Important changes to the National Cervical Screening Program

5 July 2021

Changes to the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP) may result in a small increase in appointments booked for cervical screening and increased requests for self-collected HPV tests, from July to October 2021. 

What you need to know: 

  • A pilot of new correspondence is being undertaken which aims to improve participation by under screened cohorts and promote self-collection.
  • This correspondence will be distributed to around 400,000 cervical screening participants throughout May – July 2021.
  • There will be an increased demand on cervical screening tests during this period (July to October 2021), including self-collect vaginal swabs.


The Department of Health has commenced a project which will pilot alternative forms of communications for people identified as very under-screened or never-screened (over one million people). The Department will test newly designed correspondence against its current correspondence, to identify the best way to encourage participation in this group of Australians.

The Department, through the National Cancer Screening Register, will be disseminating correspondence to initial pilot cohorts during July to October 2021; which will be then evaluated to inform a broader roll-out in early 2022.

The Department will be using this pilot as an opportunity to actively promote self-collection through the designed correspondence, as all participants in this cohort will be eligible.

Want to know more?

Please send any queries regarding the pilot to