Strategic Management Plan

Strategic Management Plan


In June 2021, the NAACCR Board of Directors approved the 2021-2024 Strategic Management Plan, which was presented to the NAACCR membership in the 2021 Business Meeting. This version builds upon the foundation of previous Plans, and represents substantial hard work by the Priority Area Steering Committees to consider their direction moving forward, informed by input from the membership.  This most recent version of NAACCR’s Strategic Management Plan represents a conceptual shift, moving from a more “management” approach to a more “strategic” approach. The plan is also a living document, providing flexibility to incorporate NAACCR’s changing needs over time. We are grateful to the NAACCR membership, the Steering Committees, and all NAACCR’s volunteers for their hard work on this plan!

Download: PDF NAACCR Strategic Management Plan 2021 – 2024 

SMP History

SMP Town Hall Recording

Looking for information prior to this plan? Please visit our SMP Document Archive located here.

As of the release date of the 2021–2024 SMP, the NAACCR Board has not adopted any additional WOW initiatives. However, the Board will be focusing on strategic direction over the next 3 years. Through that process, we fully expect to identify at least one new WOW initiative to include in the SMP.


The below tabs are from the last WOW initiatives. New ones will be coming soon.

Virtual Pooled Registry-Cancer Linkage System:

The creation of a resource to support multi-state or nationwide research with one application and one file submission will continue. This resource will also have the capacity to support inter-registry de-duplication, cohort-based research studies, clinical trials, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required post-marketing surveillance. Not only will the VPR-CLS facilitate linkages, but also a simultaneous goal is to develop a Central IRB, which could function as a universal IRB for VPR-CLS eligible studies. In addition, a template IRB application is being developed to streamline the IRB process.

Technical Assistance for International Cancer Registries:

NAACCR has been an active partner in establishing and supporting the Caribbean Hub for the Global Initiative for Cancer Registration, sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) and IARC. In addition, NAACCR has established an international membership category, and is working to provide education, training, and other resources through portal access on our website. We are also building a mentorship and training program through twinning to assist registries in other parts of the world in their effort to measure the burden of cancer and develop effective cancer control programs.

Registry of the Future Expert Leadership Panel:

An expert leadership conference that brings some of the world’s top leaders in cancer surveillance together to vision the cancer registry of the future using critical thinking and innovative problem solving techniques.

Review Registry Certification:

Explore the need for modifications to current Gold and Silver certification levels, or the addition of a new level of certification. Criteria to be considered may include data sharing, de-duplication between states, and other activities that improve the overall quality of North American data and data use.

Strategic Management Plan Goals & Objectives 2016-2021

Priority Area 1: Strategic Alliances


The need to strengthen and expand relationships with key stakeholders, especially SMOs, remains critical for NAACCR. Changes in personnel at various organizations necessitate renewed efforts to strengthen and secure the kind of working relations among SMO members that will be required to meet future challenges. For similar reasons, the strategic development of new and continuing partnerships in the clinical, data analytics, and global arenas remains a priority.


Major Goal: Strengthen relationships with SMOs and existing partners, while establishing new alliances with key organizations to promote the NAACCR mission.

Objective 1: Cultivate productive working relationships with standard setters by facilitating open communications and purposeful actions.

Objective 2: Enhance existing relationships and build new strategic alliances that benefit cancer registries and support NAACCR’s mission.

Volunteer or SMP Inquiry? Correspond directly with Strategic Alliances Steering Committee Chair, Betsy A. Kohler, NAACCR Executive Director at .

Priority Area 2: Standardization and Registry Development (S&RD)


Standardization and registry development continues to be a mission-critical role that must move forward so that central registries are adequately prepared to adapt rapidly and successfully to changing developments in cancer surveillance. Emerging technologies, genetic and clinical advances, survivorship issues, electronic medical records, and “Big Data” are transforming the way central cancer registries function. For these reasons, the S&RD priority area must continue to maintain its efforts to assure the highest quality data for central registries while seeking innovative strategies to develop the cancer registry of the future.


Goal 1: Prepare for the cancer surveillance system of the future – a system that is more timely, responsive, and adaptable to change.

Objective 1: Analyze how cancer surveillance systems will interface with electronic health data and continue to assess semantic interoperability issues.

Objective 2: Engage and remain current with national/international efforts regarding electronic health records and other IT technologies.


