Cervical screening: professional guidance

Standards and guidance for healthcare professionals, managers and commissioners working in the NHS cervical screening programme.

Liquid based cytology (LBC)

Programme management


The NHS CSP Audit of Invasive Cervical Cancers is available from the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine website. The site includes the most recent audit, plus older versions.

Laboratory standards and quality assurance

A practical bench aid for use by lab staff reporting histological specimens taken after abnormal cytological or colposcopic results is available in CD format from Harlow Printing Limited.

Colposcopy equipment reports

Primary care

Cervix chart for sample takers

A chart available on a one per room basis, for nurses and GPs taking cervical screening samples. Order here (electronic copy not available).

Primary human papillomavirus (HPV) screening

Primary HPV screening is currently being implemented across the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

Professionals involved in delivering primary HPV screening should use these guidance documents.

Published 1 February 2004
Last updated 20 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added Cervical screening: laboratory HPV testing and cytology services document.
  2. Added 'Cervical screening: pathway for acceptance of new HPV tests'.
  3. Added new guidance on primary HPV screening implementation.
  4. Added new guidance: the role of the cervical screening provider lead.
  5. Added supporting women with learning disabilities guidance to primary care section.
  6. Added programme specific operating model.
  7. Added Cervical screening: cervical sample taker training.
  8. Added National external quality assessment (EQA) scheme for the preparation and staining of cervical liquid based cytology samples: scheme protocol.
  9. Added Cervical screening: training to use a new cytology system.
  10. Added Cervical screening: gynaecological cytopathology external quality assessment to the collection.
  11. First published.