Cervical screening: professional guidance

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

Programme pathway

Liquid based cytology (LBC)

Programme management


The document collection on cervical screening programme data contains the NHS Cervical Screening Programme invasive cervical cancer audits.

Laboratory standards and quality assurance

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.

Updates to this page

Published 1 February 2004
Last updated 31 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. Added guidance in collection

  2. Correct error in first paragraph, Section 4.6 [even if colposcopy was normal]

  3. Addition to collection of Cervical screening: ideas for improving access and uptake

  4. Added 'Cervical screening: care pathway' and 'Cervical screening pathway requirements specification'.

  5. Added link to 'Cervical screening: support for people who find it hard to attend'.

  6. Addition of 'cervical screening: disclosure of audit toolkit' to the audit section.

  7. Added link to cervical screening programme data document collection, containing the NHS Cervical Screening Programme invasive cervical cancer audits.

  8. Added Cervical screening: laboratory HPV testing and cytology services document.

  9. Added 'Cervical screening: pathway for acceptance of new HPV tests'.

  10. Added new guidance on primary HPV screening implementation.

  11. Added new guidance: the role of the cervical screening provider lead.

  12. Added supporting women with learning disabilities guidance to primary care section.

  13. Added programme specific operating model.

  14. Added Cervical screening: cervical sample taker training.

  15. Added National external quality assessment (EQA) scheme for the preparation and staining of cervical liquid based cytology samples: scheme protocol.

  16. Added Cervical screening: training to use a new cytology system.

  17. Added Cervical screening: gynaecological cytopathology external quality assessment to the collection.

  18. First published.