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Congenital Heart Disease Echocardiography (CHD)

The successful completion of the EACVI/AEPC certification provides formal acknowledgement to individuals and European recognition, governed by a scientific society

The next EACVI/AEPC exam in CHD will be held during the EuroEcho-Imaging Congress 2016 on Friday 9 December 2016 in Leipzig, Germany.

Registration is now open.

Please note that you cannot register for this exam if you sat the previous EACVI/AEPC CHD exam less than 6 months ago. If you do, your registration will be cancelled automatically and you will be charged a 10% administration fee.

CHD Exam

What are your benefits from getting the EACVI certification in CHD?

  • The goals of certification are to protect patients from undergoing transthoracic echocardiographic examinations performed by unqualified persons.
  • The goal of certification is to set a European standard for competence and excellence in congenital echocardiography.
  • Certification in CHD brings credibility and professional legitimacy to an individual by demonstrating his/her competency in gaining this certification.
  • Through a certification process, qualified practitioners of paediatric and congenital echocardiography will be identified and their professional image will be enhanced.
  • The European certification is designed to test the competency of an individual's ability to perform, interpret and report unsupervised routine congenital echocardiographic studies.
  • The certification in CHD is not a compulsory or regulatory certificate of competence or excellence. Individuals' rights to report and sign clinical studies in individual countries remain to be defined by National laws and regulations.

Exam registration

The next EACVI/AEPC exam in CHD will be held during the EuroEcho-Imaging Congress 2016 on Friday 9 December 2016 in Leipzig, Germany.

Register now

Please read the Registration Conditions.

Please note that you cannot register for this exam if you sat the previous EACVI/AEPC CHD exam less than 6 months ago. If you do, your registration will be cancelled automatically and you will be charged a 10% administration fee.

Registration fees (in Euros)

Fee Types Online Fees (until seats sold out/1 week before exam)

Standard/EACVI Regular and Ivory Member

€370

EACVI Silver and Gold Member/AEPC Members

€270**

Resit

€150*

*Please note that the resit fee is reserved only for candidates who have sat and failed the exam in the past and cannot be used by candidates under any other circumstances.

**To benefit from member fees you must be a validated member before registering for the exam. This fee is only available for Silver and Gold members - for further information please go to the membership page. For AEPC members your membership must be valid and in date.

Registration requirements

PLEASE NOTE: The registration fees for the exam are seperate to those of the congresses during which the exams are held. In addition you do not HAVE to attend the congress as well as the exam - however, if you wish to, this option is also possible.

Registration requirements

NEW: Once paid, candidates will be sent an online questionnaire where they must declare their supervisor and provide information on their training. Candidate's seats will only be secured once this questionnaire is completed - otherwise their seats will be cancelled.

Please note that the supervisor does not need to be EACVI certified.

Registration Conditions:

Please note that in order to respect the capacity of the examination room, registrations are taken under the basis of first-come, first-served. We encourage online registration as early as possible to guarantee a seat.
Benefit from reduced exam fees and other advantages! Become an EACVI member.

Payment and general conditions

All registration fees are quoted in Euro (€) and include national applicable VAT. Payment in any other currency will not be accepted.

Registration fees are based on the date of receipt. The prices indicated are only applicable if BOTH registration/request form AND payment are received before the registration deadlines, otherwise the higher onsite fee will be applied.

Registrations will be acknowledged by e-mail upon receipt of payment and a valid candidate email address (make sure your MyESC profile is updated and ensure that no third party email address is linked to your registration). 

Cancellation policy & conditions

If a participant wishes to cancel his/her registration to the Certification exam he/she should email esccertification@escardio.org.

Please take careful note that the cancellation policy on refunds is as follows:

Weeks before exam % Refund
up to 6 weeks (before exam) 90%
6 - 4 weeks (before exam) 50%
Within 4 weeks 0%
No show 0%

Please note that a "no show" is NOT considered as a cancellation. If you do not attend the exam without giving forewarning of your absence and without proof of good reason (unforeseen circumstances - such as death in the family, serious accident of the candidate...) no refund will be allowed.

