1664 - Improvements to the National Cervical Screening Program Self-Collection Policy

Page last updated: 19 May 2021

Application Detail

Description of Medical Service

The aim of the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) is to ensure that all Australian women have access to a cervical screening program that is acceptable, effective, efficient and based on current evidence.

Description of Medical Condition

The NCSP is a secondary prevention strategy which aims to detect pre-cancerous lesions before progression to cervical cancer.

Reason for Application

On behalf of the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP), the Department of Health (the Department) is undertaking a review the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) Self-Collection Policy.In 2017, the option to participate in the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) by providing self-collected samples was included in the NCSP Renewal (MSAC Application 1276) to encourage participation by women who are over 30 and who have never participated or who are under-screened. This review will continue to allow the 2017 NCSP Renewal to achieve its full objectives of reducing morbidity and mortality from cervical cancer, using current and effective screening options. The proposed changes are supported by recent evidence, expert advice and consultation with the NCSP sector. The changes will not affect the primary HPV test, target population or screening interval of the NCSP. Rather, give eligible people a choice in screening method. In addition, it has the potential to increase participation from those most at risk of developing cervical cancer (the under and never-screened). The Department has convened a Self-Collection Expert Advisory Group to guide this review, and to provide advice on policy, implementation and consultation. It comprises cervical screening experts in the fields of gynaecology, pathology, epidemiology, primary healthcare, remote women’s health education, Indigenous health and clinical psychology. The group has recommended that the self-collection policy be changed to offer all eligible individuals a choice to screen using either a self-collected vaginal sample, or a clinician-collected cervical sample, accessed through a healthcare provider in both cases.

Medical Service Type


Previous Application Number/s


Associated Documentation

Application Form


Consultation Survey


PICO Confirmation


Assessment Report


Public Summary Document

Public Summary Document (PDF 716 KB)
Public Summary Document (Word 557 KB)

Meetings for this Application




11-12 February 2021


31 March – 1 April 2021