NCRA Announces Updated Credential Name

ODS, Oncology Data Specialist, to Replace CTR, Certified Tumor Registrar

Adoption Begins January 1, 2024

The National Cancer Registrars Association (NCRA) and its Council on Certification announce the updated credential name of the CTR, Certified Tumor Registrar, to ODS, Oncology Data Specialist. The new name better aligns with the evolving scope of practice of cancer registrars and current professional practice terminology. The use of the new credential begins January 1, 2024.

Changing the name of the credential for the cancer registry profession was an NCRA member priority identified in member surveys. NCRA’s Board of Directors developed a volunteer-driven process in Spring 2022 to determine a new name that more accurately reflects the current work and responsibilities of cancer registrars. “The choice of ‘ODS, Oncology Data Specialist’ showcases the critical role cancer registrars play in capturing and reporting the data that informs the advancements in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Its adoption signifies the specialized skill sets required of NCRA credentialed professionals and their increasing responsibilities in the evolving world of cancer surveillance,” said Maria Teresa ‘MT’ Ramirez, NCRA President.

NCRA will begin using the ODS credential on January 1, 2024, and anticipates it will take a full calendar year for credential holders, facilities, central registries, state and national associations, standard setters, industry partners, and federal agencies to adopt the new credential name. “We understand the process to fully implement the use of the updated credential name will take time, and NCRA will provide detailed guidance and support to assist in these efforts,” noted Crystal Jordan, NCRA’s Council on Certification Administrator.

NCRA members, current credential holders, and industry partners are encouraged to visit the Credential Name Change webpage at to read FAQs and view a recording on the process for choosing the new name. In late fall 2023, NCRA will post an ODS Toolkit to help with the transition that is to begin on January 1, 2024. It will include details on what NCRA will handle internally, such as updating certificates and records in the membership database; information on how credential holders can communicate the change, including the e-signature graphic below to use beginning January 1, 2024; guidance on updating publications, websites, job descriptions, and employment practices; sample language for use in newsletters, articles, and social media; and much more.

NCRA is grateful to the members of the CTR Credential Title Re-Name Task Force for their commitment and dedication to the cancer registry profession. Members included Lisa Bagci, BS, RHIA, CTR; Linda Corrigan, MHE, RHIT, CTR; Angela Costantini, BA, CTR; Vicki Hawhee, MEd, CTR; Vanessa Hoffmann, BS, CTR (Executive Group); Jennie Jones, MSHI-HA, CHDA, CTR; Crystal Jordan, BS, CTR (Executive Group); Karen Mason, MSc, RN, CTR (Executive Group); Tammy Plante, MHA, CTR; Kelli Olsen, MS, CTR; and Andrea Sipin-Baliwas, MS, CTR.

Lori A. Swain, MS
Executive Director
National Cancer Registrars Association &
NCRA Education Foundation