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HFA Heart Failure Certification

Certification organised by the Heart Failure Association of the ESC (HFA)

NEW: Take your HFA exam from anywhere!

The next exam will take place on 19 November.

The exam registration period is closed.

This certification process is for professionals specialising in heart failure. It aims to assess the knowledge base for heart failure which is set out by the Specialist Heart Failure Curriculum.

This is an excellent milestone for HFA Members to enhance their career path. 

Heart failure certification proves to your profession that you have achieved a certain level of competence.

NEW: Take your HFA exam from anywhere




Taking the HFA exam just got more convenient.

There's no need to travel anymore

Take it online, from your computer/tablet, at your home or office.

The exam registration period is closed.

What are the benefits of HFA certification?

Heart failure cardiologists require specialist knowledge to help them deliver optimal patient care. The HFA knowledge-based certificate shows that the candidate has achieved an advanced level of competence in the heart failure field. Successful candidates will receive a certification of completion of the knowledge-based component of the Heart Failure Curriculum.

Next HFA exam


The next online HFA exam will take place on 19 November 2020. 

Registration closes 15 days before the examination with no exceptions. Registration may close earlier if the exam capacity is reached.

Exam registration is closed.




The examination is designed to be completed in 3 hours with no break.

You will be able to start your 3-hour exam at anytime between 14:00 and 17:00 CET

Registration Fees                   


Fee Types Online Fees 
Regular Member**
Silver or Gold Member** €384
Resit - Member* €264

*Please note that the resit fee is strictly reserved and applied for candidates who have sat and failed the exam in the past.

**To benefit from Gold / Silver Member fees you must be a validated Gold / Silver Member before registering for the exam. For further information, please go to the membership page.

Fees do not include transport and accommodation. 

Eligibility requirements

  • Only HFA Members can attend the exam. Join the HFA.
  • You must be a doctor with a national board certification in cardiology (diploma) or a doctor in cardiology specialist training (fellows).

Take your HFA exam online - what you need to know

For the first time, the HFA is offering the exam online. Here is everything you need to know in order to participate!

What is this new online format?

The HFA wants to provide you with the safety and convenience of an online platform, while retaining the integrity and quality of an on-site supervised exam. 

The exam is:

  • offered everywhere in the world
  • identical in content, format and on-screen experience to previous on-site exams delivered on tablets
  • taken on your own device (computer or tablet) and monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®

What equipment do I need?

You must verify that your computer meets the requirements before you register for the HFA exam. If this is not the case, you will not be able to take the exam. 

You will need:

  • a strong and stable internet connection
  • a webcam, speaker and microphone

We highly recommend that you check all of the system requirements available here 

We also recommend that you test your equipment while you are on that page to verify you have the necessary equipment to take the exam. 

How can I register for this exam?

It is a two-step registration process:

    • Start your registration with the HFA
    • Complete your registration with ProctorU®
Start your registration with the HFA

After having verified that your equipment meets the requirements, you can start your registration with the HFA. 

You will need to complete a pre-exam questionnaire and pay the exam registration fee. 

When you finish, you'll receive an email from the ESC with your invoice to confirm your payment.

Complete your registration with ProctorU®

Once you have registered with the HFA and pay your exam fee, you will get an email containing a link to complete your registration with ProctorU®.

You will need to create a ProctorU® account. Then at the pre-defined exam date, you will be able to choose the time slot in which you would like to take the exam. When you finish, you will receive a confirmation email. 

What can I expect on the exam day?

You can find more information about what to expect on the examination day below and also on the ProctorU® website.

