Organise cervical screening education

Local community education sessions offer a valuable opportunity to provide information about cervical screening.

Education sessions can help to provide information to Aboriginal women about screening, including what the cervical screening test is like and what equipment will be used.

This activity can be run on its own or held together with other activities such as a pop-up clinic and pamper day

The below steps may help you to organise a cervical screening education session.

You can also download a PDF version of the steps to organise an education session checklist.

Steps to organising an education session

Step 1: Getting started

Check who will be conducting the education session (Is it you and/or nurse from a local clinic?).

Consider partnering with a local existing group in the community (An AMS, craft group, Bingo, Schools as Community Centres’ supported playgroups at NSW public schools or exercise groups) to promote the education session or ask to run an education session at their regular group meeting.

If there are no local existing groups, decide the location of the education session and consider:

  • Where is the lowest cervical screening participation in your local region and who can you ask if you can hold your education session in this location?
  • Setting up an education session near your local school/AMS/other high foot traffic area to capture as many women as possible, such as mothers as they take their children to school or women already visiting the AMS.
  • Is there a private room or venue suitable?
  • Does your clinic usually run education days? Could you book a date to talk about cervical screening for one of the education days? 
  • Think about the needs of the local community - could the education session be after work hours? Could it be at a location where women usually go with family?

Approach the council or owner and seek permission to use their venue for the education session.

For example, if it is at the Community Health Centre, suggest writing to the owner.

  • Is the location safe, easily accessible and how will you make the area private to discuss women’s business?
  • Is there enough space to allow free movement while providing education to women?
  • Is there good public transport access/accessible parking?
  • Is it easy to get in and out of the venue (entrance/exits clearly marked and well lit, ramps)?
  • Is there access to power and water?
  • Does it meet other relevant public health requirements, such as COVID safety? (For COVID safety, refer to NSW Government’s COVID-19 Safety Plan Template)

Complete all necessary Work Health & Safety assessment forms and send to your local manager and Work Health & Safety Committee for approval. This whole process may take 4-6 weeks.

Get your public liability insurance certificate from your workplace in order to hold the education session. This may take up to 2 weeks to be provided to you.

  • If you have a Media and Communications team, consider approaching them and ask for the media release template.

Otherwise, develop a media release: 

  • Summarise your key points of what you want people to know about the education session.
  • Include your contact details.
  • Request to include the education session dates on your organisation’s Facebook page.

Speak with the Health Service Manager and find a GP in town (someone who is well known and respected) to ask if they would mind being interviewed and quoted in a media release.

Find a local champion (e.g. an Aboriginal Health workforce member or well-respected Elder who understands the importance of cervical screening) to assist you with recruiting women and spreading the word to women in their community.

  • Provide promotional flyers to your community pharmacy, hairdressers, local existing community groups.
  • Promote your education session through the local Aboriginal radio station such as Koori Radio.
  • Include details about your education session in the local community Facebook pages and council website.

If you have a Social Media team, discuss the following with them:

  • Promote your education session via social media, get people talking and discussing cervical screening.
  • If you are offering the Institute’s gift bag, make sure to include in social media that all women will receive a gift bag on the day (brochures, compact mirrors, lip balms and pens).

Step 2: On the day

Set up signage for the education session including signs for the bathrooms.

If a laptop is available, nurses providing cervical screening can also check a woman’s last Cervical Screening Test via the National Cancer Screening Register during a break.

For help with accessing the National Cancer Screening Register (NCSR), an appointment with a NCSR specialist can be booked through the following link: 

  1. Begin with Welcome/Acknowledgement of Country
  2. Short introductory session on 3 National Screening Programs and HPV vaccination 
  3. Cervical screening session
  4. Lunch 

Step 3: Evaluate your education session

It is important to think about and document what went well and what could be done better next time by using survey tools to seek feedback.

Download the cervical screening education session checklist >