National Cervical Screening Programme
For consumer information
The National Screening Unit (NSU) contracts 10 independent service providers to provide support to screening services for women who are less likely to have cervical screening.
Across the country there are approximately 7300 smear takers, mostly general practitioners and nurses and seven laboratories providing cytology, HPV and histology testing services to the programme.
The 20 district health boards (DHBs) are contracted by the NSU to provide colposcopy services. Women can also go to private colposcopy services. Twelve of the 20 DHBs have been contracted to provide the NCSP-Register services. NCSP regional services undertake a regional coordination role for cervical screening health promotion, some smear taking as well as liaising with key organisations and people relevant to cervical screening, eg, PHOs, Māori or Pacific health providers and GP practices.
The four components of the NCSP service delivery model currently delivered by the NCSP regional services are:
- management and operation of the NCSP-Register
- regional coordination and liaison activities that are directly supported by the NCSP-Register, particularly with other providers (eg, smear takers and colposcopy units)
- provision of smear-taking services for women in priority groups.
Since the NCSP began in 1990 the incidence of cervical cancer has decreased by about 50 percent. Cervical cancer incidence in 2012 was 6.2 per 100,000 women (age standardised to the WHO population, all ages).
There has also been a steady decline in cervical cancer mortality since NCSP began of about 60 percent. Cervical cancer mortality in 2010 was 1.7 per 100,000 women (age standardised to the WHO population, all ages).
In this section
In 2018, the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) is planning to change the first step in the screening pathway from liquid-based cytology screening to primary human papillomavirus (HPV) screening.
Contact the National Cervical Screening Programme in your area to request an updated screening history for your patients or for any information on cervical screening.
This section contains Role-specific information
As the national repository for information relating to cervical screening events, the NCSP-Register is a key component of the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP).
These guidelines outline the management of women with abnormal cervical smears, and incorporate key policies such as recommendations as to the age to start screening, how often to screen and when to stop.
A number of changes aimed at improving the quality, safety and effectiveness of the Programme took effect from 7 March 2005.
Access Publications and reports relating to the National Cervical Screening Programme.
Ongoing, systematic monitoring against performance indicators is one of a range of monitoring systems the National Screening Unit (NSU) uses to ensure its programmes are working well. View the Independent monitoring reports in this section.
Coverage is an important performance indicator for all those involved in the NCSP at both regional and national levels. Coverage is defined as the proportion of women eligible for screening who have been screened in the previous three years.
The NCSP Policies and Standards document the agreed policies, standards and guidelines for providers of National Cervical Screening Programme services.
The National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) Advisory Group is an external advisory group established to support the National Screening Unit achieve equity in health/whānau ora for all people through high quality and accessible screening.