SAMPLE TAKER INITIAL TRAINING - Minimum entry qualification

You must be a qualified and registered nurse, registered nursing associate working under supervision, registered midwife, physician associate registered on the PA Managed Voluntary Register, registered healthcare professional working in Integrated Sexual Health, or GMC registered medical doctor.

to attend this course and who will be undertaking the formal training including portfolio work as required by CH37 "Obtaining cervical cytology samples from women" and as described in "Cervical screening: cervical sample taker training - Guidance on the training of new cervical sample takers" where the Education Pathway is fully explained :


The training is in two parts: a theoretical course plus a period of practical training. The theoretical training must be delivered by a trainer who is an experienced and practising sample taker.

Trainers and training supervisors or mentors must be experienced and practising sample takers who are able to demonstrate continuing competence in taking samples for cervical screening.

Training records: Each trainee should keep a record of their training in a personal training record book. Trainees must record the topics covered by theoretical training in their personal record book and must document their practical training & reflective learning.

Practical training: Trainees should make arrangements with their training supervisor or mentor for sessions of practical observation and training. Trainees must identify a named mentor before applying for this course.

Cervical Screening Mentor: Must be a registered nurse, midwife, physician associate, GMC doctor. They must be practising sample takers with at least 12 months continuous experience, having taken at least 50 cervical samples following completion of their own training.

For the first practical session, the trainee should be accompanied by the mentor throughout and should:

• identify training needs in discussion with the supervisor

• observe at least two samples being taken

• take a minimum of five samples under supervision.

Before moving to unsupervised clinical practice, the trainee must successfully complete an interim assessment

The supervisor and the trainee should then decide whether the student may proceed without further direct supervision. Subsequently, the trainee should take and document a minimum of 20 unsupervised samples. Easy access to a trained colleague during the training period is essential.

Upon completion of the training period a final clinical assessment must be undertaken by an External Asessor

External Assessor: The assessor must be external to the trainee's place of work and must fulfill the same criteria expetected of a mentor.

The final assessment will require the assesor to observe the trainee taking at least 3 cervical samples to enable them to testify to the trainee's competence and proficiency in cervical screening clinical practice. Upon documented completion of the full training pathway the LRCTC will issue the trainee with a certificate of completed training and competency to practice.

We will be asking for the details of your clinical mentor/trainer and of a nominated external assessor after receiving your application for this course; this is compulsory so it is advisable to have this organised prior to submitting an application.