Eligibility Criteria

UEMS Board Examination & Fellowship

To apply for certification as Fellow of the European Board of Surgery (F.E.B.S.) in a certain "transferable competency" offered by a Division or Working Group a candidate has to undergo a two-step quality validation process: Eligibility and Examination.

A candidate successfully passing the examination will be qualified as

"Fellow of the European Board of Surgery - F.E.B.S."

The Fellowship of the UEMS is a significant high-level indication of professional competence and excellence. It basically reflects the ongoing important European standardisation, harmonisation and quality assurance process in medicine.

All details about the Eligibility process, application forms and precise information about the Examination are published on the homepage of the Section of Surgery of the UEMS: www.uemssurg.org.

Eligibility is a prerequisite for the Examination.

In addition Honorary Fellowship Diploma may be awarded to academic and/or senior surgeons in advanced position on invitation, on personal recommendation and on request at the discretion of the Division and Board.

Eligibilty follows the regulations and quality criteria published by the "European Board of Surgery E.B.S." and the "European Board of Surgery Qualifications E.B.S.Q.". Amendments and adjustments within the regulatory framework are at the discretion of the Divisions and Working Groups and verified by the E.B.S./E.B.S.Q.

To apply for Eligibility the candidate must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Eligibility for all exams run by the Divisions of the European Board of Surgery is open for candidates trained in one of the 28 European Union countries, a non-EU UEMS member country (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) or an associated UEMS country (Armenia, Israel and Turkey) or a country with UEMS observer status (Georgia, Lebanon).
  2. Eligibility for all exams run by the Divisions of the European Board of Surgery is also open to those candidates trained outside the UEMS-area provided that the relevant Division is satisfied with the training and qualifications are equivalent. The decision is at the discretion of the Eligibility Committee of the Division.
  3. The candidate must be able to communicate in the English language. Examinations in the local national language(s) may be additionally provided at the discretion of the relevant Division and Board following the quality criteria and regulations.
  4. A national CCST may or not be a prerequisite. The decision is on the discretion of the relevant Division and Board.
  5. A minimum number of six post-graduate years in training (counting from the date of the primary degree to the closing date of application for the Examination, if there is a continuum) is required.
  6. It may be mandatory that a  candidate must have been working for a certain time (e.g. at least two years) in a senior/advanced position at a highly specialised center with main responsibility. It may be mandatory that a candidate must during the defined mandatory period of continuous of employment have had at least one site visit of at least one months duration at another specialised center or longer employment at two different units specialised in the relevant "transferable competency".
  7. A medical qualification document i.e. a document certifying that the candidate has successfully completed his/her undergraduate course and passed the relative final examinations e.g. a University graduation diploma,  with the Country, Institution and Date clearly indicated, should be provided with the application.
  8. A National Authority registration certificate i.e. a document certifying that the candidate is registered as a practicing doctor with his National Authority (e.g. the General Medical Council in UK), needs to be submitted.
  9. Verified copies of photographic identification document (e.g. Passport or EU I.D. Card) should be made available.
  10. Documents which are not written in English should have a verified and certified English translation by an official Institution (e.g. Ministry for Foreign Affairs) presented.
  11. The Eligibility Committee reserves the right to seek verification of the documents presented in any way they consider appropriate.
  12. A candidate is not allowed to sit a UEMS EBSQ Examination in a certain "transferable competency" more than a maximum of four attempts.
  13. It is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure they present themselves fit and prepared for the Examination, also from the perspective of professionalism and probity. Any changes or problems in this regard must be communicated to the Chairperson of the EBSQ Examination and also the Eligibility Committee. Failure to do so could result in the result of the Examination being declared null and void.
  14. The candidate must provide a defined LogBook countersigned by an independent expert on every page.
    The anonymised LogBook must include general information (surgeon, hospital) and for any item the type of procedure and patient initials or hospital admission number (no information that allows identification of the patients' names).
