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Certification for Individuals in Acute CardioVascular Care ACVC

Certification organised by the Association for Acute CardioVascular Care (ACVC)

The certification exam in intensive and acute cardiovascular care due to be held on 9 March 2020 in Athens, Greece has been cancelled.


COVID-19 (coronavirus)

These are unprecedented times and we can imagine how busy you are coping with COVID-19. Therefore we are extending the submission deadlines by six months for all logbooks. However, please feel free to submit them at any time before that if you wish.

No action is required from candidates. The new deadline will be indicated on the logbook submission webpage.

N.B. Under these circumstances, logbook graders may also be unusually busy and there may be substantial delays in receiving your logbook grading. Thank you for your understanding.

Our heartfelt best wishes go out to you and your patients.


The rapid spread of COVID-19 and the resulting nationwide lockdowns imposed in many countries have required the cancellation or postponement of events due to take place between March and June.

Access the Acute Cardiovascular Care 2020 cancellation FAQ to get answers to your questions about the certification exam due to take place during the congress.


The advanced management of critically ill cardiac patients is now a subspecialty of cardiology.

The certification recognises professionals with both practical experience and knowledge in acute cardiac care.

The certification process is composed of two parts:

  • the written exam (Part I) intended to test the theoretical knowledge of the candidate
  • the logbook and educational training records (Part II) designed to demonstrate the training, skills and experience of the applicant

Why take the certification

The certification process for acute cardiac care is designed for professionals in the field  to attest to skills in delivering state-of-the-art treatment for patients with severe cardiac illness.

Discover what past applicants say.

Next exam

Date: 9 March 2020 during the Association for Acute CardioVascular Care (ACVC)

Congress in Athens.


Divani Caravel Hotel

Leof. Vasileos Alexandrou

2, Athina

161 21, Greece



13:00 - 14:00    Candidates' check-in 

14:00 - 17:00    Exam

17:00 - 18:00    Candidates' check-out


*We reserve the right to modify this schedule if required


Fees are discounted as per your membership of the Association for Acute CardioVascular Care (ACVC)

Fees do not include transport or accommodation.


In order to respect exam room capacity, registrations will be managed on a first come first served basis.
We encourage you to register online as early as possible to guarantee a seat.

Registration for all ESC administered exams closes 10 days prior to the examination with no exceptions.
However, registration may close earlier when the exam room capacity is reached.

Please read the terms and conditions.


Fee Types Online Fees (until seats sold out/10 days before exam date)
Regular & Standard  €300
Ivory Members* €285
Silver Members* €255
Gold Members* €225
Resit** €200


Fee Types Onsite Fees (upon room capacity)

Regular, Ivory, Gold, Silver Members*

Resit** €200


Become a member of the Association for Acute CardioVascular Care (ACVC)


*To benefit from member fees you must be a validated member before registering for the exam.

**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.


Registration requirements

Payment and general conditions

*All registration fees are quoted in Euros (€) 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 form/request and payment are received before the registration deadlines.

Registration will be acknowledged upon receipt of payment and a valid email address (please ensure your MyESC profile is updated). A confirmation email will be sent within ten working days after having submitted the payment.

Cancellation policy

If a candidate has to cancel their registration for the exam they must contact us

  • Up to 6 weeks before the exam takes place – 100% refund
  • From 6 to 4 weeks: 50% refund
  • From 4 weeks to exam date: no refund
  • No show: no refund

In the event of illness or other serious unforeseen circumstances, a letter of proof will be required and the full amount may then be refunded.

In the unlikely event that the cancels the exam, the full registration fee will be refunded. However, we are not liable for any cost incurred by the cancellation of accommodation and travel arrangements.

Appealing the exam
  • On the exam day, in case of issue with the scientific content of the exam:

A complaint must be logged on-site with the exam Invigilators. The appeals’ procedure will be recorded only if candidates have filed an official complaint on the day of the exam. In no circumstance you will be entitled to fee refund nor damages.

