The training programme consists of case exposure to at least 150 colposcopy cases, of which 50 are new referrals with abnormal cytology (25 of which are high grade) and at least 50 of which are performed with the trainer observing the trainee (direct supervision). The remaining cases are performed by the trainee with the trainer available but not in the colposcopy room (indirect supervision). It is suggested that these latter cases are discussed during clinic time between cases. The trainee also gains a variety of theoretical and practical competencies which are signed off by the trainee as they are achieved. These are all listed in the trainees’ case logbook.
In the early stages of training the trainee must attend a BSCCP-recognised basic colposcopy course and attend half-days of cytology and histology training. The trainee should also complete a colposcopy-related audit. Eighty percent of trainees also choose to complete a treatment module, in which case they must see at least 20 treatments, of which at least 10 are witnessed and 10 performed under direct supervision with the trainer. Completion of the treatment module allows the certificated colposcopist to perform diagnostic colposcopy and be competent with at least one treatment modality in the outpatient setting. It is preferable that one excisional and one ablative technique should be available to all colposcopists offering treatment; the remaining 20% of colposcopists provide a diagnostic service with referral to a treating colposcopist if treatment is subsequently required.
- Understanding of the development of cervical cancer and pre-cancer
- To be able to take a relevant history
- To be able to correctly position the woman
- To be able to pass a speculum
- To be able to perform a smear, including with the endobrush
- To be able to position and adjust the colposcope
- To be able to perform bacteriological swabs
- Practice complies with health and safety recommendations