Kurt Jahrling

Providence, RI

​NEBO Chairman 


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 B.C.O., 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 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 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 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 two parts, the w
ritten exam and the fabrication exam. 


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

This 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 sell prosthesis. 


 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 4 years prior to registration.

Registration Application is due Dec 31.


The Board Certified Ocularist, B.C.O., must recertify every sixyears. The recertification process may take one of the two following paths:

Process I - (credits + Exam)

Accumulate 100 NEBO approved CE credits including 80 category A or B  and 20 category A, B and/or C credits (Credits must be earned during a period of 7 years prior to the date of expiration of Certification). Also take and pass the Recertification Exam.(Nov 14, 2017)  Example: If your Certificate expires June, 2018, you must take the Exam in the Fall 2017. Credits are valid from June 1, 20011- May 31, 2018.

Applications for Process I are due prior to Aug 17, 2017, after the deadline a $300 late fee will be applied and no applications will be processed within 30 days of the exam. 

Process II- (credits only)

Accumulate 300 NEBO approved CE credits including  240 category A or B and 60 category A, B and/or C credits. (Credits must be earned during a period of 7 years prior to July in the year of Recertification). .  Credits are valid from June 1, 20011- May 31, 2018. Applications are due April 1. 

Please refer to the

2018 REFERENCE GUIDE: Certification, Registration and Recertification,

for more information. 


Board Members​

Thomas Johnson, MD

Miami, FL

Vaune Bulgarelli

Coralville, IA

Marie Drennan/Allen

Vancouver, BC, Canada

The National Examining Board of Ocularists shall not discriminate against applicants on the basis of age, sex, color, religion, sexual orientation, 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.

Our Board

John Kelley, Jr.

Towson, MD


Michael Strauss

Rochester, NY

​NEBO Vice - Chairman 

Dan Yeager

Iowa City, IA 

Executive Director

Jon MacLean

Duluth, GA


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.


National Examining

Board of Ocularists