The American Society of Ocularists provides educational courses preparing people to take their National Examining Board of Ocularists (NEBO) exams; these courses are offered at two ASO conferences each year. There is no formal school where a person can train to become an ocularist.
The clinical aspect of the curriculum begins when the Apprentice or Associate becomes involved with the fitting and fabrication of ocular prosthetics, whether under the supervision of a Board Approved Diplomate Ocularist (BADO) or through experience. The amount of experience for an Apprentice member should be one hundred percent of the work time; for an Associate member, sixty percent.
Apprentice and Associate members are required to take an experience level examination at specific intervals during their training to verify their level of training.
The curriculum includes courses and workshops related to the full competent practice of an ocularist.
The courses and workshops are conducted at the Annual and Mid-Year meetings of the ASO. The Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with the American Academy of Ophthalmology in a city chosen by the Academy.
The one-hour courses include a lecture by an individual or a panel, usually with some type of visual presentation followed by questions from the audience. Some courses have examinations.
Workshops provide an opportunity for members to have a hands-on experience working with various techniques and materials. Some preparation of material brought to the course may be required.
Free papers on current subjects pertaining to an ocularist’s practice are presented by knowledgeable health care people.
The entire curriculum is repeated every five years.
The Board of Directors appoints Education Chairs who, together with various education committees, select the meeting course presenters from the general membership, medical affiliates, oculoplastic surgeons, physicians and ancillary ophthalmic technicians, nurses or health care professionals.