Routes for getting the CTR certification


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We registrars live in a whirlwind of change.  Even our certification exam eligibility is not untouched by modifications.  The Commission on Cancer, CoC, standard 5.1, requires approved programs to have a CTR performing the abstraction.  Non-credentialed staff have a 3 year grace period from the time of hire to obtain the CTR.  Until this is obtained, non-credentialed staff abstraction must be overseen by a CTR.  This has prompted to begin education in preparation to sit for the CTR exam.

Over the past few years, the eligibility routes have been modified to the current requirements.  The eligibility routes to obtain the CTR credential requires at minimum an associate’s degree or 60 college level credits.  Route A requires 160 hour practicum in a CTR staffed registry and completion of an NCRA Accredited associate degree program or completion of an NCRA Accredited certificate program and an associates degree or equivalent of 60 college level credits.  Route B includes 1 year of full-time experience in the Cancer Registry field and a minimum of an associates degree or 60 college level credits including or in addition to two semesters of Human Anatomy and Human Physiology with a grade C or better.  Eligibility can be reviewed by the NCRA by completing a request form.  Detailed information on the eligibility can be found on the CTR exam website at

The increase in education required to be eligible to sit for the CTR exam ensures well-educated and prepared registrars.  High quality data is the core of our profession.