Cervical Sample Taker Initial Training

Course details

The NHS Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP) requires that all cytology sample takers have undertaken appropriate training in the cervical screening programme and sample taking technique.

North of England Pathology Screening & Education Centre currently offers the basic training course in cervical cytology sample taking, and has recognised accreditation from the Royal College of Nursing for the theoretical elements. The NEPSEC course adheres to the NHSCSP Guidance for the Training of Cervical Sample Takers February 2020 as a minimum.

The course is not intended to be used for three yearly update training for experienced sample takers – that training is provided separately or available elsewhere.

What to expect 

The training is in two parts – a theoretical course plus a period of mentored practical training. The theoretical course is run three to six times a year in the Kent & Medway, Surrey & Sussex, Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Yorkshire & Humber, West Midlands, Norfolk & Waveney and North West regions. It is also offered as a module on the BSc/PG Certificate in General Practice Nursing course with De Montfort University, Leicester.

Theoretical study is delivered as either a two-day face-to-face course or a blended learning package for all regions. Please see the course prospectus or contact us for more details.

Practical training will take place in the trainee’s place of work and must be supervised by an appropriate nominated mentor. Trainees must also visit a cytology laboratory and a colposcopy clinic local to their practice during their training. All training must be completed within a nine month period, and it is important that students and their employers do not underestimate the level of commitment this programme of learning requires.

For full details about the course requirements please download the course prospectus:

Course Prospectus

For an overview of the course structure, please see the template course programmes below:


Blended learning

Register Interest

Please fill in an 'Expression of Interest' form by clicking the button, and we will notify you once a course become available.

Course Details


Face to Face


2 days, One online , 1 F2F Dates TBC