European College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists

Exam Dates and Deadlines

Dear ECVO Exam Candidates,

Thank you for your patience and understanding over the disruption to the exams in 2020 and for the delayed news regarding the 2021 exam timetable; unfortunately, this was unavoidable because of the ongoing and dynamic nature of the pandemic. However, following our recent exam planning meeting, we have now formulated a plan for the 2021 ECVO examinations, as below.

As you already know, for 2021 we are splitting the exams into two parts, the theoretical (MCQ and slides) and the practical exams. These will take place on the following dates unless exceptional circumstances dictate otherwise.:

  • Theoretical exam (MCQ and slide): Thursday and Friday 27th and 28th May 2021.
  • Practical exam: Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th September 2021 (each candidate will be required to attend 1 or 2 days out of these three, further details will follow later in the summer but please keep all dates free). The practical exam will be held at UAB University, Barcelona and we will send further information, including a detailed timetable, after the theoretical examinations. As previously clarified, you will be allowed to proceed with the practical exam even if you fail the MCQ and/or the slide examination.

Theoretical exam

We will have 3 main European exam centres supervised by exam committee members Marta Leiva, Simon Pot and Ernst-Otto Ropstad located, respectively, in Barcelona, Zurich and Oslo universities. If they wish, any exam candidate can choose one of these locations in which to sit the exam.

However, this year we have candidates from a total of 9 countries (Czech republic, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK) and we appreciate that many may be worried about the possibility of travel restrictions to another country. Because of this, we are also offering a second option to candidates. This is for the candidates to arrange for themselves a suitable location and invigilation in their own country for the 2 days of theoretical exams. Please note:

  • It is the responsibility of the candidate, not the exam committee or ECVO, to arrange the location and appropriate invigilator(s) if the candidate chooses not to sit the exam in one of the three main centres.
  • In countries where multiple candidates are present (UK - 8 candidates, Switzerland - 2 candidates, Italy - 2, Spain - 2) we would encourage the candidates to arrange a single exam location.
  • If a candidate is unable to arrange a suitable location and invigilator then they will need to book a place at one of the other exam centres, either one of the three main exam centres in Barcelona, Zurich or Norway, or with candidates from other countries.
  • A suitable exam location will require an appropriate room (secluded and quiet, with reliable WiFi connection) and with tables and chairs spaced at 2 metre intervals for 1 or more candidates. A university setting is ideal but not essential. Candidates must bring their own laptops, which they will use for the exam.
  • The invigilator must be a Diplomate of a European or American Veterinary College (but does not have to be an ECVO Diplomate). Ideally the invigilator will not be a supervisor of one of the candidates in the exam room but if this is unavoidable then it will be acceptable. The invigilator(s) must be physically present in the exam room during the entire exam and will be asked to sign a declaration confirming this both before and after the exam.
  • Each candidate must notify the exam committee chairperson, via email to the ECVO secretary and by 30th April at the latest, to inform them of the location that they will sit the exam and the name, qualifications and email address of the invigilator(s). They must also supply written confirmation from the invigilator(s) that they have agreed to monitor the examinations (this confirmation can be via email).


The theoretical exams will be performed via an online exam system called ExamSoft. This has already been used in many US and European Diploma examinations and is reliable and simple to use. You will be given full instructions on its use, including practice examinations, before the exam. This process will start about two months before the scheduled exam date.  You will be given Examsoft accounts to download and install on your computer.  You will then need to complete a “registration” exam that checks your camera and microphone, then takes a baseline picture that will be used for facial recognition.  Following this you will attend an Examsoft training session (over Zoom) during which Rob Malinowski of ExamSoft will go over all the features of the Examplify program in which the exam is run. Rob will offer several sessions to accommodate diverse schedules, but each candidate only needs to attend one.  Members of the exam committee will also be present as well to go over the general process for the exam and address any questions.  After the training sessions are completed, you will be given a practice exam to complete in your own time.  This allows you to explore the Examplify software in more detail and confirm that you can complete and upload an exam.  On the days of the exam, Rob will be available remotely to assist the invigilators should there be any problems.

We will be in touch in due course with further details. If you have any urgent queries in the meantime then please contact me via the ECVO Secretary.

Best of luck with your revision and thank you once again for your patience and understanding.

With kind regards,

David Gould
Chair, ECVO Examination Committee
January 2021

STEPS FOR APPLICATION FOR ECVO EXAMINATION                                                                                                                                                

 Step 1. Approval of RTP
ERC online forms - All
ERC Chair
1 August
ERC online programme
and progress evaluation forms
ERC Chair

 Step 2. Credentials application
Form A
Credentials Chair 
1 September

Credentials documentation
Credentials Chair 
Pay credentials fee (see Application Guidelines) 
Inform Treasurer
Reference letter
Credentials Chair
 Step 3. Exam application
Form B
Credentials Chair 
1 December
Pay exam fee (see Application Guidelines)
Inform Treasurer