10.1 Eligibility


Board Certification is a voluntary process that optometrists may enter to gain professional recognition and demonstrate their dedication to lifelong learning. Diplomate status is granted after passing the Board Certification exam. To maintain this status, Diplomates must participate in the Maintenance of Certification program.


  1. Qualifying requirements must be fulfilled before an application can be approved by the ABO, allowing the applicant to become an ABO Active Candidate. These include graduation from a School or College of Optometry accredited by the Accreditation Council on Optometric Education (ACOE) and an active license to practice therapeutic optometry in a State, District of Columbia, U.S. Commonwealth or Territory. Verifying these accomplishments can take the ABO up to 30 days.
  2. To become eligible for the Board Certification exam, a candidate must attain 150 points within the three years prior to taking the exam. These points can be attained through approved residencies, fellowships, and educational activities.
  3. Active Candidate status may be renewed for up to three years total by submitting proof of completion of 50 points toward the Post-Graduate requirements for each year of eligibility.
  4. Once Post-Graduate requirements are completed and verified by the ABO, the candidate may register for the Board Certification exam through Prometric.