Notice of changes

The written examinations will be delivered through computer-based examinations effective semester 1, 2018 (Anatomy, Optics and Physiology) and semester 2, 2018 (Ophthalmic Pathology and RACE). The examinations will be available at Cliftons Testing Centres in Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Christchurch, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington. The Anatomy written examination and OSPE will be conducted on the same day in Sydney. There are no changes to COPEM Module 1 and Module 2 arrangements. Further information and practice exams are available on Moodle

RANZCO and Cliftons have a contingency plan to address issues on the day of examination. There is an invigilator and technical support officer in each venue. The relevant RANZCO Examination Chair, Examiner-in-Charge/Subject Leader, Education Coordinator and IT Officer will also monitor all venues. In the event of complete computer failure, hard copies of the examination are available for all candidates.


Online registration for the semester 1, 2018 basic examinations is now available through your trainee dashboard. Online registration for the semester 2, 2018 advanced examinations will open on 1 April 2018 and close on 18 May 2018. The eligibility requirements for each examination are in the Trainee Progression Policy.


All examinations are available twice per calendar year. COPEM Modules 1 and 2 online examinations are available more frequently. The examinations are usually held on the same week each year, except for the semester 1 RACE clinical examination which is affected by Easter. The 2019 timetables will be available on 1 June 2018, subject to approval by the examination boards and Qualification and Education Committee. 

2018 Ophthalmic Sciences and OBCK examinations 

2018 Ophthalmic Pathology examinations

2018 RANZCO Advanced Clinical Examinations (RACE)


The semester 1, 2018 advanced examinations (Ophthalmic Pathology and RACE) are held in major training centres in Australia and New Zealand. While the semester 1, 2018 basic examinations (Optics and Physiology) and semester 2, 2018 advanced examinations (Ophthalmic Pathology and RACE) are available at Cliftons Testing Centres in Adelaide, Auckland, Brisbane, Christchurch, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Wellington. Please note that from semester 1, 2018, the Anatomy written and OSPE will be conducted on the same day in Sydney. The OBCK and RACE OSCE are run in a training hospital which is selected based on a rotating roster.


Trainees who wish to withdraw from an examination will need to advise the College by email no later than two weeks prior to the examination date. Withdrawal after this date will result in the forfeit of the registration fee, unless there are extenuating circumstances which can be supported by appropriate documentation. All withdrawals will incur an administration fee (AU$ 100).


Special consideration may be given to trainees or Specialist International Medical Graduates (SIMGs) when there are circumstances beyond their control that may impact on their performance in an examination which has been formally scheduled by the College. A trainee or SIMG who seeks special consideration for examinations must apply to the Censor-in-Chief in writing as soon as possible prior to the examination, providing details of their circumstances which may warrant special consideration. If such situations occur then candidates must email the College education manager responsible, who will forward the application to the Censor-in-Chief. All applications must be supported by appropriate documentation. Please refer to the Examination Policy.


All trainee results and cohort feedback are available on Moodle approximately six weeks after the examination, excluding OBCK (within one week) and RACE (the Tuesday following the OSCE). Trainee results are also communicated directly to the relevant network QEC Chair and Director of Training.

The Board of Examiners’ decision regarding a candidate’s performance is final and shall not be subject to any form of reassessment. Candidates are not permitted to contact the examiners to discuss any aspect of their performance. Completed examination scripts will not be made available to candidates at any time.


Any person who has been directly and adversely affected by a determination of the College that is inconsistent with an approved policy or procedure may apply to the Chief Executive Officer to have the determination reviewed in accordance with the Reconsideration, Review and Appeals Policy.


Please do not hesitate to contact your network QEC Chair, Director of Training, Term Supervisor, Clinical Tutors, mentor, and the Education Team if you require support at any time. You may also refer to the College’s Employee Assistance Program for further assistance. Unsuccessful candidates should meet with their Director of Training or mentor to discuss results and, if eligible, to prepare for the next sitting of the examination.


Trainees sit the Ophthalmic Sciences (OS) and Ophthalmic Basic Competencies and Knowledge (OBCK) examinations in their first eighteen months of basic training. During this time they have three opportunities to sit each examination.

  • COPEM Module 1 examination  online examination covering educational elements 1–11 of the COPEM curriculum. Trainees must pass this online COPEM exam after selection and before training time starts being accredited.
  • COPEM Module 2 examination – online examination covering only educational element 12 of the COPEM curriculum (i.e. only Ocular Emergencies). Trainees must pass this online exam within the first three months of training.
  • Anatomy (practical and written examination) – trainees are required to sit the Anatomy examination after appointment to the training program at the next opportunity. There are no penalties if the attempt at this examination is unsuccessful; however unsuccessful candidates must re-sit Anatomy at the next sitting of the examination.
  • Optics (written examination, three hours)
  • Physiology (written examination, 2.5 hours)
  • Ophthalmic Basic Competencies and Knowledge (OBCK) (practical examination, all day event)

 Anatomy Trainee Notification Letter (July 2016) (PDF 104.2KB) 

 OBCK Trainee Notification Letter (May 2016) (PDF 105.7KB)

These subjects are examined on the basis of the curriculum standards that set out learning outcomes, knowledge, and references. The broad objective of these examinations is for trainees to demonstrate they grasp the knowledge essential for safe practice, and for basic understanding of clinical experience in ophthalmology.


Advanced training encompasses the demonstration of integrated clinical and surgical skills and knowledge of curriculum standards. There are two advanced examinations:

  • Ophthalmic Pathology (OP)  trainees who has passed all basic training examinations and meets the examination registration requirements are eligible to sit OP. This examination is comprised of a written paper (three hours) and the examination of two digital histopathological slides on a computer screen (45 minutes).The questions are based on the revised 2016 Ophthalmic Pathology curriculum standard and are allocated according to the examination blueprint to ensure that each section of the standard is represented. Paper 1 consists of four parts: four general OP questions in Part A, eight clinical OP questions in Part B, 10 Genetics multiple choice questions (MCQs) in Part C, and 10 Microbiology MCQs in Part D. Paper 2 consists of two cases with six questions each, which the candidate will answer after examining two digital histopathological slides with the NDP viewing software
  • RANZCO Advanced Clinical Examination (RACE) – advanced trainees who has commenced second year of advanced training, is not under remediation, passed OP examination, and meets the examination registration requirements are eligible to sit RACE . This examination is comprised of two written papers (three hours each) and a two-day objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). The questions are based on the 2014 clinical curriculum performance standards and are allocated according to the examination blueprint to ensure that each of the standards is represented. Each written paper consists of two parts: Part A consists of 9 Short Essay Questions (SEQs) and Part B consists of 30 Very Short Answer Questions (VSAQs). There are 18 OSCE stations with each clinical curriculum performance standard examined in two stations. Each OSCE station is allocated nine minutes, allowing a changeover of two minutes between stations.

Important RACE Information (Updated July 2015)

RACE Trainee Notification Letters (2012 - 2015)

If you have specific questions regarding College examinations, please contact Felicity Tripolone for basic examinations or Antonelle Clemente-Marquez  for advanced examinations.
Last updated: 01 March 2018