Safety and Quality > Our Work > Clinical Care Standards > Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard

The Commission is currently developing a Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard, as a key component of a national safety and quality model for colonoscopy.


In 2015, the Department of Health appointed the Commission to develop a safety and quality model for colonoscopy. The appointment was made in the context of the expanded screening of the Australian Government National Bowel Cancer Screening Program.

The Commission developed a draft safety and quality model for colonoscopy through a consultation process and a review of Australian and international experiences, from October 2015 to July 2016. Stakeholders identified the need for the model to address:

  • The appropriateness of the procedure and adenoma detection
  • Facilities where colonoscopy is performed
  • The training and performance of colonoscopists, and other members of the clinical team (including nurses and anaesthetists)
  • Processes that support monitoring of colonoscopist procedure volume, caecal intubation, adenoma detection rates and serious adverse events.

Safety and Quality Model for Colonoscopy Services in Australia

The draft model incorporated three key elements:

  • A Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard (CCS) for the delivery of high quality services
  • Certification and periodic re-certification of colonoscopist performance
  • Collation and review of indicators and performance targets in accordance with a standard national data set.

The Commission undertook a public consultation on the draft model in August 2016. Submissions were received from a wide range of stakeholders including individuals, professional and peak organisations, hospitals and other health services. In June 2017, the Australian Government Department of Health accepted the Model.

Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard

The Colonoscopy CCS provides guidance on the best evidence based care delivered in day procedure hospitals, private hospitals and public healthcare services. Implementation of evidence based best practice is required under the Clinical Governance Standard in the second edition of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards.

The Commission has worked with the Colonoscopy CCS Topic Working Group, consisting of clinical experts and consumers, to develop the draft Colonoscopy CCS. The Colonoscopy CCS relates to the care of adult patients undergoing colonoscopy for surveillance and diagnosis. It covers management from the initial referral for colonoscopy though to follow-up post procedure, and will assist health services address service provision disparities contained in the First Australian Atlas of Healthcare Variation.

Next steps

The Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard has received endorsement by the clinical colleges and societies whose members perform colonoscopy. In April 2018, the Commission Board approved the CCS for submission to AHMAC in June 2018.

If you have any questions about the Colonoscopy Clinical Care Standard please email