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31 definitions to use the same language

The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Board feels it is necessary to structure all the activities gravitating around the specialist physician, their training, their education and the assessment of the latter. Their first request is to use the same language, hence the request for a Glossary of Terms for individual certification / training and other related terms.

The ESC Glossary of Terms in Cardiology complements other European initiatives, in particular the Rome Group Glossary of Terms for Continuing Medical Education (CME) & Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Download the Glossary 


360 / multi-rater feedback (also known as multi source feedback appraisal): A method, primarily to assist with appraisal, for assessing the professionalism of an individual by their peers, others in the multi-disciplinary team and, with appropriate modification, by patients. Each assessor grades a number of characteristics (that might include, for example: leadership, probity, relationships with team members, teaching, empathy, etc) on a numerical scale. The results are collated by the appraiser to inform the discussion on the appraisee’s strengths and weaknesses.   


Accreditation / Re-Accreditation: Affirmation that a provider has met quality, educational and other criteria set out by the accrediting authority. Applies to providers of education and clinical services e.g. echocardiography laboratories 

Attitude / Behaviour: The way in which an individual acts or conducts himself towards others (patients, physicians, nurses and paramedical personnel) while practicing his profession 

Area of clinical excellence: An area of cardiology practice identified as requiring specific clinical expertise of physicians, nurses, and technicians (not necessarily but not excluding cardiologists) but not recognised as a sub-specialty.

Assessment - Formative / Summative assessment
: Measurement of the performance of an individual against pre-determined standards.
Formative assessment is used to provide feedback to the trainee about their progress and is aimed at providing insight into their strengths and weaknesses with the objective of improvement.
Summative assessment is the process of evaluating the knowledge and skills of the trainee prior to their moving into the next phase of, or completing, their training. Examinations are summative forms of assessment.


Certificate: A document recognising and stating a completion of activity or training or course attendance whose meaning requires and depends on further description. A document that affirms satisfactory completion of an educational or training programme that is generally more limited in scope, and shorter in duration, than a degree programme. 

Certification / Re-certification: Normally a voluntary process instituted by a nongovernmental agency through which individuals are recognized for advanced knowledge or skill. The granting of certification is the result of a structured and systematic postgraduate educational and training experience that is generally smaller in magnitude and shorter in time than a degree program or subspecialty training and imparts knowledge, skills, attitudes, and performance behaviours designed to meet specific practice objectives. Examples include EACVI Echocardiography and EHRA Electrophysiology Certification normally requires assessment, including testing, and an evaluation of education and experience. (Rome Group Glossary on CPD / CME (2008) compelte reference)

Certified cardiologist: Term currently used for a cardiologist with a national qualification. For sub-specialty certification is used to describe additional training and experience.

Curriculum: A statement of the aims and objectives, content, experiences, outcomes and processes of a training or educational programme. It includes a description of the structure and methods of learning, teaching, feedback, supervision and assessment. The curriculum setsout what knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours the trainee must acquire in order to complete the programme satisfactorily.


Diploma: A diploma is a certificate (while not every certificate is a diploma) affirming successful training in a skill or acquisition of a body of knowledge, usually authorising the diplomat to practice some complex art or skill.


EACCME: The European Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (EACCME ) is an institution of the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS ) responsible for the evaluation and accreditation of Medical Education Programmes.

A summative assessment, that may be written or oral, of knowledge and, or skills.


Formative Assessment: refer to Assessment


Inspection: A formal evaluation, based on pre-determined criteria, of a service. It may lead to accreditation of a clinical department or training programme


Licensing: Process of authorisation to undertake professional practice granted by a regulatory authority. Most commonly applied generically to practice as a doctor (or nurse or physiotherapist, etc), but in certain jurisdictions as authorisation to act as a specialist.

A record of activity typically used as part of the documentation of training


MCQ (Multiple Choice Question): A form of assessment in which respondents students are asked to answer a question by selecting the correct or best possible answer (or answers) from a list of options.


National accreditation authority: The organization in an individual country responsible, and therefore authorised, to approve or accredit CME/CPD activities taking place within that country.

National authority:
These are context-specific and different by countries. Note that in some countries, there is no real national authority; for example, the Ärztekammern in Germany are essentially state-based (e.g., Bayerische Landesärztekammer).

National cardiac society:
One of the Constituent Bodies of the European Society of Cardiogy: a professional society that represents the interests of the profession of cardiology at a national level.


Professionalism: Practice of a specified activity according to predefined competence and skill

Psychometric analysis:
The branch of psychology that deals with the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits


Re-accreditation: refer to Accreditation

Regulatory body
Authority with the capacity to establish rules and regulations for accreditation and practice of medicine and medical specialties

The process, carried out by a regulatory authority, that allows (licences) a doctor to continue to practice for a defined period. Revalidation may apply generically - to practice medicine - or to a specialty or subspecialty


Specialty: medical specialty

A sub-specialty in cardiology is a field of knowledge, skills, and procedures in a specific area of the specialty of cardiology that goes beyond the basic requirements of general cardiology

 refer to  Assessment

A listing of subject matter to be covered in a training programme


A doctor who has completed their general professional training as a physician and is in an accredited training programme to become a specialist in cardiovascular medicine. Variably known in different countries as an intern, fellow or registrar.

An individual responsible for training.

Training centre:
An institution recognised by a national training authority as eligible to provide complete or partial training. It should offer the opportunity for interaction with other major specialties, provide the necessary infrastructure for training and, alone or in combination with other institutions participating in the programme, should have the necessary facilities to ensure that trainees can fulfil all aspects of the curriculum.


UEMS: Union Européenne des Médecins Spécialistes (UEMS) represents national associations of medical specialists in the European Union and associated countries. With a membership of 35 countries and operating through 37 Specialists Sections and European Boards, the UEMSare active in promoting the free movement of European medical specialists while ensuring the highest quality of medical care for European citizens.

UEMS – Cardiology Section.