Increasing evidence for a latent, preclinical phase of cardiac pathology prior to the development of symptomatic heart failure has fuelled interest in the potential of developing a screening program for early disease detection and intervention. Cardiac biomarkers have shown promise in identifying subjects with significant left ventricular dysfunction and more recently to assist in cardiovascular risk stratification. However, a number of questions remain regarding the use of these biomarkers for screening purposes. In particular, appropriate cut-off levels and adjustment for individual patient characteristics still need to be established and further cost-effectiveness studies are required before screening programs can be undertaken. Given the enormous and increasing burden of cardiac failure worldwide, the potential of these biomarkers to identify those at greatest risk of the condition, either alone or as part of a hybrid screening strategy is of great interest to the cardiology community. The aim of this review is to outline evidence behind the argument for screening, discuss the remaining barriers to its development and implementation and highlight potential areas for future research.