Select Page


RANZCO trainees on the vocational training program sit a series of exams to test their knowledge and skills. These exams consist of both written (online) exams and practical exams. Passing each stage of exams is essential to progress through the vocational training program and graduate as a fully qualified ophthalmologist.

If you are a RANZCO trainee looking for information about registration, timetables, venues, withdrawals, special consideration, results or appeals, please log in to your dashboard for relevant information and notifications.

For information about the support available to trainees, please see the Training Support page and the RANZCO Trainee Performance Support Policy.

Examinations During Basic Training:
Ophthalmic Sciences Examinations and OBCK

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, 3 hours)
  • Physiology (written examination, 2.5 hours)
  • Ophthalmic Basic Competencies and Knowledge (OBCK) (practical examination, all day event)

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 that they grasp the knowledge essential for safe practice and for basic understanding of clinical experience in ophthalmology.

Examinations During Advanced Training:
Ophthalmic Pathology (OP) and RANZCO Advanced Clinical Examination (RACE)

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 have passed all basic training examinations and meet the examination registration requirements are eligible to sit OP. This examination is comprised of a written paper (3 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 in Part C, and 10 microbiology multiple choice questions in Part D.
    • Paper 2 consists of two cases with six questions each, which the candidate will answer after examining digital histopathological images.
  • RANZCO Advanced Clinical Examination (RACE)– advanced trainees who have commenced the second year of advanced training, are not under remediation, have passed OP examination and meet the examination registration requirements are eligible to sit RACE . This examination is comprised of two written papers (3 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 nine short essay questions.
    • Part B consists of 30 very short answer questions.

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.

If you have any questions regarding examinations, please email

For more information about RANZCO’s examinations, please see the Examination Policy.

To view the individual curriculum performance standards, please see the Policies and Guidelines page.

Last updated: August 2, 2019

Get in Touch

Do you have any queries or comments about our website, our products or any  of our services?
RANZCO acknowledges our First Australians, the Traditional
Custodians of the land on which we live and work, and pays
respect to Elders past, present and emerging. Gadigal people
of the Eora Nation are the traditional custodians of the land
where the RANZCO head office is located.

Follow Us

RANZCO is a member of The Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) and is compliant with the ACFID code of conduct.