There has been a recent change in legislation for Paramedics working in Primary care. Where it forms part of their role, they are now eligible to be trained to undertake training to become cervical sample takers.


Cervical Smear Taker Training

This page displays our current offers for Novice and Mentor Smear takers training as well as links to guidance and eLearning. 

Cervical Screening Awareness Week (19-24 June) is an annual campaign organised by Jo’s Trust, a leading cervical cancer charity. It aims to raise awareness of, and ultimately increase uptake and coverage of the NHS Cervical Screening Programme.

This awareness week will focus on continuing to educate on the importance of cervical screening and encourage people to come forward when they are invited. Communications resources and tips to support people coming in for their screening will also be shared. Content will be uploaded to the Vaccinations and Screening workspace (sign up required).


What's happening

Training & Opportunities

Cervical Novice Smear Taker Training

All localities have commissioned a 2-day Cytology Programme via Liverpool University at a reduced-price using the CPD allocation.

Available to, Practice Nurses, Nursing Associates & Physician Associates working in General Practice in Lancashire and South Cumbria

Current dates:

  • 10th and 11th September 2024

To apply, please complete this Application Form and return it to [email protected].

An essential part of the application process and a condition of being accepted onto the programme is all novice smear takers require both an internal supervisor to oversee the first 20 samples and an external assessor for the final 3-5 samples.​ 25 is the maximum allowed to submit as a trainee smear taker only.

See a review of the project here.

Cervical Smear Taker Mentor Course

This training is fully funded by the Training Hub and takes approximately 2.5 hours. 

This training allows you to be a smear mentor for 3 years.

See more information here: smear-mentors

To be a mentor for a trainee smear taker, it is essential to be a smear taker and must be up to date with training.
Mentor certificates will routinely be shared with novice smear takers as well as others as part of the application process.

To apply, please contact  [email protected].

Cervical Smear Taker Mentor Update Training

Many current Smear Supervisors/Assessors are due their three yearly updates and may have started to receive information from Liverpool University about a face-to-face session being held in Liverpool.
You have the opportunity to complete this training in a face-to-face session or via the 2.5 virtual option.
See here for more details on the virtual option. The cost of training is funded by the Training Hub via CPD funding.


These elearning modules support the training of healthcare professionals involved in the delivery of the NHS Screening Programmes in England.

L&SC PCTH also offer Clinical Skills Practice Workshop, in which you can practice the skills learned within accredited training. See below:

Are you a General Practice Nurse/Allied Health Professional who is new to Primary Care?
We found this programme which also may be of interest to you:

Smear Training in Numbers


Trained Smear Takers

Attended the 2-day course and successfully completed their 20 supervised samples and been signed off.


Smears delivered

By Healthcare professionals trained with us (during the training process).


Mentors Trained

This is being updated - please come back later

What's happening

Resources & Videos

Please find useful updates, information and resources below 

See the Cytology Education Pathway (Gov) below.
The guidance includes:

  • an outline of the training provider and commissioner responsibilities
  • an outline of the role of cervical screening mentor and the role of cervical screening assessor
Frequently Asked Questions


See below useful FAQs.

Returning to sample taking after an extended period of absence

Upon returning to practice, the healthcare professional trained in cervical screening (sample taker) should contact the cervical screening laboratory to check the status of their pin or code number and if there has been any subsequent change to the liquid based cytology (LBC) system previously employed. They should then follow the relevant course of action detailed below.

For an absence of 12 months and less than 5 years

The sample taker must:

For an absence of 5 years or more

The sample taker must:

An experienced sample taker who meets national standards and fulfils their professional obligations for CPD can undertake peer review. The sample taker’s employer should manage any concerns raised in connection with meeting competency requirements. Sample takers may have to repeat the training if their employer has concerns about their competency to take cervical samples.

Meet Our Cytology Team

Ann Neville

Locality Lead

Monique Marcolini

Locality Operations Manager

Contact our team here: [email protected]