If there are any queries concerning visas problems please contact us. Please note you are responsible for your visa applications and you must give at least 2 months preparation time to your respective embassy otherwise it is your concern if the visa is not granted in time.

Should a candidate not attend at the Exam, for whatever reasons, no further claims for reimbursement or waiving of fees can be made. Similarly no right to further claims or waiving of fees will arise should the ESC be obliged to alter the Exam proceedings.

By registering to the Exam each candidates waives his/her rights to claim for any compensation toward the ESC. The organiser cannot be held liable for any hindrance or disruption of Exam proceedings arising from political, social or economic events or any other unforeseen incidents beyond their control.

In no event will the ESC be liable for indirect damages or cost.

All candidates are urged to take personal travel insurance.

Registration of a candidate entails acceptance of these conditions.

Appeal process

Please note that there is no appeal process following written exam section of the certification process.

The results are final.

No additional feedback can be provided.

CHD Certification process

CHD certification is obtained in 2 mandatory steps:

1: Theoretical part - Delivered on IPad:
Candidates will have to pass this first section successfully before going to the second part

2: Practical Part (logbook and DOPS)
Candidates must submit a logbook listing 250 complete echocardiographic studies and additionally 10 DOPS ( Direct Observation of Procedural Skills).

To obtain certification, candidates must succeed both steps: the knowledge assessment (written examination) and the skills assessment (logbook).

Certification stakeholders

Supervisor

The supervisor must:

  • already be practising paediatric/congenital echocardiographers
  • have a high level of expertise
  • hold National/European Specialist recognition in paediatric/adult congenital cardiology OR be an EACVI certified echocardiographer who has held EACVI/AEPC CHD echo Certification for >1 year

Their role is to:

  • hold the responsibility to guarantee the practical competence of the candidate
  • check the honesty and validity of locally performed DOPS
  • complete the DOPS Summary of all the local assessor’s scores of the 10 DOPS
  • be aware of and report any deficiencies in a candidate’s competence suggested by their DOPS
  • note any DOPS scores < 3 and thus fail the candidate for that specific DOPS assessment.
  • (not mandatory) act as a local DOPS assessor but cannot be the sole assessor
Local assessors

There must be a minimum of 3 and maximum of 10 assessors per candidate for the 10 DOPS assessments (just one assessor needs to sign each DOPS).

The local assessors  must fall under either/both of these criteria:

  • Any cardiologist practicing paediatric/adult congenital cardiology
  • Or a specialist sonographer who has held EACVI/AEPC CHD certification for >1 year
EACVI/AEPC Graders

The graders are:

  • EACVI delegated clinicians
  • likely to be an echocardiography clinical leader
  • can be a CHD certification committee member
  • experienced individuals with advanced knowledge and experience in echocardiography
  • specifically trained in EACVI/AEPC grading
  • appointed by the EACVI/AEPC

Their role is to:

  • review submitted DOPS forms
  • review accompanying (min. 10) written reports
  • review the DOPS summary signed by the Supervisor
  • (if they deem necessary) request the digital cine files for any DOPS or logbook reports from any candidate. They can request these files during a random audit to verify the DOPS process and/or where further details are needed for the logbook summary. This can be due to failure by the candidate to send anonymous echo reports accompanying the DOPS or because a candidate has submited DOPS forms with no assessor feedback.

Theoretical: Examination on Ipad

A theoretical examination is held once a year during the EuroEcho and Imaging Congress each year in December.

This examination is delivered on iPad, it is a Multiple Choice Questions form (MCQ, select the best answer out of 5 possible choices) divided into two sections:

  • Reporting: 50 questions related to CHD cases with displayed echoes - 120 minutes.
  • Theory: 75 questions - 120 minutes.

The examination is in English.

The total duration of the written examination is approximately 5 hours including a 20 minute break between the theory and the reporting papers.  Please note that this schedule is subject to on-site modification.

