Quality assurance in cervical cancer screening

Training course for cervical cancer screening coordinators and evaluators

Part I: 13.45 – 15.45 / Part II: 16.15 – 17.30

Chair: A. Anttila; S. Lönnberg

Minicourse on screening management (coordination, planning, monitoring and evaluation) based on ESSM pilot course


Developments in the quality assurance of cervical cancer screening programs, including functioning of quality assurance systems and auditing, and introduction of primary HPV testing

Target audience:

Cervical screening program coordinators and evaluators, incl. clinical experts

Background and purpose:

Traditional screening has reached close to optimal effectiveness in many countries, but in a number of programs effective cancer prevention has not yet been achieved. Cervical cancer screening is currently undergoing major changes also with the deployment of new screening methods and working models. Audits based on the outcome are now especially important so that quality can be maintained and incrementally improved while these changes are implemented. The aim of this short course is to demonstrate the rationale and concepts of outcome-based audits, present and discuss of barriers to implementation and look for possible solutions models.


Part I: 13.45 – 15.45

Chair: A. Anttila; S. Lönnberg

Welcome:  Larry von Karsa  5 min
Disparities in the cervical cancer burden Ahti Anttila 5 min
What do we mean by quality assurance? Larry von Karsa
Ahti Anttila
5 min
Current QA and organization of cervical cancer screening Stefan Lönnberg 10+5 min
Practical examples of clinical and cervical screening program audit
- Sweden
- UK
- Italy

Miriam Elfström
Philippa Pearmain
Nereo Segnan

10+5 min
10+5 min
10+5 min


Round table

with maximally 5 presentations by participants on status and barriers of clinical and program audit in their screening program à 8 min + feedback from the audience and ESSM à7 min. Status and possible barriers are briefly reported in the following areas:

  • Key results, scope and frequency of active or planned audits
  • Responsible institutions
  • Legal framework for collecting and linking data on performance and outcome, and organize re-evaluation of potential diagnostic failures
  • IT systems that support collecting and linking these data
  • Quality manual describing QA and auditing
  • Specific financing of QA activities including audits
  • Mechanism for enforcement of quality improvements

Coffee break 15:45-16:15

Part II: 16.15 – 17.30

Programmatic use of quality assurance when implementing new screening strategies

  • Importance of appropriate organization
  • Improve coverage by conventional and new methods, informed participation
  • QA for primary HPV testing
  • Synergies with HPV vaccination
Joakim Dillner

10+5 min

General discussion and conclusion Larry von Karsa
Ahti Anttila

15 min



EUROGIN (EUropean Research Organisation on Genital Infection and Neoplasia) brings together clinicians and scientists whose work is related to genital infections and neoplasia.