Cardiac rehabilitation is a multidisciplinary activity and as such necessitates the development of audit systems that cut across professional boundaries. The objective of this paper is to describe the development and testing of an audit tool for cardiac rehabilitation. The tool, based on published guidelines, comprised three proformas: one for each patient entering a cardiac rehabilitation programme, one for a summary of a series of patients and one for the facilities available. The proformas were tested in three centres that were assessed as either 'high', 'moderate' or 'low' providers of cardiac rehabilitation. The cardiac rehabilitation programme coordinator of each centre examined a consecutive series of 30 patients' case notes and completed the proformas. The proformas were found to be clear and easy to use. Information was obtained that informed users of current practice and provided pointers to improvements in the provision of care. In conclusion, the cardiac rehabilitation audit tool proved to be effective in determining the documented evidence of practice, was better for determining the level of provision than a purely subjective judgement and provided information indicating an individual programme's strengths and weaknesses. This is the first attempt at producing an audit tool for cardiac rehabilitation. However, further work may be required in its refinement.