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COVID-19 and Cardiology Read more

HFA Heart Failure Certification

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

Please be advised that this Heart Failure Certification exam scheduled for 26 May 2020 will no longer take place. The HFA is currently working on alternative solutions to deliver the exam at a later date.

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.

COVID-19 (coronavirus)

It is with great regret that I inform you that Heart Failure 2020 & World Congress on Acute Heart Failure, scheduled for 23–26 May in Barcelona, is officially cancelled. 

The leadership of the ESC and the Heart Failure Association (HFA) have been closely following the current health crisis. The spread of COVID-19 around the world and the necessity for healthcare professionals to deal with the epidemic in their hospitals has impacted the availability of both faculty and delegates. Indeed, many have already cancelled their plans to attend – and that number will only grow. In addition, the Spanish authorities have declared a state of emergency while the Catalan government has imposed a total lockdown and severe travel bans.

As a result of these factors and our responsibility to protect the health of our faculty, delegates and staff, the HFA leadership has decided that cancelling Heart Failure 2020 is the only responsible course of action.

Should you have any queries, please refer to the FAQ.

On behalf of the HFA Board, we convey our heartfelt wishes to you, your families and your patients in these difficult times.  

Petar Seferović

ESC Heart Failure Association

President, 2018–2020



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.


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.

Registration information


The exam scheduled for 26 May 2020 in Barcelona has been cancelled.

The exam that was to be offered on the same date, on computers, in designated Pearson VUE testing centres in six countries: China, Korea, India, Japan, Mexico and Brazil, has also been cancelled. Get more information about the certification exam that was to take place at Pearson VUE testing centres.



CCIB - Centre Convencions Internacional de Barcelona

Plaça de Willy Brandt 11-14

08019 Barcelona, Spain


Check-in candidates                     13:00 - 14:00

Instructions to candidates           14:00 - 14:15

Exam start (3h)                             14:15 - 17:15


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

In order to respect exam room capacity, registrations will be managed on a first come first served basis.

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.

HFA exam terms & conditions


Fee Types Online Fees (until seats sold out / 10 days before exam date)
Regular Member**
Silver & 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. 

Registration conditions

  • 120 seats available: in order to respect the capacity of the examination room, registrations are taken on the basis of first come, first served. 
  • Only HFA Members can attend the exam. Join the HFA.
  • If you register for the exam, you do not need to also register for the corresponding congress if you do not wish to attend. However, you will only have access to exam facilities.
  • Please note that there is NO onsite registration.
  • It is strongly recommended that candidates taking the exam should either have completed the General Cardiology training in their own country or be in their final year of cardiology training in their own country.

Certification Process

Exam structure

  • The examination is held once a year during Heart Failure congress (in May)
  • The examination is in English and delivered on tablets
  • The duration of the written examination is three 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 day of the exam

Participants are required to sign in from 1 hour to 30 minutes before the start of the exam for check-in and are requested to bring and present a photo ID document to confirm their identity.
If a candidate leaves the room before the end of the exam, s/he will not be authorised the re-enter the room nor access his/her tablet (except to use the washroom facilities and only if accompanied by an Invigilator).


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

  • 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 appeal procedure will be recorded only if candidates have filed an official complaint on the day of the exam. In no circumstance will you be entitled to a 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 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.


Only HFA members can register for 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).

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 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 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, HFA is not liable for any cost incurred by the cancellation of accommodation and travel arrangements.

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.

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. All candidates are urged to take personal travel insurance. Registration of a candidate entails acceptance of these conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Download HFA Certification FAQs (PDF)