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BSCC Code of Practice

Recommended Code of Practice for Laboratories Participating in the UK Cervical Screening Programmes 2010

More than ten years have passed since the last edition of this code of practice. Much has changed in cervical cytopathology, and change continues apace. There is no right time for producing a new edition. Considerations regarding the clinical utility of automated screening and HPV testing in the NHS Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP) are on-going and likely to render parts of this third edition out-of date fairly quickly.

For this reason the third edition is being published on the website to enable us to make relevant changes as innovations and new technologies are implemented in the cervical screening programme. It must be noted that the guidance published in this document is exactly that. Many of the recommendations are based on professional consensus. Where evidence exists it has been referenced. Many of the sections merely draw attention to the relevant NHSCSP, Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath), Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), Clinical Pathology Accreditation (CPA) or other documents or websites. Where possible, suitable links have been inserted to allow for easy web site navigation.

The guidance is aimed at laboratories that work within the relevant cervical screening programme in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and recognises the varied service configurations which currently exist, even these may be transitional. Whilst it contains many examples of good practice it is not specifically aimed at laboratories working within the private sector or countries outside the United Kingdom. To ensure that guidance was appropriate to all four screening programmes members of the working party were drawn from each of the four countries. In addition to members of BAC Council, the IBMS and National Association of Cytologists (NAC) representatives to BAC Council and the Chair of the NHSCSP National Laboratory QA Group were invited to sit on the working party. Whilst recognising that individuals working within the profession can be male or female the term “He” will be used throughout this document.

Editorial policy reflects the interest of cytopathologists and cytotechnologists alike as well as the interests of clinicians using the cytology service. It also reflects the interest of biological scientists whose work involves research at the cellular level.

BSCC Code of Practice 2010 0.5Mb PDF file, 19/02/2010


The Official Journal of the British Association for Cytopathology and an Affiliated Journal of over 20 National Cytology Societies

The aim of Cytopathology is to publish articles relating to those aspects of cytology which will increase our knowledge and understanding of the aetiology, diagnosis and management of human disease. It contains original articles and critical reviews on all aspects of clinical cytology in its broadest sense: including gynaecological and non-gynaecological cytology, fine needle aspiration and screening strategy. The Journal welcomes papers on ultrastructural, histochemical and immunocytochemical studies of the cell as well as articles on quantitative cytology and DNA hybridization as applied to cytological material.

Editorial policy reflects the interest of cytopathologists and cytotechnologists alike as well as the interests of clinicians using the cytology service. It also reflects the interest of biological scientists whose work involves research at the cellular level.

Each issue has some Editor's choice articles, which are free to download! Use the link below to view the current choices.

Document library

Many more documents are available for BAC members. Please click here to login or here to view information about joining the BAC.

RCPath Tissue Pathway Exfoliative Cytology and FNA Cytology 0.17Mb PDF file, 30/04/2014

BSCC CoP exfoliative Cytology 2009 0.09Mb PDF file, 30/04/2014

BSCC FNA Code of Practice 2009 0.12Mb PDF file, 30/04/2014

No further review NHS Good Guidance Guide No 64 NHS CSP Programme Implementation of ‘No Further Review’ (NFR) using the BD FocalPointTM Slide ProfilerNHSCSP., 0.16Mb PDF file, 17/06/2012

Achieving a 14 day turnaround This document aims to give practical, evidence based advice on achieving the 14-day TAT, 0.07Mb PDF file, 26/05/2010

HPV Today October 2008 0.63Mb PDF file

NHSCSP proposals for cervical screening intervals BSCC comments and recommendations, 0.11Mb PDF file

NICE Health Technology Appraisal Submission from BSCC, 0.11Mb PDF file

New Screening Intervals Presentation, 0.02Mb PDF file

Disclosure Of Audit Results In Cancer Screening Advice On Best Practice, 0.22Mb PDF file

BSCC response to NHSCSP document on audit invasive cancer of cervix Letter, 0.1Mb PDF file

Comments on the Carter Report with respect to Cellular Pathology and Cytopathology in particular Letter, 0.11Mb PDF file

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ACTA Cytologica
American Society of Cytopathology
Australian Society of Cytology
British Society for colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science
Committee on Quality Assurance Training and Education (QUATE)
CytoJournal - An online journal published by BioMed Central
Cytopathnet SM
Cytopathology - The official journal of the BAC
European Cervical Cancer Association
European Federation of Cytology Societies
IARC Screening Group
Institute of Biomedical Science IBMS
International Academy of Cytology
Jo's Cervical CancerTrust
National Cervical Cancer Coalition
National School of Healthcare Science
NHS Cancer Screening Programmes
QUATE Committee
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Pathologists
The American Society for Cytotechnology
The Papanicolaou Society
UK Endocrine Pathology Society
UK National Screening Committee