After each examination, the EACVI Certification Committee analyses the statistical robustness of individual questions together with the distribution of all scores. Following this validation process, the pass mark for each exam is set. 

Before the examination:
  • Candidates are required to come to the Certification check-in desk at least 30 minutes before the start of the exam.
  • Candidates will be asked to provide a photo ID.
  • Personal computing devices (e.g. laptop, IPad, smartphone) will not be permitted in the exam room. Including the use of phones as claculators.
During the examination :   
  • A 20 minute break will be provided between the two sections.
  • Once the examination is completed, candidates are allowed to leave the examination room.   
  • If candidates leave the room before the end of the exam, they will have to sign out and will not be authorised to  re-enter the room.

Results of the written examination are sent by e-mail approximately 2 months after the exam.

Failure/Appeal Process

Please note that there is no appeal process following written exam section of the certification process.

The results are final.

No additional feedback can be provided.

Practical Assessment: Logbook

After the successful completion of the written exam, candidates can proceed with the Practical Assessment. This logbook must be submitted within 12 months after the candidates received their exam results.
The Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Certification Committee decided in 2009 to introduce the DOPs (Direct Observation Procedures Skills) process as the major practical assessment for EACVI/AEPC CHD Certification process. DOPS returns responsibility to the local expert supervisor to guarantee competence and assure quality.
Please note that all parts of the logbook, DOPs and reports must be submitted in English.

What is DOPS:

An assessment tool where local assessors:

  • directly observe all facets of the echocardiogram
  • review the written report
  • review the interpretation of findings
Why was DOPs adopted?
  • Too much variability in reporting formats – making comparison of candidates difficult
  • Too much variability in anatomy and relevant measures made it difficult to adopt a single reporting template
  • Assurance that a practicing congenital cardiologist/EACVI Certified Echocardiographers was actively engaged in the oversight and assessment of the competence of the candidate
Aims:
  1. To have a transparent and verifiable system of certification where quality and ongoing education are key – this system relies heavily on the integrity and responsibility of all assessors and supervisors in the field of CHD
  2. To promote the CHD Certification process as achievable and desirable
  3. To foster a climate of excellence throughout the process

Logbook Criteria

To complete the overall certification process, the candidate must submit their logbook and DOPS after passing the exam.  The logbook must be ENTIRELY anonymised. Candidate’s and patient’s names should not appear in any of the DOPS, reports nor the file names.

1. A complete 250 logbook case list:

Includes 250 logbook list of CHD transthoracic echocardiogram (TTE) cases. No transesophageal (TEE/TOE) cases can be included in this logbook.

The cases must be taken from a 24 month period from 12 months before to 12 months after having sat the exam.

Please note that you can create your own excel document as long as the columns are identical and you include the first two pages completed and signed.

Hand written lists are not accepted.

2. Reports:

These must be reported and performed soley by the candidate.

They must have been completed within a 2 year period (12 months before and 12 months after the date of the exam)

Include only those reports accompanying the 10 DOPS in the submission.

If the report has been hand written it must be accompanied by a typed version.

In addition if the report is not in English it must be accompanied by a written translation.

Reports must be completely anonymised and patients names removed cleanly and completely.

Please note: No transesophageal (TEE/TOE) cases can be used.

3. 10 signed DOPS:

Candidates must have a minimum of 3 assessors assessing the 10 DOPS reports.

Each DOPS must be accompanied by the candidate's original written report of the case.

Each DOPS must include:

  • The clinical indication for echocardiography
  • Date of examination
  • Written feedback on the performance of each procedure including advice on improvements/deficiencies
  • Corresponding original written echo report
  • Candidate and assessors' signatures

Note: candidates are asked to retain for each of the 10 DOPS, a digital cine file of the study for further later review if requested by graders.

4. A DOPS summary sheet authorised and underwritten by candidate's supervisor:

If in the DOPS summary sheet there are any scores from 1-3 (unsatisfactory) then a statement from the designated supervisor regarding the taken action and objective evidence of improvement in subsequent assessments is expected.

