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Congenital Heart Disease Echocardiography (CHD) Certification

Certification organised by the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging (EACVI)

Results of the 2019 written exam delivered in Vienna on 6 December have been sent to participants through the email address registered on their MyESC accounts. 

Next EACVI/AEPC Echo CHD Certification exam will be held in 2020.

More information will be communicated in due time.


COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Click here to read a message from the EACVI Certification and Accreditation Committee to all candidates considering applications for EACVI Certification Programmes.


Echo CHD exam

What are your benefits from getting the EACVI certification in Echo 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 Echo 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 Echo 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.

Upcoming exam

Next EACVI/AEPC Echo CHD Certification exam will be held in 2020.

More information will be communicated in due time.



 *ESC reserves the right to modify the above schedule if needed. Therefore, ESC strongly recommends to plan late return flights

Exam registration

 The registration for the exam is separate from that of the congress. You do not need to register for the congress to sit the exam.

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.


Not an EACVI Silver Member yet? Subscribe today and save up to €122**

  1. Become an EACVI Silver Member for €156 (or €78 if you are below 40 years old or in training)
  2. Benefit from the exam registration member fee (€360 instead of €560)
  3. Save up to €122**
  4. Enjoy all the EACVI Silver Membership benefits including an online subscription to the European Heart Journal - Cardiovascular Imaging (EHJ-CI), unlimited access to EACVI webinars and congresses resources, discounts on EACVI congresses and courses, and much more.  Join and save now** 


** Compared to standard fee for non-members and including the EACVI Silver membership fee


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Please read the Registration Terms and Conditions.

Registration fees (in Euros)

Fee Types Online Fees (until seats sold out/10 days before exam)

Standard/EACVI Regular Member


EACVI Silver Member or

AEPC Members






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

**To benefit from EACVI Fellow fees you must be a validated EACVI Fellowship before registering for the exam. This fee is only available for EACVI Fellow.

***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 for all ESC administered exams closes 10 days prior to the examination with no exceptions.

Registration requirements

Please note: The registration fees for the exam are separate 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.

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.

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 email 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 Contact Us

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 a 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 two 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 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 candidate 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. 


Echo CHD Certification process

CHD certification is obtained in two mandatory steps:

1: Theoretical part - Delivered on Tablet:
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 ten DOPS ( Direct Observation of Procedural Skills).

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

Certification stakeholders


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 Echo CHD echo Certification for > one 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 < three 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 three and maximum of ten assessors per candidate for the ten DOPS assessments (just one assessor needs to sign each DOPS).

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

  • Any cardiologist practising paediatric/adult congenital cardiology
  • Or a specialist sonographer who has held EACVI/AEPC Echo CHD certification for > one year

The graders are:

  • EACVI delegated clinicians
  • likely to be an echocardiography clinical leader
  • can be a Echo 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 (minimum ten) 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 submitted DOPS forms with no assessor feedback.

Theoretical: Examination on tablet

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

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

  • Reporting: 50 questions related to Echo CHD cases with displayed echoes - 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • Theory: 75 questions - 1 hour 50 minutes.

The examination is in English.

The total duration of the written examination is approximately five 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, smart phone) will not be permitted in the exam room. Including the use of phones as calculators.
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 email approximately two months after the exam.

Appeal 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. 

Practical Assessment: Logbook

After the successful completion of the written exam, candidates can proceed with the Practical Assessment. This logbook must be submitted within twelve months after the candidates received their exam results.
The Congenital Heart Disease (Echo CHD) Certification Committee decided in 2009 to introduce the DOPs (Direct Observation Procedures Skills) process as the major practical assessment for EACVI/AEPC Echo 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 practising congenital cardiologist/EACVI Certified Echocardiographers was actively engaged in the oversight and assessment of the competence of the candidate
  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 log book 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  cases. No transoesophageal (TOE) cases can be included in this logbook.

The cases must be taken from a 24 months period from twelve months before to twelve 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.

Handwritten lists are not accepted.

2. Reports:

These must be reported and performed solely by the candidate.

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

Include only those reports accompanying the ten 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 transoesophageal (TOE) cases can be used.

3. 10 signed DOPS:

Candidates must have a minimum of three 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 ten 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 one to three (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 reserve 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 caseload 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
  • Each patient may be present only once in the logbook – It is not allowed to add multiple studies of the same patient.
6. 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 Us if this link cannot be located.

Logbooks must be completely anonymised - neither the candidate's or 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 documents must then all be resubmitted within one to two 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 email within three months after the logbook is assigned to reviewers.

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

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 through Contact Us.

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

Appealing the logbook

Candidates who fail to the logbook part may raise an appeal to the ESC certification team on the ESC Contact us.

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

  • Further reports
  • Actual cine/media recording/s

The appeal procedure for the re-evaluation of a logbook is free of charge and does not guarantee a pass after this second review. 

This will be the final attempt by the Echo CHD committee to assist the candidate in demonstrating satisfactory practical competence. The decision of the appeal is made by the committee and is final.

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


Candidates who have successfully completed the certification process have been awarded a 5-year certification.

To retain the respective certification candidates must apply for recertification from 6-months before to 6 months after the certification expiration date.

During this time window, candidates who are eligible for the recertification will receive an automatic email every 3 months to apply for recertification. This email is sent on MyESC email address. All candidates will be reminded as the deadline approaches but it is the candidate responsibility to ensure that the recertification is submitted in a timely manner.

Click here to consult the recertification requirements.

Exam preparation

Documents to help you prepare your exam

Suggested reading lists

For Echo 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)
  • Transoesophageal 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.

Echo CHD Graders

Please find here the list of EACVI Echo CHD graders

Certified Individuals in CHD

Please find here the list of certified Echo CHD certified individuals