European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery


The European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery consists of two parts: Part I (written multiple choice questions) and Part II (oral examination).

Oral assessments following completion of the EANS training course was first introduced in 1983 (Ljubljana). The concern for a more formal approach to an examination led in 1992 to the creation of Joint EANS/UEMS Examination Committee and introduction of the European Examination in Neurosurgery. Candidates who successfully passed both parts I and II of this examination received European Diploma in Neurosurgery.

In October 2015 during the meeting in Madrid, the EANS and UEMS Section of Neurosurgery decided to form the European Board of Neurological Surgery (EBNS) and transform the existing exam into the European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery to further increase its importance and general recognition. The successful candidates of both parts I and II will be appointed as Fellow of European Board of Neurological Surgery (FEBNS). The Exam curriculum can be downloaded here.

Part I examination (written MCQ) 

The Part I examination is a written, multiple choice exam consisting of 150 questions to be answered in three hours. The questions cover neurosurgery, neuroanatomy, neuropathophysiology, neuropathology, neurology, neuroradiology, fundamental clinical skills and other disciplines deemed suitable and important. The European Board has prepared the examination with the assistance of a professional testing organisation, which also carries out the analysis.

Some further information about the Part I Exam and the topics covered.

**The best candidate each year will be awarded a prize - one year free EANS membership and €200 for purchase of any  neurosurgery-related book(s) of the winner's choice.

Requirements to take part in the Part I Examination:

  • Who can take the exam: The Part I Examination is open to all residents in accredited neurosurgical programs in Europe, and to all neurosurgeons with a licence to practice neurosurgery. Candidates from non-European/non-EANS countries are very welcome to sit the exam after they have applied for International membership of EANS
  • When you should take the exam: Those who are in specialist training to become a neurosurgeon should not take the examination before their third year of training, because of the level of the examination, which is to be comparable to the level of the Primary Examination of the American Board of Neurosurgery. The part I examination is compulsory for all Trainees in the last year of EANS Training Courses unless they have sat it before.
  • How to apply: Along with the application form (see below to download), scanned copies of the candidate's passport, medical degree and a short CV signed by candidate's chief must be submitted by email to Visi Navarro.
  • Examination fee: to be paid prior to sitting the exam, is: - €100 for Trainees in an official European training program (with proof), - €200 for Trainees from non-European training programs, - €200 for neurosurgeons who have completed their training 
  • Those trainees attending the EANS Training Courses pay a sum of €25 Euros per course included within the course registration fee, to cover the cost of the examination.

The fee can be paid either by bank transfer or credit card. Instructions for payment will be sent to each candidate once their application is approved.

Those who take the examination agree that they are bound by the Board's rulings regarding credentials and regarding the examination scores.

The next Part I Examination will be held on the afternoon of 27th January 2018 in Edinburgh, UK. 

The applications will open at the end of September 2017.

Re-examinaton - Part I:  Candidates who fail or pass may take the examination as often as desired for either certification or self-assessment.

Cancellation policy: Due to a very high number of last minute cancellations the following cancellation policy has been introduced.

  • Cancellation up to 2 weeks prior to the exam - full refund or possibilty to "forward" the registration and payment towards following exam part I.
  • Cancellation less than 2 weeks prior to the exam - no refund (unless in exceptionally extenuating circumstances)


Please click HERE for advice from successful Exam Part I candidates on how to prepare for the exam.

Part II (Oral) examination 

The Oral Examination is the second and final of the European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery. Successful candidates will be appointed as Fellow of the European Board of Neurological Surgery. 

Whilst Fellowship of European Board of Neurological Surgery certifies that the fellow has achieved a good level in the theory and practice of neurosurgery, it does not constitute a license to practise neurosurgery in any European country. 

The Part II examination is a clinical problem solving and patient management test. It is not a theoretical examination, like the Part I examination. 

Case histories are given, and where appropriate neuroimaging and other visual aids are shown to augment the presentation and development of cases. 

Candidates explain verbally how they would proceed to evaluate or manage the cases and to plan and perform the proposed operations, if indicated. The examination, in the English language, consists of three parts, each lasting 30 minutes. 5-8 cases will be discussed during each part. 

Each of the three sessions is conducted in an interview setting with two examiners, experienced neurosurgeons from a European country. During these three sessions the candidate will thus meet six different European examiners, each of whom will give an independent score. One session is dedicated to an oral examination on operative neurosurgery of brain and skull. The other session covers operative neurosurgery of spine and cord. In the third session the topics to be discussed will be those that could not be adequately covered in the first two sessions. 

The final, combined result will be available by mail within 14 days after the examination. 

A candidate who receives a passing grade for this examination will be granted Fellow of the European Board of Neurological Surgery (FEBNS). 

If the Board finds that the quality of the best candidate's performance justifies this, he or she will be awarded the Braakman prize. Winner of the Braakman prize will receive three years Individual Membership of the EANS, a voucher of €200 for purchase of any neurosurgery-related books and an invitation to attend the following EANS annual congress where the award will be officially presented (the registration fee and accommodation will be covered by EANS).

Requirements to take part in the Oral Examination

  • Individual member of the EANS.
  • Evidence that the primary European Examination in neurosurgery has been passed (place and date will be required). Please note that candidates are required to enrol and sit part II exam within 5 years of passing part I exam. 
  • Licence to practice neurosurgery, a copy of this licence must be forwarded for inspection. (UK candidates are allowed to sit the exam in their final year of neurosurgical training if their training expires before the next year's exam, so the expected qualification date is required instead of the license)
  • A logbook of operations summary - please note that a full neurosurgical experience summary is required (ie. from the beginning of training till present). A template can be downloaded here. Please note that lobgooks submitted in another format will not be accepted.
  • Examination fee of €500 payable online or by credit card or by bank transfer - bank details will be given on the invoice that will be sent automatically by email.

The European Board makes the final decision regarding a candidate's eligibility for the Oral Examination and potential certification after considering all available information pertaining to the entire process of certification.

Next Part II exam will take place in Prague, Czech Republic from 1st to 3rd March 2018. The applications will open in September 2017.

If you wish your name to be included on the list of potential candidates, who will have priority when applications open, please contact


Re-examination – Part II

Candidates who do not attain the standard required to pass the oral examination may retake this section within the next 3 years without having to retake the written section. 

For re-application, an updated logbook summary and a new examination fee payment will be required. 

There is currently no possibility of re-taking this examination for the purpose of self-certification.

Information for successful part I and II exams candidates prior to 2016

During their meeting in Athens in September 2016, the EANS Board and the Examination Board have agreed to award the FEBNS certificate to all candidates, who have previously received the European Diploma in Neurosurgery.

The FEBNS certificate will be issued in PDF upon request and provision of a copy of the Diploma.
In case an original hardcopy is required, it is also possible, but please note that there is an administrative fee of €25 applicable to cover associated costs. There will also be some delay in provision of the hardcopy, because it will take some time to obtain the original signatures.
If you wish to obtain the FEBNS certificate or for any queries please contact