COE Eligibility Guidelines

What are the COE Eligibility Guidelines?
Applicants must be individuals who are directly involved in the management of an ophthalmic organization that provides patient care. Applicants must demonstrate they have a minimum of two years of health care experience plus one or more years of ophthalmic management experience. Applicants must have demonstrated experience in each of the six exam domains general ophthalmic knowledge, financial management, operations, information technology management, human resources, and risk management & regulatory compliance. The experience does not need to be completed in three consecutive years; however, the cumulative total of three years must have occurred within the preceding five calendar years. Eligibility is not limited to ASOA members; however, ASOA Premier, Essential, and Associate members receive discounted fees.

Applicants must submit the COE application and a current job description via the online form. Separately, applicants must complete the COE Checklist and submit to

COE applications that do not meet all requirements will be reviewed by the members of the National Board for the Certification of Ophthalmic Executives (NBCOE), the board overseeing the COE certification on a monthly basis. Additional documentation may be requested.

Special Consideration for Eligibility
The special consideration process is designed for those applicants whose employment experience does not meet the established eligibility criteria – i.e., within the preceding five calendar years, a minimum of two years of health care administration experience and one year in ophthalmic practice management. People with healthcare administration experience outside the United States may be among those qualifying for special consideration. Special consideration is not offered to applicants who have the opportunity to qualify under established criteria but have chosen not to do so. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria for certification established by the National Board for the Certification of Ophthalmic Executives (NBCOE), but you believe that your education, training and/or experience are equivalent, you may request a special consideration application. Special consideration applications must include the applicant’s resume and/or CV, as well as a statement of why the applicant should be granted special consideration including any available and verifiable professional references. Requests are considered by the NBCOE on a case-by-case basis. Please contact ASOA headquarters for additional information.