National Cervical Screening Programme: HPV Primary Screening Clinical Pathway to Introduce Self-Testing for Public Consultation 2021

In November 2019, the National Cervical Screening Programme (NCSP) introduced a policy change as part of the planning for implementing HPV primary screening. This policy change introduces the choice of self-testing as a universal option. The transition to HPV primary screening will give everyone the option to complete a self-test or the option of a clinician-taken sample if that is their choice.

Consultation was carried out in the first half of 2021, seeking advice from NCSP stakeholders on introducing the option of self-testing to facilitate understanding of the changes being proposed and why they are being considered by the NCSP. This consultation closed on 8 June 2021.

Changes to the pathway are based on emerging international data, including experience with HPV primary screening in Australia since December 2017. New Zealand studies suggest that the option of HPV self-testing as an alternative to a clinician-taken sample, with more comprehensive pathway support, will increase participation and equitable outcomes by reducing barriers to screening.

A technical references list (pdf, 147 KB) has been created for those interested in reading more about HPV primary screening, including the latest research from around the world.

HPV testing is undertaken on a vaginal or cervical sample, either a self-test or a clinician-taken sample. A clinician could take the HPV test on its on using a swab, or take a sample for cytology using a brush, and the HPV test is added on.

2015 public consultation: HPV Primary Screening

In 2015, the Ministry undertook a public consultation in preparation for implementing HPV primary screening

Read more about 2015 public consultation: HPV Primary Screening

Frequently asked questions

Answers to frequently asked questions about proposed changes to the cervical screening test in New Zealand.

Read the Frequently asked questions

Page last updated: 20 July 2021