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.


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 or the professionals who fit and fabricate ocular prostheses. Candidates, who wish to be awarded the credential BCO, must first successfully pass a two-part examination. The NEBO board of directors is comprised of ocularists, members of related professions including ophthalmology, and a member of the public community.

What is an Ocularist?

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

The Title BCO

Those ocularists that have achieved and maintained certification are designated as Board Certified Ocularists, (BCO).  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 BCO indicates experience, training, competence and generally many years of experience helping patients. 

The Certification 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 NEBO certified ocularists carried out such a study to define precise content areas that are important, critical and relevant to ocularistry. The results of this Role Delineation study are included in a set of specifications for the test. The exam consists of the following two parts, the written exam and the fabrication exam. 


The written section of the Certification Examination consists of l50 multiple choice questions.

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

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