Before the exam session begins
  • Fix any issues you may encounter on your computer. All issues must be resolved before your appointment time.
  • Close all browsers and applications not needed for the exam. 
  • Gather the documents you will need to identify you (passport, ID document with photo).
  • Make sure your exam environment meets the requirements:
    • your room is quiet and well lit.
    • your are alone in the room.
    • your workspace is clear from all materials and unauthorised supports.
    • there are no sounds from music or television around. 
  • Make sure you are dressed appropriately, with your face visible to the proctor.
Check-in and identification process
  • Log in to your ProctorU® account at your appointment time.
  • Complete the authentication steps, which include showing your ID to the proctor. The name on your ID must match the name provided during the registration process.
  • Follow the proctor instructions. You will have to:
    • Give access permission to your computer screen for monitoring purposes.
    • Use your camera to show a 360-degree view of your room. 
  • If everything goes well, the proctor will let you start your exam.

The check-in and identification process can take approximately 5 to 10 minutes. 

During the exam

Your entire exam will be recorded by ProctorU® and monitored by a human proctor. 

  • During the exam, the proctor will monitor you (via the camera) and your computer screen to ensure you follow all exam procedures.
  • You must be visible to the proctor at all times during the exam session. No breaks are allowed.
  • You can interact with the proctor by speaking to him/her or using the chat option.
  • You are not allowed to take notes on paper during the examination. 
  • You are only authorised to have a 'whiteboard' to help you during the examination. This whiteboard will be erased in front of the proctor at the end of the exam. 

The exam policies are:

  • Don't use any unauthorised materials, including mobile devices, prewritten notes or books.
  • The use of any recording equipment is strictly prohibited.
  • Don't communicate with anyone other than the proctor.
  • Speaking aloud during the exam is strictly prohibited. 
  • You cannot be out of camera view. No breaks are allowed during the whole duration of the exam. 
  • Taking pictures, screenshots or trying to copy/paste any element of the exam content is strictly prohibited. 
  • You must behave in an appropriate manner. Any conduct that the proctor may deem vulgar, offensive, pornographic, obscene, abusive or criminal are strictly prohibited.  

Suspicious actions are flagged in the online proctoring system and will be reported to the ESC.  

If the proctor detects any suspicious activities or movements, he/she could terminate your exam session at any time and your exam will be invalidated and your fee won't be refunded. 

Any irregularity in relation to the ESC Online Proctoring Examinations policies and rules mentioned above can lead to sanctions as described in the Online Proctoring Examination Terms & Conditions

What if I have technical issues?

If you experience a technical problem during the test, notify the proctor by speaking to him/her or via the chat. 

If you get disconnected or if you lose your internet connection momentarily, you will automatically be reconnected. 

If you are unable to reconnect or speak to the proctor, you can call ProctorU® for assistance. 

Certification process

Exam structure

  • The examination is held once a year
  • The examination is in English
  • The duration of the written examination is 3 hours
  • The questionnaire is compiled by the HFA Certification Committee and consists of 100 multiple choice questions (MCQs) with five options, based on single best answer (no negative marking)
  • Questions are based on and will cover the Knowledge Base outlined in the Specialist Heart Failure Curriculum

How to prepare for the examination?


The exam is marked electronically and the results are verified and checked by the committee.
Results are sent by e-mail within two months after the exam date.

Appeal process

Candidates who have comments or concerns about an examination question should contact the ESC via the ESC Contact Us webpage ( The relevant certification committee will review all comments, concerns and suggestions made by candidates.  These comments or concerns must be logged on the examination day with the proctor or at the latest before candidates received their examination results.

  • After having received your results:

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

Appeal process:

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

Any reply from the ESC exam administration and the 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.

General conditions


  • All registration fees are quoted in Euros and include national applicable VAT.
  • Payment in any other currency will not be accepted.
  • Registration will be acknowledged by e-mail (within ten days) 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

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 the exam % Refund
Up to 6 weeks before the exam  90%
6 to 4 weeks before the exam  50%
Within 4 weeks before the exam  0%
No show  0%

Please note that a "no show" is not considered 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 involving the candidate...) no refund will be allowed.

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

By registering for the exam, each candidate waives his/her rights to claim for any compensation from the HFA. 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 HFA be liable for indirect damages or cost. Registration of a candidate entails acceptance of these conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Download HFA Certification FAQs (PDF)