Organised and opportunistic screening

There are two types of screening - organised screening programmes and opportunistic screening programmes.

Organised screening programmes have to be of a high standard, and the screening services are checked and monitored by people from outside the programme. With organised screening programmes, everyone who takes part is offered the same services, information and support. Often, large numbers of people are invited to take part in organised screening programmes. The National Screening Unit oversees national organised screening programmes.

Opportunistic screening happens when someone asks their doctor or health professional for a check or test, or a check or test is offered by a doctor or health professional. Unlike an organised screening programme, opportunistic screening may not be checked or monitored.

Page last updated: 05 December 2014