Objectives: To discuss the role and training of cytotechnologists (CTs) in Europe, to identify areas of good practice and to provide an informed opinion to those providing guidelines for training and practice in Europe. Methods: All members of the Editorial Advisory Board of Cytopathology were invited to take part in a 'discussion forum' for which six topics were circulated in advance concerning the roles of CTs with regard to: (1) pre-screening slides; (2) 'signing out' reports; (3) carrying out ancillary techniques; (4) supervising laboratory staff; (5) taking part in rapid on-site evaluation (ROSE) of fine needle aspirates (FNAs); and (6) whether CTs were trained specifically in cytopathology or in general histopathology. Notes of the meeting were circulated by email and a final report was agreed by 22 participants from 17 predominantly European countries. Results: Training for CTs throughout Europe was variable, especially for non-gynaecological cytology, which was inconsistent with the range of activities required. The participants recommended graduate entry, preliminary training in general laboratory technology, and subsequent training to take account of the probability and, in some centres, the reality of primary cervical cancer screening changing from cytology to human papillomavirus (HPV) testing. They further recommended that CTs should perform HPV tests and take part in ROSE for FNAs, and they supported the European Federation of Cytology Societies developing guidelines for training and practice. Conclusion: With CT training added to a university-based education in laboratory or biomedical science, a career in cytotechnology should be an attractive option involving a diverse range of laboratory and clinically based activities.
- Ancillary tests
- Cervical cytology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine