European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery


The European Board Examination in Neurological Surgery consists of two parts: Part I (electronic 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 the 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  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 multiple choice exam consisting of 150 questions to be answered in three hours, which is delivered electronically. The questions cover neurosurgery, neuroanatomy, neuropathophysiology, neuropathology, neurology, neuroradiology, fundamental clinical skills and other disciplines deemed suitable and important. The European Board prepares the examination, supported by a professional medical training company that specialises in the assessment of medical skills and examination 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 the Part I Examination / Information:

  • 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 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 (please download below), 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: - €200 for Trainees in an official European training program (with proof), - €300 for Trainees from non-European training programs, - €300 for neurosurgeons who have completed their training 
  • EANS Training Courses Trainees have one sitting of the Part I Examination included in their course fees

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 examination scores.

The next Part I Examination will be held in Moscow, Russia on 4th  May 2019. Applications are opened now. 

Download the application form here.

Please note that it is an electronic exam and you will need to bring a tablet or laptop, full details will be sent to you after registration.

In case you have any questions please contact

NB: The following exam after Moscow will take place 31st August 2019 in Brno, Czech Republic.

Re-examinaton - Part I:  Candidates (whether they pass or fail) may take the examination as often as desired for certification or self-assessment.

Cancellation policy

  • up to 4 weeks before the exam date - no cancellation charge or possibilty to "forward" the registration and payment towards the next edition of the Part I Examination
  • between 4 - 2 weeks before the exam date - 50% of exam fee cancellation charge
  • less than 2 weeks before the exam date - 100% of exam fee cancellation charge (unless in exceptional 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. Winners of the Braakman prize receive three years' Individual Membership of the EANS, a voucher of €200 towards the purchase of any neurosurgery-related books and an invitation to attend the following EANS annual congress where the award will be officially presented (registration fee and accommodation are covered by the EANS).

Requirements to take part in the Oral Examination

  • Individual membership of the EANS.
  • Evidence that the Part I Examination has been passed (place and date will be required). Please note that candidates are required to enrol and sit the Part II Examination within 5 years of passing the Part I Examination. 
  • 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.
  • NB: Candidates should have minimum of 600 cases, with a wide range of experience, in their operative logbook (at least 50% as lead surgeon - supervised or minimally supervised or unsupervised) at the time of application for the clinical (oral) examination. It is desirable for candidates to have >1000 cases in their operative logbook.  
  • Examination fee of €750 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.

The next Part II Examination will take place in Barcelona, Spain from at the beginning of March 2020 (exact dates TBC).

The exam applications will open in September 2019. If you wish to pre-register please contact Visi Navarro.

IMPORTANT! There are 80 places available on the exam part II. If the exam capacity is full, the applications will be closed without any further notice. If you wish to attend please do apply asap.

Cancellation policy - exam Part II

  • up to 4 weeks before the exam date - no cancellation charge or possibilty to "forward" the registration and payment towards the next edition of the Part II Examination
  • between 4 - 2 weeks before the exam date - 50% of exam fee cancellation charge
  • less than 2 weeks before the exam date - 100% of exam fee cancellation charge (unless in exceptional circumstances)

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 Part I Examination. 

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 exam 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 previously received the European Diploma in Neurosurgery.

The FEBNS certificate will be issued in PDF on request and provision of a copy of the Diploma.
It is also possible to request a printed certificate, which will be supplied upon payment of a €25 administrative fee. Printed certificates may take some time due to the logistics involved in obtaining the various signatures required.
To obtain the FEBNS certificate or for any queries please contact

Examination Board

All new recruits to the Examination Board must have been working at consultant level in Europe for a minimum of 3 years. For applicants who have been awarded FEBNS this must have been at least 3 years prior to commencing as an examiner. If you meet this criteria and are interested to join the panel of examiners, please contact