    The recommended LogBook template and the mandatory content of the LogBook (containing minimum credit points) and eventual regulations and SOPs for numeric compensations are published by the Working Group or Division on the website.
    A candidate's individual LogBook with comparable layout and structure may be accepted for the Eligibility process on the decision of the Eligibility Committee. 
  15. The candidate must have a defined number of CME equivalent "credit points" (numbers at the discretion of the Division and Board) based on the following criteria:
    • Participation at recognized international congress 
    • Participation at recognized international congress and first authorship presentation
    • Participation at a national congress 
    • Participation at national congress and first authorship presentation
    • Participation at relevant International Postgraduate Course(s) 
    • Publication (first authorship) in peer reviewed national surgical journal 
    • Publication (first authorship) in peer reviewed international surgical journal 
  16. Candidates have to be recommended by two independent Referees. One of the Referees must be the candidate’s current training clinician, Head of Department or Clinical Director. The second could be from another country or from the candidate’s own country but endorsed by an expert from the UEMS-area.
  17. Candidates are required to pay the fees for Eligibility  and - if accepted separately -  to cover the Examination to the EBSQ Administration Office (UEMS Division bank account data published on website). The Eligibility sum is to cover the costs associated with the processing of returned application forms by the central EBSQ office and are non refundable. The fees are at the discretion of the Divisions and Working Groups.
  18. All payments must be effected by the required deadlines and there are no refunds for (Eligibility) candidates who are deemed ineligible to sit for the Board Examination or do not succeed in passing the Examination. In the event that a candidate has paid for the Examination and does not attend the Examination there will be no refund.
  19. Date and location of the Board Examinations are published on the website. The Examination normally is conducted in cooperation with a (inter)national scientific meeting at the discretion of the Division. 
  20. The relevant Examination Committee reserves the right to cancel a scheduled Examination for any valid reason which could include an insufficient number of applicants at the time of application deadline. Candidates are therefore advised not to book their travel arrangements before the closing date for applications.
  21. The Examination is typically a 1-day or 2-day procedure and consists of a MCQ (multiple choice question) test with at least 100 items and/or an OSCE (objective structured clinical examination) circuit with 6 stations, each 10 minutes (morning second day). The thematical weighting of the MCQ questions is according to the relevant "Blueprint".
    The OSCE circuit consists in clinical pathways and typical cases. The focus is on structured short questions and answers on diagnosis, treatment and decision paths following everday clinical surgical practice.
    MCQ and OSCE are weighted 50% each for the overall result, passing threshold is 75% of the total. Adjustments to this system are at the discretion of the Divisions and Working Groups.
  22. Applicants and candidates may request reconsideration of decisions regarding the requirements and rules of the EBS on individual credentials, admissibility to the Examinations (Eligibility). These requests are referred to the EBS Credentials Committee for evaluation and decision.
  23. The Examination follows all quality criteria published by the "European Board of Surgery" and the E.B.S.Q. including C.E.S.M.A. appraisal.
  24. Appeals concerning the Examination can be made to the Board Credentials Committee.
  25. Reapplication is possible for Eligibility and/or Examination.
  26. A candidate successfully passing Eligbility and Examination is awarded the title "Fellow of the European Board of Surgery (F.E.B.S.).
    The title F.E.B.S. determines, that the person successfully proved to have validated high-level knowledges and skills, that allow him/her to successfully cover the relevant field of qualification in respective to the actual demandings according to the judging of the commission.
  27. The EBSQ Examination is regarded as a quality mark at the end of specialist training. Passing a European Board Examination does not give a right to practise in any UEMS country. Such rights are granted solely by the relevant National Authority.
    The Board Fellowship does not implicate automatic allowance to work at own responsibility and does not automatically enhance participation in national social security systems of the E.U. Recognition of Fellowship by the national authorities is encouraged by the UEMS.
  28. Individual recognition of Fellowship as equivalent to national diploma is supported by the EBSQ committee and the number of countries officially adopting the Board qualification with subsequent legal validation and automatic mutual recognition in the EU is continuously rising.

Wolfgang Feil
President of the European Board of Surgery
Honorary & Foundation President of the Division of General Surgery