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.

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. There are two types of examiners.

  • Remote Examiners (REs) - Score via a secure internet website. Remote Examiners will need to have broadband service. REs receive video assignments via email approximately every two weeks. Each video contains the performance of one candidate at a specific station. To maintain consistency and reliability across the entire examination, REs will be assigned to score a specific station for a minimum of six months. REs will be selected based on years of service, station experience, and examiner evaluation feedback.

  • In-House Examiners (IHEs) - Evaluate four candidates in the station 2 rotation during each testing session at the National Center of Clinical Testing of Optometry in Charlotte, North Carolina. IHEs are required to commit to a minimum of two sessions per month. This role is not remote.


  • Doctors of Optometry with an active license 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.

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

Examiners are required to sign a confidentiality agreement and cannot participate in any Part III Clinical Skills Exam candidate preparation courses. Examiners must keep all NBEO information and materials secure and confidential. NBEO will monitor examiner scoring consistency, accuracy, and timeliness of grading. On-going support and training will be provided.

Station 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

Injections Skill Evaluation

*REs must have the appropriate injections licensure / credentials.

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

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