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 has been developed to provide guidance on candidates wishing to appeal against a decision made by the ICO, relating to examinations. The Policy is to ensure that all candidate for ICO Examinations are treated fairly and equitably. Candidates are encouraged to communicate if they have any cause for concern.
An appeal is defined as a request for a review of a decision made by the ICO Examination team, including coordinator, invigilators, examinations executive committee and examinations office team.
3.1 The ICO will investigate appeals where there is evidence of one of the following:
Exceptional circumstances, such as bereavement, illness or surgery. Documentary evidence must be submitted to the ICO Exams office as soon as possible post examination. 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 or was unaware of the examinations regulations as published.
4.1 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 exam results
Report any issues to the ICO invigilators, coordinators or administrative staff present at the examination centre on Exam day.
Contact at the earliest convenience and no later than 24 hours post examination, the ICO Examinations Office.
Post exam results
Report any issue to the ICO Examinations Office, via the ICO Appeals form that can be found on the ICO website icoph.org
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. The payment is based on the GNIpC of the country where the candidate resides and can be made via the ICO website, by credit or debit card firstname.lastname@example.org. 4.2 Investigation
The following process will be followed when investigating any appeal:
The Director for Examinations and three members of the Examinations Executive committee will carry out an initial review and if the candidate has grounds for appeal.
If the appeal is considered not to be within the permitted grounds for appeal, the Director for Examinations will inform the candidate in writing.
If the appeal is considered to be in the permitted grounds for appeal, the Director for Examinations will inform the candidate in writing and the appeal will be investigated. Coordinators, invigilators, candidates, and members of the ICO may be contacted in writing for comments.
A summary report will be submitted to the Examinations Executive committee for review.
The Examinations Executive committee will decide, after reviewing all of the evidence will decide if the appeal should be upheld. Further evidence may be requested.
The candidate will be notified of any decision, as soon as possible and no later than 30 days post receiving the request for appeal. If for any reason, the 30 days will be breached, the candidate will be contacted by the Director for Examinations.
4.3 Appeal Outcome
The outcome of the appeal may be as follows:
The appeal is NOT UPHELD and no further action is taken by the ICO. Candidates will be informed in writing (email) by the Director for Examinations.
The appeal is UPHELD and the results of the examination be declared void. Candidates will be informed in writing (email) by the Director for Examinations. 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 for 12 months.
The appeal is UPHELD and the result of the examination may be amended from a ‘fail’ to a ‘pass’ mark. Please note that this is not normal practice and will only be considered under exceptional circumstances, where there is clear evidence of a procedural irregularity and that the candidates is found to have failed by less than one standard deviation of the mass mark. The final decision to amend the pass mark will be ratified by the Examinations Executive committee. The candidate will be entitled to a full refund of the appeal fee. Candidates will be informed in writing (email) by the Director for Examinations.
If can candidate is not satisfied with the decision of the Examinations Executive committee, they can ask for their appeal to be reviewed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the ICO, who will consider whether there are grounds for the appeal to be taken to the ICO Board.