Introduction: Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] is a potent, highly heritable and common risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Evidence for a causal association between elevated Lp(a) and ASCVD has been provided by large epidemiological investigations that have demonstrated a curvilinear association with increased risk, as well as from genetic examinations and cellular and transgenic animal studies. Although there are several therapies available for lowering Lp(a), none are selective for Lp(a) and there is no clinical trial data that has specifically shown that lowering Lp(a) reduces the risk of ASCVD. Hence, screening for elevated Lp(a) is not routinely incorporated into clinical practice. Areas covered: This paper reviews the current evidence supporting the causal role of Lp(a) in the primary and secondary prevention of ASCVD, screening approaches for high Lp(a), current guidelines on testing Lp(a), and barriers to the routine screening of elevated Lp(a) in clinical practice. Expert opinion: At present, there is a moderate level of evidence supporting the routine screening of elevated Lp(a). Current guidelines recommend testing for elevated Lp(a) in individuals at intermediate or high risk of ASCVD.