Fellowship Exam

Next exam administration: 12 November 2021

Registration and payment will open 1 April 2021 and close 30 June 2021.

The exam will be conducted via IACLETOP.

How to prepare for the exam: we strongly recommend completing the free IACLE Distance Learning Program and recommend you begin by January 2021.

Further questions – please contact your IACLE representative.

About the Exam

The Fellowship Exam is the only internationally recognized means of measuring an educator’s or eye care professional’s contact lens knowledge. There is no other means like it, which assesses their level of knowledge by identifying their strengths and weaknesses concerning all areas of contact lenses.

What is the outcome of this exam?

A successful outcome to the exam qualified the member to become a Fellow of IACLE (FIACLE).  Obtaining the FIACLE title is a great achievement and is associated with a reputation that defines an educator or eye care professional as a leading expert in their profession.

As the exam is diagnostic in nature, there is no ‘failure’ and educators may sit for the exam as many times as they wish.

Who can take this exam?

The exam is exclusively available to members of IACLE.

The format of the exam:

The exam consists of 153 multiple-choice questions, including questions that require you to recognise or identify a certain type of lens fit or eye condition through case-based questions, by viewing a colour photograph.

The categories covered in every exam are:

  1. Anatomy and Physiology
  2. Optics and Instrumentation
  3. Deposits, Care and Maintenance
  4. Lens Design, Lens Fitting, Lens Fit/Behaviour
  5. Clinical Issues/Eye/Lens Exams/After-Care, S/Lamp
  6. Lens Materials, Manufacture, Physiologic Performance
  7. Ocular Responses, Microbiology and Ocular Defences
  8. Complications, Pathology (including General)
  9. Marketing and Practice Management

Language formats available

  • English
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Spanish
  • Korean
  • Bahasa

Other language formats can be arranged when 12 or more members are confirmed.

Paper version

All entrants worldwide will sit a written exam. Exam site locations around the world are set and run by Test Supervisors.

How is the exam conducted?

IACLE arranges a local member/FIACLE to assist with arranging the exam location and all requirements for the day of the exam.  The exam candidates are kept informed on the progress of the arrangements.  On the day of the exam the exam candidates simply need to turn up on time and complete the exam accordingly, while the Test Supervisor (and proctors if required) arrange and manage the event. Please note, we can not arrange exam sites in close proximity for every member and some travel may be required (by car, train or flight).

Exam results

Each exam candidate is provided with a confidential report of their results, including the raw score total for each category examined.

The report indicates where a satisfactory level of knowledge has been achieved and where knowledge may be lacking.  Further advice is provided by IACLE upon request however, please note we do not provide exam candidates with a copy of the exam due to confidential purposes.  By providing the total score per category this is sufficient for an educator to identify their strengths and weakness.

Receiving your results can take up to 2 months after the exam date.

How to prepare for the exam

We recommend studying IACLE’s complete Contact Lens Course.  To do this we urge all members to participate in our Distance Learning Program (DLP), which provides members with a systematic method of studying the modules of the course.

This is an excellent means of preparing to write the Fellowship Exam and is available to all members from the member log in section of our website.

If you are interested in participating in the DLP, please contact your local IACLE Coordinator or the IACLE Secretariat.


The same amount as a member’s annual membership.  For example, if you pay $30 per year for membership, if you wish to write the Exam you would also pay another $30, so a total of $60.

NOTE: we do not provide refunds. We urge members to assign enough time to prepare for the exam. We can not refund or transfer a payment to cover a future exam administration.

Sample questions with answer options

View sample questions and answer options
We do not provide the actual answers – this sample is to give you an idea of what to expect the exam format will look like

Testimonies from our ‘FIACLEs’ concerning this program…

I didn’t take the exam for career development but to make sure I was teaching students the most up-to-date information. The preparation for the exam forced me to revisit more challenging areas, such as immunology

Andrew Elder Smith, University of Bradford, University of Manchester and Doncaster Royal Infirmary, UK

“The exam covered all aspects of contact lenses and was a good test of our theoretical knowledge. And we could easily apply that knowledge in practice due to the case analysis element. I’d completed the IACLE distance learning program before taking the exam with the guidance of IACLE’s Shanghai office. It makes me more confident in contact lens teaching and fitting.’

Jian Qin, Henan Institute of Ophthalmology, China

“I think the FIACLE Exam is very useful for educators to not just evaluate but to update their knowledge and to come together with CL educators across the world. It is a very comprehensive exam with a user friendly format.  I would specially like to mention the last section of the exam related to case studies – this section based on practical knowledge was very interesting and helped to reinforce my knowledge about CL complications and their management.  I will be willing to take the exam every two years in order to revise and brush up my knowledge.”

Gauri Kunjeer Patel, Nagar School of Optometry, India

In the academic field there are numerous ways to ‘upgrade’ yourself professionally (MSc, PhD etc). However, in the field of contact lens teaching there is no such standard or classification. Therefore, I was very excited about the FIACLE accreditation exam. For me as a young teacher, it proved that I was on a level that I hoped I would be among peers. It gave me self confidence to proceed and to excel. Also, within our school, with many other faculties under one roof, the international recognition was viewed upon with respect. I have not regret a single minute of doing it, and use the FIACLE title wherever I can”.

Eef van der Worp, University of Maastricht, The Netherlands

In my professional career it has brought distinction, self-esteem and growth not only goodwill but also options for additional income on an international scope.

Orlando Neira, Fundacion Universitaria del Area Andina-Pereira, Colombia

To achieve the title of FIACLE was always a dream for me as soon as I started teaching contact lenses. I realised while teaching the IACLE resources are a must for imparting any education on contact lenses. When I received the title of FIACLE, it was my dream come true! The accreditation exam was a real excitement as I studied a lot of things in detail which I had not taken seriously when I was a student.
I really feel proud of being a part of this association where I share my name with other eminent professionals in the field of contact lens & optometry as a whole. I will try harder to behold the title forever.

Runa Talukdar, Vidyasagar College of Optometry & Vision Sciences, India

FIACLE status is important to give credibility to me as an evidence-based clinical contact lens practice educator. It also inspires up and coming educators as to the standard of education they should aspire to and to indicate the level of support they will receive. It has also allowed me to be instrumental in worldwide contact lens education to give something back for all the support and encouragement I have received.

James Wolffsohn, Aston University, UK

Without a doubt it has been a springboard to catapult to another level, because my colleagues and the industry recognise the dedication that I have undertaken in recent years. FIACLE status is not the goal of every educator, but the official beginning to the path of professional growth.

Richardo Pintor, Johnson & Johnson, Mexico