Since 1 July 2022, women and people with a cervix aged 25-74 have had the choice to screen either through:
- self-collection of a vaginal sample (unless a co-test is indicated)
- clinician-collection of a sample from the cervix using a speculum.
The National Cervical Screening Program education course now reflects self-collection as an option for HPV testing.
The updates to the course align with the NCSP Guidelines to help healthcare providers learn more about:
- self-collected vaginal samples as an alternative screening option
- support for patients in making the choice
- how to increase cancer screening participation rates, especially in under-screened groups.
The course is a self-directed CPD online training course consisting of six modules. It aims to reinforce and increase knowledge about the Cervical Screening Test and screening pathways.
You can find information on self-collection as a screening option throughout all modules. Module 3 Screening in Practice describes the steps involved in supporting a patient to self-collect a vaginal sample.
Additional support for healthcare providers
Educational resources are available to support implementing self-collection in your practice:
- NCSP Healthcare provider toolkit – an online toolkit to help healthcare providers engage and support under and never-screened patients in cervical screening
- Understanding the NCSP Pathway – learn about the screening pathway that supports the NCSP and the guidance for pathology testing of cervical and vaginal samples
- Quick Reference Guide – Self-collected vaginal sample – information about testing for HPV through the self-collected vaginal sample option, including possible test results and follow-up requirements
- Quick Reference Guide – Clinician-collected Cervical Screening Tests – a guide about the clinician-collected cervical screening HPV testing option, including information on possible test results and follow-up requirements
- NCSP Guide to understanding cervical screening test results – a brochure explaining what the Cervical Screening Test is, what the possible test results mean and what happens when a patient is referred to a specialist
View the full range of national resources for both healthcare providers and participants.