Subject Matter Experts

SME Overview

The National Board of Examiners in Optometry® (NBEO) maintains a comprehensive and high-standard exam development practice and our subject matter experts (SMEs) are essential to the contribution of this process. SMEs are contributors who have the necessary knowledge and skills to assist in the examination development process. NBEO examinations are integral to competency assessment in optometry.

Please note: NBEO subject matter experts (including item writers, case authors, scenario authors, and examiners) may not contribute to or participate in any way with any form of test or examination preparation pertaining to any NBEO examinations administered by or under development by NBEO. If you have any questions about whether you may be disqualified from becoming a subject matter expert, please send an email to

Item Writers & Authors

Item writers, scenario and case authors create multiple choice items and patient case scenarios based on the NBEO exam content matrix. These SMEs construct items and cases using templates provided in the organizational item writing manual. Contributors participate in the Part I ABS, Part II PAM/TMOD, or Part III PEPS examinations remotely.

Currently, we are looking for subject matters experts who would like to contribute their talents as scenario authors to the Part III Patient Encounters and Performance Skills (PEPS) examination. If you are interested in an opportunity, click here to apply.


Examiners have an integral role in the scoring of our NBEO practical examinations. These practical examinations assess a candidate’s communication skills and abilities to perform various optometric procedures. The NBEO’s practical examinations are Part III CSE Clinical Skills, Laser and Surgical Procedures LSPE and ISE Injections Skill.

All practical examinations are held in Charlotte, NC.

There are two types of examiners.

  • Remote Examiners (REs) - - Score CSE, LSPE and ISE via a secure internet website. Examiners will need to have broadband service. REs receive video assignments via email every 2 weeks. Each video will have one candidate at the specified station and can be up to 40 minutes in length. To maintain consistency and reliability across the entire examination, REs will be assigned to score a specific station for a minimum of 6 months.

  • In-House Examiners (IHEs) - Evaluate candidates in Station 2 as part of the CSE examination. IHEs are required to commit to a minimum of 2 sessions per month. Each session is 3 hours. This role is not remote so most IHEs are local optometrists. Although we invite examiners to travel to Charlotte to serve in this role, all travel, hotel and food expenses remain the responsibility of the examiner.

  • Examiners will be selected based on years of service, station experience, and examiner evaluation feedback.

  • Examiners are assigned based upon a balance of need for examiners, examiner station preference, examiner station experience, and examination scheduling needs.


  • Licensed Doctors of Optometry in active practice are eligible to serve. NBEO will communicate with state optometry boards to verify the credentials of potential examiners.

  • Graduated at least 3 years from an accredited school of optometry.

  • Actively engaged in the delivery of patient care as evidenced by malpractice insurance coverage (personal or institutional).

  • Successfully passed the Treatment and Management of Ocular Disease (TMOD®) examination or licensed by a state board to use drugs for therapeutic purposes.

  • Sign a professional services agreement and cannot participate in any candidate preparation courses for the specific exam one is scoring. The diligent efforts of all examiners in keeping information and materials secure are anticipated and appreciated. NBEO will monitor examiner scoring consistency, accuracy, and timeliness of grading. On-going support and training will be provided.

  • In addition to the requirements above, ISE REs must have appropriate injections credentials/licensure; LSPE REs must have appropriate laser and/or surgical credentials/licensure.

CSE Station and Skills

Station 1

  • 1. Case History / Patient Communication

  • 2. Patient Education

  • 3. Near Cover Test and Near Point of Convergence

  • 4. Binocular Extraocular Muscle Motility and Binocular Horizontal Saccadic Eye Movement Evaluation

  • 5. Static Peripheral Confrontation Visual Fields

  • 6. Pupil Testing

  • 7. Blood Pressure Measurement

  • 8. Ophthalmic Lens Evaluation (RE does not score)

Station 2

  • 9. Biomicroscopy

  • 10. Goldmann Applanation Tonometry

  • 11. 3-Mirror Gonioscopy

  • 12. Collagen Implant Insertion and Removal

  • 13. Soft and GP Contact Lens Insertion, Evaluation, and Removal

Station 3

  • 14. Retinoscopy

  • 15. Distance Subjective Refraction

  • 16. Heterophoria and Vergence Testing at Distance

  • 17. Accommodation Testing

Station 4

  • 18. Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscopy

  • 19. Dilated Biomicroscopy and Non-Contact Fundus Lens Evaluation


Once you submit the application, you will only be contacted if further information is needed to complete the application process. Please note that we have a waiting list for Remote Examiners but are currently seeking In-House Examiners.

If you have any questions that have not been addressed on the NBEO® website, please do not hesitate to contact us at

If you are interested in becoming an examiner, click here for more details.

Existing Examiners, click here to enter the existing examiner portal.