The congenital echo assessors reserves the right to request anonymised reports and video images relating to the examinations scored for DOPS.  

5. Further logbook details :

The logbook and submitted reports should reflect the normal case-load of a general paediatric and congenital echocardiography department and should include cases of:

  • Ventricular function assessment
  • Valvular heart disease
  • Septation defects (VSD, ASD, AVSD)
  • Right heart obstructions (tetralogy of Fallot, pulmonary atresia)
  • Left heart obstructions (coarctation, hypoplastic left heart…)
  • Atrioventricular discordance (double discordance…)
  • Arterioventricular discordance (transposition, double outlet ventricles)
  • Situs anomalies, isomerism
  • Postoperative congenital heart disease
  • Suspected endocarditis
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Coronary anomalies (Kawasaki disease, ALCAPA…)
  • No more than 1/3 of the studies should be completely normal

Logbook Submission

Logbooks must be submitted online via the link sent to candidates who have passed the exam. This link is sent to candidates in their results letters on passing the exam.

Contact the certification office esccertification@escardio.org if this link cannot be located.

Logbooks must completely anonymised - neither the candidate's nor the patient's names can appear anywhere on the logbook. If candidate’s names appear in any part of the logbook it will be returned and the necessary changes must be made. The complete logbook documetns must then ALL be resubmitted within 1 to 2 weeks.

It is the candidate's responsibility to send his/her logbook on time.

Candidates must keep a copy of their logbook along with the media and report files that could be called for by the graders.

Results of the practical assessment are sent by e-mail within 3 months after the logbook is assigned to reviewers.

Extension requests

If a candidate is in need of an extension for their logbook submission date they must request this with a signed letter of explanation from their supervisor. The request must be submitted BEFORE the deadline of their logbook submission and cannot be granted in arrears. All requests should be directed to the certification office by email: esccertification@escardio.org.

Please note that the reason for an extension must be important and extensions are not grated because of minor issues, poor organisation and so on.

Failure Process

If a candidate fails to submit their logbook and DOPS within 12 months sitting the exam, they must re-start the certification process. This will include re-sitting the full written exam.

If a candidate fails the logbook/DOPS stage of the certification process, the following evidence may be requested at the discretion of the CHD Committee:

  • Further reports
  • Actual cine/media recording/s

This will be the final attempt by the CHD committee to assist the candidate in demonstrating satisfactory practical competence.

Failing the certification programme will oblige the candidate to start the whole process from the beginning.

Appeal Process

Candidates may raise an appeal to the EACVI Certification Committee. The appeal procedure for re-evaluation of a logbook is charged 100 Euros.

Re-certification programme

EACVI Certification in CHD is valid 5 years

Certified individuals must show evidence of continuing activity in the field. Thus in order to keep their certification status, all persons who have been certified by the European Association of Echocardiography must apply for re-certification before the 5-year validity expires.

Click here to consult the recertification requirements.

Exam preparation

Documents to help you prepare your exam

Suggested reading lists

For CHD exam

  • Echocardiography in Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease: From Fetus to Adult by Wyman Lai, Luc Mertens, Meryl Cohen, and Tal Geva (2009)
  • Echocardiography in Pediatric and Adult Congenital Heart Disease by Benjamin W. Eidem, Frank Cetta, and Patrick W. O'Leary (2009)
  • Transesophageal Echocardiography for Congenital Heart Disease by Pierre C. Wong, Wanda C. Miller - Hance, and Norman H. Silverman (due May 2010)
  • Echocardiography in Adult Congenital Heart DiseasebyWei Li, Michael Henein, and Michael A. Gatzoulis (2007)
  • Echocardiography: A Practical Guide for Reporting, by Helen Rimington (Author), John Chambers (Author)

This section includes information on education-related areas such as:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Please also refer to the FAQs for further general information on the certification process

For any further information, please contact us.

CHD Graders

Please find here the list of EACVI CHD graders

Certified Individuals

Click here to view the list of CHD certified individuals (.xls)


 

 

 

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