Over 9,000 cancer registry professionals have earned the ODS credential since it was first offered in 1983. Today, there are over 5,700 ODSs worldwide.

Oncology Data Specialist (ODS) Credential

The ODS credential demonstrates a requisite knowledge and professional competence needed within the cancer registry. It promotes excellence in the cancer registry field by: 

  • Establishing a standard of knowledge and experience required for professional registry practice.
  • Promoting professional growth and individual study by cancer registrars to attain and maintain the ODS credential.
  • Assisting employers, members of allied-health professions, and the public in the assessment of cancer registrars.

 Value of the ODS Credential

  • Recognized internationally in the recruitment and retention of cancer registry personnel.
  • Validates competence to practice in the cancer registry.
  • Demonstrates commitment to the cancer registry profession.
  • Required continuing education ensures ODSs are current with changes in cancer screening, diagnosis, staging, and treatment.
  • Commission on Cancer (CoC)-accredited facilities require a ODS to be a member of the cancer committee (Standard 1.2).
  • CoC-accredited facilities require case abstracting be performed by a ODS (Standard 5.1).
  • NCRA’s Salary and Compensation Considerations for Cancer Registrars reports ODSs earn $25,000 more than non-credentialed cancer registrars. 

 How to Earn/Maintain the ODS Credential

  • Earned by successfully completing the ODS exam with a passing score.
  • Maintained through the accumulation of 20 continuing education hours every two years. 
  • Pay a maintenance fee annually

Learn more about earning the ODS credential.
Details on maintaining the ODS credential.