Topic This study reviews the evidence behind simulation-based surgical training of ophthalmologists to determine (1) the validity of the reported models and (2) the ability to transfer skills to the operating room. Clinical Relevance Simulation-based training is established widely within ophthalmology, although it often lacks a scientific basis for implementation. Methods We conducted a systematic review of trials involving simulation-based training or assessment of ophthalmic surgical skills among health professionals. The search included 5 databases (PubMed, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, and Web of Science) and was completed on March 1, 2014. Overall, the included trials were divided into animal, cadaver, inanimate, and virtual-reality models. Risk of bias was assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration's tool. Validity evidence was evaluated using a modern validity framework (Messick's). Results We screened 1368 reports for eligibility and included 118 trials. The most common surgery simulated was cataract surgery. Most validity trials investigated only 1 or 2 of 5 sources of validity (87%). Only 2 trials (48 participants) investigated transfer of skills to the operating room; 4 trials (65 participants) evaluated the effect of simulation-based training on patient-related outcomes. Because of heterogeneity of the studies, it was not possible to conduct a quantitative analysis. Conclusions The methodologic rigor of trials investigating simulation-based surgical training in ophthalmology is inadequate. To ensure effective implementation of training models, evidence-based knowledge of validity and efficacy is needed. We provide a useful tool for implementation and evaluation of research in simulation-based training.