Key performance indicators for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program: technical report

7 Oct 2014

Provides a summary of the development process and the technical specification for the 11 agreed performance indicators that are part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Performance Indicator Set.


Cancer contributes significantly to the burden of illness in the Australian community. Bowel cancer is one of the most significant cancer types in terms of incidence and mortality. In 2010, 14,860 people were diagnosed with bowel cancer and in 2011 there were 3,999 deaths from the disease. Screening for bowel cancer is available in Australia through the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP), which aims to reduce the incidence, illness and mortality related to bowel cancer through screening to detect cancers and pre-cancerous lesions in their early stages, when treatment is most successful.

Reporting statistics about the NBCSP in a standardised way is vital to ensure that governments, researchers and health workers have access to relevant and reliable statistics about the performance of the program over time. This report describes the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Performance Indicator Set (NBCSP PIs) and is a reference tool for anyone who wishes to understand, measure and report the progress of bowel cancer screening in Australia.

The indicators were developed by the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program Report and Indicator Working Group (the working group) and have been endorsed by the Standing Committee on Screening, the Community Care and Population Health Principal Committee, the National Health Information Standards and Statistics Committee and the National
Health Information and Performance Principal Committee. The indicators are consistent with the five Australian Population Based Screening Framework (PBSF) steps of recruitment,
screening, assessment, diagnosis and outcomes.

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