ACT Cervical Screening Register

The ACT Cervical Screening Register is a central and confidential list of ACT women’s Pap test results. You have a choice about whether or not to have your results stored on the register.

Strict guidelines which determine who has access to results are contained in the Public Health (Cervical Cytology) Regulations.

In late 2017 a new National Register will invite women to go for their Cervical Screening Test when they are due and will also remind women if they are overdue for their test.

To find out more about the new National Register, including brief information about the changes, talk to your doctor or nurse or visit the National Cervical Screening Program website.

The role of the Register

The Register plays a part in reducing cancer of the cervix by recording results and reminding women when their test is overdue.  

Of the women who develop cancer of the cervix each year, a considerable number have been screened infrequently, never screened or have had an abnormal Pap test result at some previous time.

The Register records results of all Pap tests taken in the ACT in a central place so that women can be reminded when their Pap test is overdue and are followed up when there are significantly abnormal results.

The Register holds historical records of all Pap test results to assist your health practitioner.

The Cervical Screening Register does not offer a service for taking Pap tests. It simply records the results, sends reminders for overdue Pap tests and follows up, if needed, after an abnormal test.

Participation in the Register

When you have a Pap test your health practitioner will ask you if you want to participate in the Register. If you agree, your results will be forwarded to the Register automatically.

The choice is yours. If you do not want your results to be registered, tell your health practitioner at the time of your visit for each Pap test.

Participation in the register is free of charge.

Information recorded on the Register

Your name, date of birth, address, the results and date of your Pap test will be recorded. An identifying code for the laboratory that examines your Pap test and for the health practitioner that took your Pap test is also recorded. Access to information on the Register is highly restricted and is only able to be accessed by you, your doctor, laboratory staff and Register staff.

Reminders from the Register

Your health practitioner may notify you when your next Pap test is due. If not, the Register provides a back-up reminder system. Women on the Register who have not had a Pap test within two years and three months of their last one will be sent an overdue reminder from the Register.

Updating details on Register

If your address or name changes please complete the Request for change of name and/or address form. This will only update your particulars on the ACT Cervical Screening Register as the Register does not share data with any other Australian Government agency or database due to confidentiality.

Accessing results

Your Pap test results are best obtained directly from the health practitioner that took your test. They can also be obtained by writing formally to the Register using the Request for results form

Objection for details to be recorded on Register

At the time of your Pap test if you do not want your results being registered, the pathology request form should be marked by the Pap test taker with one of the 'NOT FOR PAP TEST REGISTER' stickers provided.

If at anytime you do not wish to participate on the Register, you may submit a Request for deletion form. Upon receipt, the Register will process your request and a letter will be sent to you advising that your results have been removed and reminding you to advise your practitioner next time you have a Pap test that you do not want your details sent to the Register.

Moving overseas or interstate

If you move overseas or interstate, instead of having your records deleted you may request to have them inactivated which will stop any further contact by the Register to you. Your results on the Register will still be available for future use if required by your health practitioner.

Each state or territory in Australia maintains their own register so next time you are tested, your details will be added to that relevant state or territory register.

Privacy of register

Strict guidelines that determine who has access to your results are contained in the ACT Public Health (Cervical Cytology) Regulations governing the Register.

The Regulations allow the health practitioner who has taken your Pap test and the laboratory that examines your Pap test to have access to your previous results. Such access may assist in the interpretation of your present Pap test.

ACT Cervical Screening Program forms

More information

For more information on the Cervical Screening Register, you can contact us.

To find out more about the new National Register commencing in late 2017, including brief information about the changes, talk to your doctor or nurse or visit the National Cervical Screening Program website.