NAACCR Board of Directors Spearheads Review of NAACCR Certification Standards

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Since 1998, NAACCR has evaluated annual data submissions from central cancer registries as part of the NAACCR certification process. Over the past 25 years, central registries have made enormous progress in data completeness, accuracy, and timeliness as measured by certification criteria. In 1998, fewer than 25 cancer registries were certified by NAACCR. Compare that to 2023 where 63 State and Provincial/Territorial registries met either Gold or Silver Certification. While the overall quality of registry data has improved tremendously since certification began, the criteria for evaluating registries’ data for certification has remained largely the same. Visit the NAACCR web site for more information on current NAACCR Certification Criteria.

In 2023, the NAACCR Board established the Certification Evaluation and Recommendation Taskforce (CERT), which is comprised of representatives from a wide variety of central cancer registries. CERT is reviewing the current certification criteria and working to provide actionable recommendations to modernize NAACCR Certification to the Board of Directors (BOD) by September 2024.

To gain a broad perspective from the cancer surveillance community, CERT sent a survey to U.S. and Canadian registry directors asking for their input about the current and future state of NAACCR Certification and participated in a NAACCR Coffee Break on May 9th. The results of the survey and the coffee break conversation highlighted the importance of registry input. Registries expressed that NAACCR Certification status was a point of pride for registry staff and parent organizations, and that being NAACCR certified increased confidence among researchers and other parties wishing to use registry data through providing a standardized measure of data quality. Importantly, many registries reported that NAACCR Certification status was used to demonstrate value to policy makers and to support registry funding.

Registries also identified key areas of work that they participate in which are not currently recognized as part of certification or other recognitions, e.g., participation in inter-registry data exchange and the VPR-CLS, and intensive work to improve the quality of patient identifiers and follow-up. Many registries indicated that they would like to see these types of efforts recognized more formally, potentially in the context of certification.

Importantly, central cancer registries voiced concern with the ability to equitability quantify data for a given certification metric given the resource inequities that exist among U.S. and Canadian registries. CERT is highly cognizant of registry constraints and resource inequities across registries and will continue to solicit feedback from NAACCR member registries as taskforce recommendations to the NAACCR BOD become more defined. As with the inception of NAACCR Certification in the 1990s, any changes to the NACCCR Certification process will be presented to the community and fully vetted prior to implementation.

Co-chairs Joshua Mazuryk and Bozena Morawski welcome your feedback. Please contact them via [email protected] and [email protected].

 

CERT Membership

Joshua Mazuryk, NAACCR BOD (co-chair)

Bozena Morawski, NAACCR BOD (co-chair)

Sherylene Agcaoili, Washington State Cancer Registry

Christopher Johnson, Cancer Data Registry of Idaho

Mary Jane King, Ontario Cancer Registry

Nancy Klien, Massachusetts Cancer Registry

Lori Koch, Illinois State Cancer Registry

Paige Miller, Texas Cancer Registry

Melania Tolan-Hudson, Oregon State Cancer Registry

Kevin Ward, Georgia Cancer Registry

Iris Zachary, Missouri Cancer Registry and Research Center

Lori Havener, North American Association of Central Cancer Registries

Betsy Kohler, North American Association of Central Cancer Registries

Recinda Sherman, North American Association of Central Cancer Registries

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