Quality framework

Standardised reporting and monitoring helps ensure the quality of the National Cervical Screening Program.

Page last updated: 17 May 2017

The renewed National Cervical Screening Program

The Renewal of the National Cervical Screening Program will be implemented on 1 December 2017.

Until the renewed National Cervical Screening Program is implemented, our world-class cervical cancer screening program will continue. It is important that women aged between 18-69 years continue to have Pap smears every two years and talk to their doctor or health care professional if they have any questions.

Read more about the Future changes to the National Cervical Screening Program 

More information for health care professionals on the arrangements for cervical cancer screening between now and 1 December 2017 is available on our FAQ page

Australian laboratories performing cervical cytology are required to use standardised reporting terminology, developed with the relevant Australian medical professional associations. A set of performance measures has also been introduced, against which laboratories are assessed as part of the formal accreditation process. Program reporting and monitoring has been strengthened by the establishment of cervical screening registers, which operate in all states and territories. The registers have a key role in quality assurance by providing back-up reminders to women for routine screening and follow-up of abnormal Pap smears. They also provide clinical information and performance data to medical practitioners and pathology laboratories.

The National Cancer Screening Register (the Register) will commence operation from 1 December 2017 and will support the renewed National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP).

The Register will provide a national electronic infrastructure for the collection, storage, analysis and reporting of cancer screening data for the National Cervical Screening Program. It will facilitate invitations, recall and clinical decision-making and enable improved software integration with general practice, specialists and pathology laboratories, as well as improved quality and accessibility of data and rate of data capture and data matching.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) publishes annual monitoring reports on the National Cervical Screening Program. To support quality and consistency in national reporting, the AIHW has developed a set of program performance indicators for use by all states and territories.

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