Identifying the Performance Criteria for Appraisal of Colposcopists: Benchmarking Delphi

S Thangaratinam (Corresponding Author), P W Walker, T Freeman-Wang, D Luesley, Margaret Eleanor Cruickshank, C Redman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background Colposcopy forms an essential part of National Health Service Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP). With an increased emphasis on accountability and improved performance, there is a need to identify the performance criteria that are essential to be satisfied by the colposcopists at the time of appraisal.

Objective To identify the performance criteria essential for appraisal of colposcopists by two-generational Delphi survey.

Design Delphi survey.

Setting Annual British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology conference (BSCCP 2005, Edinburgh, UK).

Population Four hundred and ninety-nine delegates attending the above conference.

Method A two-generational Delphi survey was undertaken to identify the criteria needed for appraisal. The participants were asked to rate the relevance of quality items that might be considered necessary for appraisal of performance of colposcopists. After the first round, the results were presented, and the respondents were given the chance to reflect on their response and change it if necessary.

Main outcome measures Criteria considered to be essential for appraisal of colposcopists in areas of training, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects and communication.

Results In the first round, 306/499 (61%) participants returned the completed questionnaire. Sixty percent (187/306) of participants returned their questionnaire in the second round. In addition to BSCCP certification, four other criteria were identified, which were quality of recorded findings, biopsy rate when atypia noted, proportion of biopsies histologically adequate and proportion of normal initial posttreatment follow-up smears.

Conclusion This Delphi survey has been the first to identify criteria to be used in the annual appraisal of professionals. It has resulted in a number of criteria that could be considered for the appraisal and possible revalidation of colposcopists practising in UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1291
Number of pages3
JournalBJOG-An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number10
Early online date12 Sept 2007
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • colposcopy
  • benchmarking


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