  • After having received your results:

If you believe that an incorrect result has been awarded to you, you may lodge an appeal by sending to the ESC exam administration an official letter within 8 days of receiving your scores, to the ESC contact us  form. The result of such appeal may be a higher grade, a lower grade, or no grade change. In no circumstance you will be entitled to fee refund nor damages.

Appeal process:

The ESC exam administration and relevant certification committee will reply within 4 weeks.

Reply from ESC exam administration and relevant certification committee is final. You agreed to this during the exam registration process by accepting the ESC exam delivery Terms and Conditions. 

Appeals are free of charge.

Individual certification process

The certification programme for individuals is a two steps process. Part I is passing the exam and part II is then passing the logbook submission process. There are two levels to certification.

Part I: the written exam


The written exam is available to all healthcare practitioners involved in acute cardiac care:

  • doctors of all relevant specialties
  • all registered healthcare workers
    • nurses
    • paramedics
    • all other healthcare professionals
The exam structure

The examination consists of 100 multiple choice questions (MCQs) based on a clinical stem, and with five options, single best answer.  It is run over three hours.

The questions will be theoretical and related to clinical cases and are designed to assess the knowledge of the candidate.

Answers will be filled in on a preprinted mark sheet.

The day of the exam

Participants are required to sign in approximately 60 minutes before the start of the exam for check-in and to present:

  • Their exam boarding pass (sent by email approximately ten working days before the exam date)
  • Identity card/Passport to confirm their identity

After the exam participants will have to hand in all their exam documents (mark sheets and exam questionnaires) and go through the checkout process.

The results

Results are sent by email two months after the exam date.
Upon passing the exam, candidates will receive a certificate for completion of part I of the certification process.

This certificate states that candidates “have passed the examination of the Association for Acute CardioVascular Care (ACVC)”.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Download FAQs

How to prepare for the exam


The ESC curriculum for Acute Cardiac Care defines the clinical, patient orientated training required of the acute care cardiologist. The curriculum includes a list of all the topics that require being covered, subdivided into the learning objectives, knowledge, skills, behaviour, and attitudes. It also outlines the training requirements and certification process for accreditation in Acute Cardiac Care. This curriculum provides a framework that a training programme in Acute Cardiac Care should be based upon. The revised ESC curriculum for Acute Cardiac Care (2014) can be accessed here.

Core curriculum

Textbook and syllabus

We invite you to refer to the IACC textbook which covers the whole Acute Cardiac Care core curriculum, as well as the CoBaTrICE syllabus which details the requirements for training in intensive care at a European level.

Exam Helpdesk

To prepare for the certification exam, an Exam Helpdesk will be available at the exam's venue, during check in, immediately before the exam. 

Part II: the procedure logbook and Educational Training Record (ETR)

Once candidates have passed the theoretical exam (achieving Part I) they have the opportunity to apply for Part II of the certification, provided they are a medical doctor, certified by their National Health Authority in cardiology, and training under supervision of nationally/locally recognised trainers in recognised centres. 


Part II of the certification process involves demonstration of the skills and professionalism required in acute cardiac care, under the guidance of recognised trainers and supervisors. As this involves clinical cardiology training and practice, the applicant must be a cardiologist.

In order to be eligible to apply for Part II certification process, the candidate must:

  • Be a medical doctor
  • Be certified by their National Health Authority in Cardiology
  • Be a member of the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association. If you are not a member yet, you can apply online
  • Have passed the written examination (Part I)
  • Have a nominated ICCU/CICU Director to oversee their training during the certification process.
Documents to submit

Applicants will be required to submit their Procedure Logbook and Educational Training Record (ETR), plus supporting documentation through the eLogbook platform. Access is only granted to the candidate upon achieving Part I of the certification process.

As security, candidates must keep a copy of all their supporting documentation and logbook. All documents must be submitted in English.

Entry to part II of the certification process (to achieve full certification):

All forms must be filled in electronically (avoid handwriting, except for signatures), in English and saved and submitted as pdf. Failing this rule will result in the logbook being returned to the candidate for correction and as such delay the grading process.

