Connecting Ophthalmologists from Around the World to Achieve Eye Health for Everyone

Frequenty Asked Questions


Standard Examinations:  Visual Sciences; Optics, Refraction and Instruments; and Clinical Ophthalmology.

Advanced Examination (Fellow of the International Council of Ophthalmology – FICO)

Foundation Assessment: optional to prepare, free access for those registered for any ICO examination

To learn more, see Types of Examinations

The next examination date is announced by the ICO on the ICO website and through ICO communications and social media.

The ICO examinations are typically held twice a year.

The Foundation Assessment can be taken any time.
To learn more, see Register for ICO Examinations

Yes, this is possible, although the ICO advises against it.  Statistics show that candidates who take both exams on the same day have a lower success rate than those who take the exams separately.  Not all examination centers can accommodate taking more than one examination. Please contact the ICO examinations office for further information before registering.

Contact us:

The examinations are held in the candidate’s own country. Find a full list of locations at ‘Find Your Exam Center‘ on the website.

Please contact the ICO Examination office at stating where you would like to take the examination.  The ICO Examination office will try to organise for a co-ordinator in your local area or as close as possible to your desired location.

The fees are indicated in the on-line application form are set according to the World Bank country categories by income (e.g., low-, lower middle, upper-middle and high-income). Members of ICO member societies benefit from additionally discounted rates.

Find out if your society is an ICO Member Society

Payment can be made online by either credit or debit card or you can make a payment directly into the ICO bank account.  Account information can be obtained from the ICO Examinations office at

Candidates wishing to withdraw their ICO Examinations applications must do in writing before the closing date by which applications are due, as shown on the ICO website.  There is an administrative fee for any cancellation. Refunds are not made to candidates who withdraw after the closing date. Where extenuating circumstances prevent a candidate from sitting the examination, supporting documentation must be provided stating the nature of those circumstances. Please contact the ICO Examination office at

All examination answer papers are marked using an advanced technology, software, and automated scanner of the answer (OMR) sheets.

Candidates are able to use a dictionary and calculator in the Examination room.  No other electronic device may be used.

You can change your test center up until the closing date.  Anyone wishing to change their test centre after this date needs to contact the ICO Examinations office at

If a certificate is lost, the ICO Examinations office can issue an authorised copy.  This certificate will be embossed with the word “Copy.” There will be a charge for administrative costs. Please contact the ICO Examination office at

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