Laboratory Professionals

ThinPrep Pap Test Training Program

The ThinPrep Pap Test Training Program was developed by Hologic to assist laboratories in the conversion process from conventional pap smear testing to testing done with the ThinPrep Pap Test. The program offers information, support, and training for the conversion process, including communicating the change to the clinician, cytopreparatory training, ThinPrep Pap Test morphology training, and guidelines to assist with training the entire cytology staff in the laboratory.


Morphology training is designed to communicate the differences between the conventional pap smear and the ThinPrep Pap Test. The participants use a series of slide modules to familiarize themselves with a spectrum of normal and abnormal cytological entities found on ThinPrep Pap Test slides.

This program is based on a cumulative learning process; interpreting the morphologic criteria of ThinPrep Pap Test slides requires review and application of cytology skills and knowledge. A systematic approach allows for frequent assessment of an individual’s understanding of ThinPrep Pap Test characteristics, and the training program incorporates both pre- and post-tests in order to assess learning progress.

The training begins with the ThinPrep Pap Test morphology lecture, which is designed to familiarize the participants with the microscopic presentation of cervical samples prepared using the ThinPrep Imaging System. The format summarizes the morphologic features common to specific diagnostic entities described in The Bethesda System for Reporting Cervical/Vaginal Cytologic Diagnoses.1

Following the introductory lecture, a module of known ThinPrep Pap Test cases is reviewed by all participants. This module presents a wide variety of diseases and disease states, and provides the participant with a base reference for the full range of diagnostic categories to be encountered. Review of "look-alike" cases is also included. Through use of the ThinPrep Gyn Morphology Atlas, which highlights common diagnostic entities and their differential diagnoses, participants will begin to recognize key look-alike entities on ThinPrep Pap Test slides, and the criteria that can be used in their proper classification.

A module of unknown ThinPrep Pap Test slides is used to assess the baseline understanding of each participant (Slide Assessment). Participants are required to screen and diagnose this initial set of slides and record their results on the provided answer sheet designed following current CLIA guidelines. Once complete, the slides and correct responses are reviewed individually by each participant.

Following the Slide Assessment, all participants screen a module of unknown ThinPrep Pap Test slides, which are used to assess each participant’s ability to locate and interpret diagnostic cells for normal and abnormal cases (Slide Evaluation) using the same answer sheet as the Slide Assessment. Once complete, the slides and correct responses are reviewed individually by each participant.

A final set of unknown ThinPrep Pap Test slides (Final Assessment) will be provided to assess the ThinPrep Pap Test screening and interpretive skills of each participant. This final set of slides is modeled after current CLIA guidelines, and will be scored by Hologic-designated personnel. Successful completion of these slides is necessary to receive a certificate of completion.

CLIA Proficiency Test Program standards are used as guidelines in establishing pass/fail scoring criteria. Participants receiving 90% or better on the Final Assessment are qualified to screen the ThinPrep Pap Test and to begin training additional cytotechnologists and pathologists in their laboratory under the supervision of the laboratory Technical Supervisor, if needed. Participants of the training program receiving less than 90% on the Final Assessment would require remedial training in their individual laboratories. This training involves the screening/diagnosing of an additional ThinPrep Pap Test slide module provided by Hologic, and requires a score of 90% or better to complete Hologic's ThinPrep Pap Test Training Program.

For training inquiries, please contact Laboratory Education and Support at 1-800-442-9892 ext. 38606, or via email at .


1. Kurman RJ, Solomon D. The Bethesda System for Reporting Cervical/Vaginal Cytologic Diseases, Springer-Verlag, New York 1994.

Visit our FREE online resource for laboratory professionals.

Go to

Privacy | Terms | Sitemap