Content of the Educational Training Record (ETR)

The  Educational Training Record (ETR) provides a summary of the Procedures Logbook and the level of competency attained for each procedure. All procedures highlighted in blue require to be attained to Level III competency and those in white require to be attained to Level II. The overall ICCU/CICU director is required to sign to confirm that each procedure has been achieved to the desired level of competency (as documented in the procedural logbook). Both the candidate and the ICCU director are then required to sign the ETR statement confirming that it is an accurate representation of training undertaken.

Content of the logbook

The Procedure Logbook is used to record all procedures performed and the level of skill attained for each. It is intended to provide a comprehensive record of training in the procedures for certification.
Access the list of procedures here.

The Education Committee recognises that documenting the appropriate level of skill in defined procedures is more important than documenting numbers of procedures carried out. As a consequence, the level of skill attained is the key element rather than the numbers performed per se. Nevertheless, suggested minimum numbers to achieve this level of skill have been provided for guidance.

The certification programme requires candidates to achieve Level 3 competency in most procedures and Level 2 competency in a minority (Endotracheal Intubation, Mechanical Ventilation, Primary Angioplasty, Advanced Extracorporeal Support, Thoracic Ultrasound, and Chest Tube Insertion).

The levels of Competencies are explained below:

  • Level I: the experience of selecting the appropriate diagnostic or therapeutic modality and interpreting results or choosing an appropriate treatment. This level of competency does not include performing a technique, but participation in procedures during training may be valuable;
  • Level II: goes beyond Level I. In addition to Level I requirements, the trainee should acquire practical experience but not as an independent operator. They should have assisted in or performed a particular technique or procedure under the guidance of a trainer. This level also applies to circumstances in which the trainee needs to acquire the skills to perform the technique independently, but only for routine indications in uncomplicated cases;
  • Level III: goes beyond the requirements for Level I and Level II. The trainee must be able independently to recognise the indication, perform the technique or procedure, interpret the data and manage the complications, invasive and non-invasive.

At each stage of training, the candidate/trainee should undergo continuous assessment according to that requirement at a local and national level. This may include DOPS (directly observed procedural skills), CBDs (case-based discussions), CEXs (clinical examination exercises), and MSF (multi-source feedback).  The candidate/trainee should take responsibility for ensuring they are appropriately assessed throughout their training for the procedures documented in the procedural logbook, and that their logbook is countersigned by their local trainer/supervisor.

It is important to keep up to date with documentation within the Procedures Logbook, to allow candidates and their supervisors to assess their progress, and focus on areas that require further development.

How to send these documents?

The Procedure Logbook and Educational Training Record must be submitted to the ESC Certification Office using the eLogbook service. A link is shared with individuals who wish to move from level I to level II (full certification).

Please contact us if you do not have this link.

Deadline to send your logbook

The Procedure Logbook (practical assessment) and ETR, have to be submitted within 24 months of the examination date (although it is highly recommended to do so within 12 months).

If the logbook is not sent by the deadline, the candidate will need to re-sit the examination and start the certification process all over.

The results

Upon submission of your Procedure Logbook and ETR, the Certification Office will review its content and forward it to the Education Committee for grading. Results are normally received within two months. Upon successful completion of this process, candidates will receive a Level 2 Certificate. This Certificate has lifetime validity and states that a candidate “Is fully certified in the Acute Cardiac Care Certification process”

Candidates Certified

Year Written Exam Passed - LEVEL I
(Part 1 of Certification)
Fully Certified - LEVEL II
(Written exam + logbook)
2018 (Milan) 31 Ongoing
2017 (Madrid) 36 Ongoing
2016 (Lisbon) 59 14 - Ongoing
2015 (Vienna) 40 20
2014 (Geneva) 42 18
2013 (Madrid) 44 15
2012 (Istanbul) 10 6
2011 (Paris) 12 6
2010 (Copenhagen) 17 8