Introduction and timeline

  • The examination is distinct from the credentialing process.

  • The prerequisite for taking the exam is prior approval by the Credentials Committee (applications due by November 1 for the following year).

  • Candidates will be informed of their eligibility to sit the exam by March 31.

  • The last date for registration and fee payment to take the exam is May 31.

  • Candidates will be notified of the time and venue of the exam by June 30.

Reference Materials

A list of suggested study materials is located here.

How the Examinations are Structured

The exam consists of two parts (written and oral/practical) approximately two months apart. The written part normally takes place in September and is given over 1.5 days in three sections. The entire group takes the examinations on computers at the same time. Successful candidates go forward to the oral/practical part which usually takes place in November over a 1-3 day period depending upon the number of candidates. Each candidate for the oral/practical is examined as an individual, not in a group. All examinations are in English.

Written Part

The written part of the exam is overseen by one or more ECLAM members and at least one member of the Exam Committee (EC). The written part is marked by at least two members of the EC, who are blinded to which candidate’s exam they are correcting. This part consists of written papers over 2 days and is completed on computers. The time allowed for the written papers is calculated for those whose first language is not English to have plenty of time. It is not necessary to use all the time available. The examination papers remain in the possession of the College. A confidentiality statement must be signed prior to taking the examinations.

Day 1:

  1. Paper 1: One hundred multiple choice questions (MCQs, 100 marks). Time allowed: up to 4 hours. The questions have one correct answer and are intended to give you the chance to demonstrate a wide range of knowledge. We are looking for knowledge that is important in the likely working experiences of an ECLAM Diplomate. The MCQs are positively marked i.e. incorrect and blank answers are scored zero.

  2. Paper 2: Twenty short essay questions (5 marks each). Time allowed: up to 4 hours. Answers should be concise, with facts rather than discussion (unless requested). The answers are expected to be approximately 200-300 words.

Day 2:

  1. Paper 3: Four long-essay questions (25 marks each). Time allowed: up to 4 hours. The paper has two sections with four questions each, and candidates must choose two questions from each section to answer. The time is generous, and it is judged that it will take no more than 3 hours. Each answer is expected to be approximately 1200-1800 words.

Oral and Practical parts

At least two examiners will participate in the oral/practical part whilst a third will be present as an observer. During all sessions, the candidate may be questioned on any aspect of laboratory animal medicine, and may be given diagnostic material on which to comment.

There are four parts of the examination:

  1. Clinical case (one hour, 50 marks). Clinical cases, usually a physical examination and case discussions with the examiners. Any common laboratory animal species may be presented. Scoring is based on the approach taken to the cases, and the quality of the procedures.
  2. Necropsy (one hour, 50 marks). A routine necropsy of a small animal will be conducted by the candidate, with discussion. Scoring is based on the practical skills and responses to questions.
  3. Facility (one hour, 50 marks).  This will be centred on a facility, including equipment, procedures, records and occupational health issues. 
  4. Final interview (one hour, 50 marks). The candidate will be interviewed by the examiners for a discussion on any issue on lab animal medicine.

Requirements for passing the exam

A candidate will be successful if he/she passes both the written and oral/practical parts of the exam. The assessment includes an evaluation of the candidate’s knowledge, judgement, and ability to communicate at an appropriate level by both written and oral means.

Written Examination:

  1. 60 marks out of 100 from the MCQ paper AND
  2. a combined total of 100 marks from the short and long essay sections, maximum 200

Oral/Practical Examination

  1. a total of 100 marks, maximum 200 AND
  2. at least 25/50 marks in 3 of the 4 sessions.

Re-sits and Fees

  • Only candidates who pass the written parts will go forward to the oral/practical part.
  • Candidates who do not pass may apply to re-take the part which they failed three more times.
  • All parts of the examination must be passed within 8 years of completion of the residency programme.
  • Candidates who pass the written part and do not pass the oral/practical part the same year must register to re-sit the oral/practical part only.
  • For fees to resit one or both parts of the exam see our Payments page

Examination outcome

In the case of a split decision on grading of the oral/practical examination, the observer will be asked to make the final decision.

The Examiners will advise the EC and Council whether an adequate standard has been met. These recommendations will be made after each part of the exams. It will be the Council who makes the final decision.

The exam committee chair will inform the candidates of the outcome in writing, normally within two to three weeks of each part.


For appeals see Article V of the Bylaws.

Conflict of interests

Should the candidate be from the same organisation or have some kind of cooperation with any of the examiners then the examiner will not be involved in setting questions, conducting the examination or discussions about the result of that candidate.


Candidates, committee members and examiners must sign a Confidentiality Statement prior to having access to examination materials. All communications between the Committee and candidates are strictly confidential. Exceptions may be granted during appeal procedures.





Revision Aug 12, 2016 by P. Hedenqvist and A. Forslid; 18 September 2018 by Secretariat (changes in oral/practical).