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ICO Examinations Appeals Policy


Request to Mark the Examination Manually and Appeal Policy

1. Introduction

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) offers high quality examinations for ophthalmologists
around the world. It is committed to providing an excellent service for its examination candidates. This
Policy is to ensure that all candidates for ICO Examinations are treated fairly and equitably. Candidates
are encouraged to communicate if they have any cause for concern.

2. Request to mark the examination manually

Candidates who fail their examination have a right to request a manual check of their answers on their
examination answer sheets. Candidates will be required to make an administrative payment, which will
be refunded in full if the manual check results in amending from a ‘fail’ to a ‘pass’ mark.

3. Appeal

3.1         An appeal is defined as a request for a review of a case or decision where there is evidence of one of the following:

  • Exceptional circumstances, such as bereavement, or illness. The ICO considers that a candidate who attends an examination with the intention of completing it, is in a fit condition to do so.
  • Procedural irregularity that the candidate deems to have adversely affected their ability to perform to the best of their ability in the examination.

3.2         Appeals will not be accepted on the grounds that the candidate disagrees with the academic judgement of the question setters, examination result or was unaware of the examinations regulations as published.

3.3         A candidate who wishes to appeal against either Exceptional circumstances or Procedural irregularity that is deemed to have adversely affected their ability to perform during the examination should:

Pre examination results

  • Report any issues to the ICO invigilators, coordinators or administrative staff present at the examination centre on examination day.
  • Contact at the earliest convenience and no later than 24 hours post examination, the ICO Examinations Office (contact email:


Post examination results

  • Report any issue to the ICO Examinations Office no later than 5 working days after the examination results were issued (contact email:


Documentary evidence must be submitted to the ICO Examinations office as soon as possible. The candidate will be required to make an administrative payment, which will be refunded in full if it is decided that the appeal is upheld.  

3.4         The outcome of the appeal may be as follows:

  • The appeal is upheld, and the results of the examination will be declared void. The candidate will be informed in writing (email). The candidate will be entitled to a full refund of the appeal fee and will be offered either a full refund of the examination fee or to defer their examination up to 12 months.
  • The appeal is not upheld, and no further action is taken by the ICO. Candidates will be informed in writing (email). 
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