2018 Marks 35th Anniversary of CTR Credential
Tumor Registrar (CTR®) credential marks a milestone in 2018 - its 35th
anniversary. This nationally recognized credential sets the standard for
professional excellence in the cancer registry field, and it’s widely used in
the recruitment and retention of registry personnel. In the past 35 years, more
than 7,000 individuals have attained the CTR credential, and more than 5,200
are currently maintaining it.
In 1974, when
the National Tumor Registrars Association (NTRA) — the precursor to the
National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) — was established, the creation
of a professional credential was a key goal. The credential would help to
distinguish the profession and highlight the critical role cancer registrars
play in collecting the data that informs cancer research, prevention, and
treatment programs. To that end, the NTRA instituted the Certification
Examination Committee, and many dedicated pioneers in the field of cancer
registry management were tapped to serve.
the first Certification Examination Committee was one of the highlights of my
career as a cancer registrar,” said Barbara Lee Peace, CTR, chair of the
inaugural Certification Examination Committee. “The committee was determined to
establish a credential that would accurately test the skills, tasks, and
responsibilities of the cancer registrar. We also wanted the credential to
serve as a sign of professional excellence and a way for employers to identify
highly qualified candidates.”
and twenty-one candidates sat for the first exam March 12, 1983. The early
exams were paper-and-pencil tests offered one Saturday in March in only a
handful of major cities. Today, the computer-based exam is offered during
testing periods at nearly 300 proctored testing centers throughout the country.
importance of the CTR credential has grown over the years. This is most evident
in Standard 5.1 of the Commission on Cancer (CoC) Accreditation Program.
Additionally, human resource departments regularly seek employees to be
CTR-certified and to properly maintain their professional credential. NCRA’s
Council on Certification is responsible for updating the CTR examination on a
regular basis so it reflects current practices.