The organization of colposcopy services in Ontario: recommended framework

J. Murphy, N.P. Varela, L. Elit, A. Lytwyn, M. Yudin, M. Shier, V. Wu, S. El-Khatib



The purpose of this guideline is to help ensure the provision of high-quality colposcopy practices in the province of Ontario, including those conducted as diagnostic procedures in follow-up to an abnormal cervical screening test.


This document updates the recommendations published in the 2008 colposcopy guideline from Cancer Care Ontario, The Optimum Organization for the Delivery of Colposcopy Service in Ontario. A systematic review of guidelines was conducted to evaluate the existing evidence and recommendations concerning these key aspects of colposcopy:

  • Training, qualification, accreditation, and maintenance of competence
  • Practice setting requirements
  • Operational practice
  • Quality indicators and outcomes


This guideline provides recommendations on training and maintenance of competence for colposcopists in the practice settings in which colposcopic evaluation and treatments are conducted. It also provides recommendations on operational issues and quality indicators for colposcopy. 


This updated guideline is intended to support quality improvement for colposcopy for all indications, including the follow-up of an abnormal cervical screening test and work-up for lower genital tract lesions that are not clearly malignant. The recommendations contained in this document are intended for clinicians and institutions performing colposcopy in Ontario, and for policymakers and program planners involved in the delivery of colposcopy services.


Cancer Care Ontario; colposcopy; cervical cancer screening; frameworks; guideline recommendations

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)