Policies and Standards

The NCSP Policies and Standards document the agreed policies, standards and guidelines for providers of National Cervical Screening Programme services.

The Interim Policies and Standards take effect from 12 September 2023.

Information on our website about HPV primary screening is currently in the process of being updated.

The updated interim Policies and Standards have been released as interim to allow time for them to bed in with the sector and provide the opportunity for feedback to inform final versions. We are confident of the clinical quality of the programme as articulated in the updated interim Policies and Standards.

As the sector works with them there may be things that need to be updated. Opportunities to feedback on the Policies and Standards will be communicated through stakeholder groups.


Policies and Standards effective through 11 September 2023 can be found at the bottom of the page.

Their purpose is to support all those involved in the NCSP to achieve the Programme's aims and objectives by ensuring a high standard and national consistency of service at each step of the screening pathway.

The Policies and Standards also enable monitoring and evaluation of the Programme.

The NCSP Policies and Standards are published as independent sections relating to provider groups.

Section 1: NCSP overview

Is relevant to all provider groups- Revised September 2014

Section 2: Providing an NCSP Register service

Encompasses both the central NCSP Register functions as provided by the Register Central Team and support services provided within DHBs. - Revised March 2015

Section 3: Cervical Screening Services

Covers information, policies and standards of practice for cervical sample takers and providers of cervical screening services - Revised September 2021

Section 5: Providing a laboratory service

Covers the provision of gynaecological cytology, histology and HPV testing services for the NCSP - Revised May 2021

Section 6: Providing a colposcopy service

Relates to health professionals providing a colposcopy service - Revised July 2013


Glossary for the Operational Policy and Quality Standards Manual

Cancer Registry Act 1993

The Cancer Registry Act 1993 was enacted to make better provision for the compilation of a statistical record of the incidence of cancer in its various forms, to provide a basis for the better direction of programmes for research and for cancer prevention.

The Health (Cervical Screening (Kaitiaki)) Regulations 1995

The National Kaitiaki Group was established in 1995 by the Minister of Health under these regulations. The group is appointed by, and accountable to, the Minister of Health.

Bethesda 2001, New Zealand Modified (August 2014)

Codes, descriptors and assessment of sample adequacy for cytology laboratories.

Bethesda 2001, New Zealand Modified (October 2013) - (pdf, 81 Kb)

This replaces v5.1, October 2013

SNOMED Coding for Histology

Updated January 2013. National Cervical Screening Programme, Ministry of Health.

Appendix eight - SNOMED Coding for Histology - (pdf, 178 KB)

National Screening Unit Operational Policy Framework

Page last updated: 11 October 2021