American Board of Optometry Policies

Nondiscrimination Policy

The American Board of Optometry (“ABO”) is a 501 (c) (6) Missouri nonprofit organization, an equal opportunity employer dedicated to providing an environment free from discrimination due to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age and marital status, veteran status, or any other status protected by law.  This policy ensures that equal employment and opportunity is provided to all individuals without regard to the above qualities.  The ABO will not discriminate with respect to all aspects of the employment relationship, including, hiring, terms and conditions of employment and the termination of employment.

Any optometrist who applies for Board Certification and completes the requirements can earn the credential of Diplomate, regardless of his or her race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age and marital status, veteran status and any other status protected by law. All Diplomates are given equal opportunity to maintain their certification.

In addition, the ABO strives to provide reasonable accommodations to employees and volunteers with disabilities and abides by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act as well as applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination.

The ABO strictly prohibits any form of unlawful harassment based on race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age and marital status, veteran status, and any other status protected by law.  The ABO is also committed to providing an environment free from sexual or other prohibited harassment and other intimidating or hostile acts.

The ABO will not discriminate or retaliate against any person who complains of a violation of this policy or who participates in the investigation of a violation of this policy.  Any complaint of retaliation may be reported according to and will be handled in accordance with Section 8.4 of the Policy Manual.

Confidentiality of Candidate and Diplomate Information

The ABO is responsible for its organization’s confidential information and that of its applicants, candidates and Diplomates. The ABO, in collaboration with Prometric, Authentic Testing and Heuristics Solutions, maintains all confidential records in a secure online database. Personal information and test scores are kept confidential. Limited ABO staff has access to these records, and all employees, volunteers and Directors must agree to protect this information through a confidentiality agreement.

Disciplinary Policy

The ABO is dedicated to protecting the integrity of its Board Certification exam and Maintenance of Certification process.  The organization does not tolerate cheating, falsification, or inappropriate conduct. Violations include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Cheating or attempting to cheat on the Board Certification exam or other assessments, including but not limited to illegally obtaining, reproducing or copying exam materials
  2. Aiding another in cheating or attempting to cheat on the Board Certification exam
  3. Misrepresentation or falsification of requirements, including residencies, fellowships and education or Maintenance of Certification activities
  4. Falsification of Diplomate status or use of ABO logo without permission
  5. Misuse of the ABO credential

All applicants, Active Candidates and Diplomates must adhere to all current and future rules, regulations and ethical standards established by the ABO. Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary action by the ABO, including but not limited to the denial of an application, non-renewal of Board Certification, revocation of certification or status, probation or suspension of any and all ABO applications, certifications and Diplomate status.

Invalidating Board Certification

A Diplomate may lose Board Certification for several reasons including, but not limited to, fraudulently acquiring the certification, falsifying records, refusal to participate in the Maintenance of Certification program and misuse of the ABO title and logo.

Judicial and Ethics Review

The ABO Board, through a Judicial and Ethics Review, is responsible for examining situations in which Board Certification has been falsified or misrepresented, judging these situations and then deciding upon appropriate disciplinary measures. These incidents include falsifying Board Certification, forging educational documents during the application or maintenance process, the misuse of the ABO logo and credentialing terms, criminal behavior by a Diplomate and more. The Judicial and Ethics Review will also address all complaints regarding the Board Certification exam. The Board works closely with Prometric to resolve all exam-related issues.

Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodations

The ABO and its Board Certification exam meet all requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Candidates can refer to the Examination Guide for more information.

Refund Policy

Candidates who decide to reschedule or withdraw from the examination must follow the procedures below to acquire a refund of fees.

  1. No refunds are given for application fees.
  2. Full refunds are awarded for exam fees prior to the exam. Candidates must withdraw from the exam on the Prometric website.
  3. To prevent a change fee Candidates must withdraw 31 days or more prior to the scheduled exam date.
  4. Cancelling or withdrawing from the exam within 30 to 7 days prior to the scheduled exam date will incur a Change Fee of $25.
  5. A cancellation fee of $200 will be incurred for any cancellation or withdrawal less than 7 days prior to the scheduled exam date.

Download the Complete Policy and Procedure Manual >

Download American Board of Optometry Bylaws >

For policy specifically related to the exam, please see the Examination Guide.



Check Board Certification Status

By going through the voluntary process of becoming board certified, our Diplomates demonstrate competence beyond entry level.

Upcoming Events

Stay in the know about exams, training, and more by visiting our events page.

Spring Exam Window

Feb 1, 2024 @ 8:00 am - Mar 31, 2024 @ 5:00 pm CST
The next administration of the board certification exam will be February 1 - March 31, 2024. Applications may be submitted...
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Webinar: Neuro-ophthalmic Clinical Review

Feb 13, 2024 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm CST
Join us on February 13 as Leonard Messner, OD, presents a neuro-ophthalmic clinical review. This course provides an overview of...
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