© 2015 Australian and New Zealand Society of Cardiac and Thoracic Surgeons (ANZSCTS) and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand (CSANZ). Background: Research on Australian cardiovascular disease secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation to guide practice needs updating to reflect current context of practice. It is timely therefore to review the core components that underpin effective services that deliver maximum benefits for participants. Methods: The Australian Cardiovascular Health and Rehabilitation Association (ACRA) convened an inter-agency, multidisciplinary, nationally representative expert panel of Australia's leading cardiac rehabilitation clinicians, researchers and health advocates who reviewed the research evidence. Results: Five core components for quality delivery and outcomes of services were identified and are recommended: 1) Equity and access to services, 2) Assessment and short-term monitoring, 3) Recovery and longer term maintenance, 4) Lifestyle/behavioural modification and medication adherence, and 5) Evaluation and quality improvement. Conclusions: ACRA seeks to provide guidance on the latest evidence in cardiovascular disease secondary prevention and cardiac rehabilitation. Clinicians should use these core components to guide effective service delivery and promote high quality evidence based care. Directors of hospitals and health services should use these core components to aid decision-making about the development and maintenance of these services.