Duplication of a Visualized Shape

This section of the examination assesses the ability of the examinee to duplicate a conventional prosthetic shape in wax, while maintaining a high degree of tolerance in the duplication of the sample prosthesis.

4. Fabrication

This part of the examination requires that the examinee demonstrate his/her ability to fabricate the two most commonly encountered types of prostheses: the conventional prosthesis and the scleral shell prosthesis.

Registration

All Board Certified Ocularists, (B.C.O.) must register three years after the date of certification and/or recertification. 50 Continuing Education credits must be earned four (4) years prior to registration.

Recertification

The Board Certified Ocularist, (B.C.O.) must recertify every six years. The recertification process may take one of the two following forms:

Process I

Accumulate 100 Continuing Education credits. This includes 34 tested credits (attend a course, then pass a test on the course) and also passing the Recertification Examination. The credits must be earned within a period of seven (7) years prior to July in the year of Recertification.

Process II

Accumulate 300 Continuing Education credits including 110 tested credits earned within a period of seven (7) year prior to July in the year of recertification.

Accreditation

The National Examining Board of Ocularists has achieved the distinction of being an Accredited Certification Organization. NEBO is a fully accredited member of the National Organization for Competency Assurance (NOCA). The certifying body is The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Accreditation and membership in NOCA are reserved for only those organizations that meet the most rigid standards of excellence in test development and administration in health care certification.

The National Examining Board of Ocularists shall not discriminate against applicants on the basis of age, sex, color, religion, or national origin, and shall include a statement of this non-discrimination policy on the application and other publications. The responsibility for professional integrity and excellence remains with the ocularist.