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Diploma in Ophthalmology Examination

On 7 July 2016, the Examinations Committee agreed that the Diploma examination was no longer viable due to its low candidate numbers, and regrettably decided to permanently discontinue the Diploma examination,  The last examination took place in September 2015.  The information on this page has been left for reference. 

The examination will comprise of theoretical papers, a structured viva and an objectively structured multi-station clinical examination (OSCE) as follows:

A 3 hour Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) paper of 120, single best item stem, questions relating to basic sciences and theoretical optics
A 2 hour Constructed Response Question (CRQ) paper of 12 questions
A Structured Viva consisting of five stations, each will be timed for a precise period of 5 minutes. Station 7 of the OSCE, Communication Skills, will not be conducted in a clinical setting and will be held at the same time as the Structured Viva, lasting for a precise period of 5 minutes.The stations are set out as follows:

Station 1:        Patient Management 1
Station 2:        Patient Management 2
Station 3:        Patient Investigations
Station 4:        Ethics and Evidence Based Medicine
Station 5:        Public Health (including Health Promotion and Disease Prevention)Two examiners will be present at each station for the duration of the cycle.

A Multiple Station Clinical examination (OSCE) consisting of a series of 7 stations. Each of the clinical stations will be timed for precise periods 10 minutes.  Station 7, Communication Skills, will not be conducted in a clinical setting and will be held at the same time as the Structured Viva, lasting for a precise period of 5 minutes.The stations are set out as follows:

Station 1:        Posterior Segment 1
Station 2:        Posterior Segment 2
Station 3:        Anterior Segment
Station 4:        Strabismus and Neuro-Ophthalmology
Station 5:        Pupils and Visual Fields
Station 6:        External Eye
Station 7:        Communication Skills (takes place logistically with Structured Viva)

From 1 August 2013 candidates are permitted a maximum of six attempts in which to pass this examination.  Examination attempts prior to August 2013 do not count towards the number of attempts available.

Standard Setting

All examinations are standard set.  The MCQ paper is standard set using the Ebel method.  The CRQ is standard set using the Angoff method.  The Structured Viva and OSCE are standard set using the borderline candidate method.

Overall Result

Candidates are required to pass the written and oral sections.  If a candidate marginally fails one written paper (within one standard error of measurement of the pass mark) their total marks for both papers will be added together.  If this mark exceeds the combined pass marks for both papers, they will be deemed to have passed the written section

If a candidate marginally fails the Structured Viva (within one standard error of measurement of the pass mark) their total marks for both the Viva and the OSCE will be added together.  If this mark exceeds the combined pass marks for both papers, they will be allowed to pass the oral section.  It is NOT possible to compensate a poor OSCE with a good Structured Viva result.

If awarded a fail, candidates must re-sit the entire examination, even if a pass was previously achieved in any section.

Results

Results will be released four weeks after the examination, once verified by the Senior Examiner.  Candidates are not permitted to telephone the College for examination results.  All results will be sent to candidates by first class post and the pass list will be displayed on the College website.