Cervical screening activity

Cervical screening activity data

For the National Cervical Screening Program (NCSP), activity data are available on the number of screening tests performed within a specified time period.

Activity data provides insight into the volume of work carried out by screening programs, along with recent trends and seasonal variation. Activity data can be collected and published quickly.

Explore the latest data in the visualisation below.

Screening tests performed

In the December quarter 2021:

  • 112,000 cervical screening tests were performed for people aged 25–74
  • The number of cervical screening tests accounted for 22% of cervical screening tests in 2021.

The number of cervical screening tests performed in 2020 and 2021 was expected to be lower than the number performed in 2018 and 2019, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions. This is largely due to the program changing from 2-yearly Pap tests to 5-yearly cervical screening tests from December 2017. Most people who had screened under the previous program were due for their first HPV test 2 years after their last Pap test (during the years 2018 and 2019). Screening in 2020 and 2021 is mainly comprised of people overdue for their first HPV test, those having follow-up screening tests, and those newly-screening.

The impact of COVID-19 on the NCSP cannot be quantified without further years of data. For more information about the impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s cancer screening programs in 2020, see the AIHW report Cancer screening and COVID-19 in Australia.


This data visualisation shows monthly national activity data for the National Cervical Screening Program, from January 2018 to December 2021. The column graph showing the number of screening tests by year can be filtered by year, quarter, and month. The second tab shows the activity data in a table form and can be filtered by year, quarter and month.

Visualisation not available for printing