Earn the CTR

Earn the Certified Tumor Registrar (CTR®) Credential

The National Cancer Registrars Association’s (NCRA) certification board — the Council on Certification — develops and administers the CTR Exam. The CTR credential demonstrates a requisite knowledge and professional competence needed within the cancer registry. The credential is nationally recognized in the recruitment and retention of registry personnel. Over 5,000 individuals have attained the CTR credential since the first exam was offered in 1983. As of January 2015, hospitals that are accredited by the Commission on Cancer require all case abstracting be performed by a CTR.


General Overview of the CTR Exam

Candidates must meet eligibility requirements before they can take the CTR exam. The criteria include an education minimum and experience. Once eligibility requirements are met, candidates can take the exam during three, three-week-long testing periods that are scheduled every year. Applications must be submitted by the deadline noted for the desired exam date. Test questions are prepared by persons in the cancer registry profession from diverse backgrounds and job descriptions. Visit http://www.ncra-usa.org/CTR/Certification-Exam to learn more about the exam, including content, application deadlines, testing dates, resources, and more.

The 2020 CTR Exam is composed of one-hundred eighty (180), multiple-choice test items, based on seven Domains of Practice noted below. Test questions are prepared by Subject Matter Experts (SME) in the cancer registry profession from diverse backgrounds and job descriptions.  

  • Casefinding (10%)
  • Data Quality Assurance (15%)
  • Abstracting/Coding (35%)
  • Analysis and Data Usage (10%)
  • Follow-up (10%) 
  • Registry Organization and Operations (10%)
  • Cancer Program Accreditations (10%)

Fact sheets that detail how to earn the CTR credential and the eligibility routes are listed below:

Additional questions? Contact ctrexam@ncra-usa.org or 703-299-6640 ext. 312