Goal 2: Provide consensus standards and best practices for the collection and processing of cancer and patient information.

Objective 1: Ensure the maintenance of standards volumes and implementation guidelines that are consensus-based, reflect a comprehensive vetting process, and conform to interoperable content and transmission standards.

Objective 2: Develop methods to simplify the death clearance process and make it more efficient and cost-effective.

Objective 3: Facilitate automation of record consolidation by developing general principles and consolidation guidelines.

Objective 4: Provide guidelines to central registries that will improve the timeliness of cancer reporting.


NEW!! Goal 3: Provide the documentation, tools, and training that enables the NAACCR community to transition from the fixed-width data exchange standard to the NAACCR XML data exchange standard.

Objective 1: Author, publish, and maintain documentation for the XML standard and related processes and tools.

Objective 2: Design, implement, and support software tools and processes that enable the NAACCR community to adopt the XML standard.

Objective 3: Plan and coordinate pilot projects with NAACCR members that demonstrate the utility, practical use, and extensibility of the XML standard.

Objective 4: Identify and obtain sources of funding for the software development and support of the XML standard.

Objective 5: Provide training and communication of the XML standard along with related software tools and processes via websites, conference calls, presentations at the NAACCR Annual Conference, and other relevant venues that provide broad coverage and accessibility to the NAACCR community.


NEW!! Goal 4: Explore innovative uses of cancer registries by identifying emerging initiatives and new roles that bring value-added benefits to cancer surveillance, research and cancer control.

Objective 1: Identify new strategies to assess and monitor cancer survivorship care plans.

Objective 2: Monitor advances in cancer surveillance, control and research to identify potential roles for cancer registries.

Volunteer or SMP Inquiry? Correspond directly with Standardization and Registry Development Steering Committee Chair at

Priority Area 3: Research and Data Use


The fundamental value of centralized cancer registries is the high-quality data that allows innovative research, reliable cancer surveillance and improved cancer control. The Research and Data Use Steering Committee plays a vital role in assuring promotion and access to registry data in a systematic and user-friendly way. Significant advances in technology and science offer new opportunities and challenges for cancer surveillance. Data analytics and “Big Data” are presenting new ways to analyze both structured and unstructured data to provide new insights and directions in our understanding of cancer. It is essential that NAACCR keeps pace with these developments by making certain that central registries are positioned to make the fullest possible contribution to future research in epidemiology, cancer prevention and control, and, in particular, clinical outcomes.


Goal 1: Develop efficient, centralized processes to improve access to North American population-based cancer registry data for linkages, research, surveillance, and other applications.

Objective 1: Promote the use of high-quality and timely registry data by enhancing the annual Call for Data and the various NAACCR CINA data products.

Objective 2: Develop a voluntary process to combine limited data from multiple registries to facilitate record linkage research.

Objective 3: Maintain and enhance tools to inform researchers about state- and province-specific research experience, interests, and processes to initiate research.

Objective 4: Increase accessibility to NAACCR’s CINA products by periodically evaluating data access policies and processes.

Objective 5: Increase the value and relevance of central cancer registries to the cancer control community, clinicians, researchers, and the public.


NEW!! Goal 2: Improve the research capacity of NAACCR Member Registries, and enhance data use capabilities.

Objective 1: Strengthen NAACCR Member Registry capacity in research and data use.

Objective 2: Strengthen NAACCR’s internal capacity to support research activities.

Volunteer or SMP Inquiry? Correspond directly with Research and Data Use Steering Committee Chair at .

Priority Area 4: Communications and Policy Development


Communicating a unified understanding of purpose to members, outside stakeholders, and the public is the critical role performed by the Communication Steering Committee. Keeping members informed of advances in the field, reporting progress towards reaching SMP goals and objectives, sharing success stories among members, and providing opportunities from member input are just a few of the important steps necessary to assure openness and transparency within NAACCR. At the same time, a platform for sharing information with the broader cancer surveillance community, and the public in general, is essential to bringing a greater awareness of NAACCR member interests to wider audiences. Finally, as an association representing the interests of central cancer registries, NAACCR must develop and promulgate carefully crafted policy statements on critical issues of national relevance to its members and the broader public they serve. These statements will be issued through the Communications Steering Committee.

Goal 1: Serve as the voice for NAACCR members on key issues involving central cancer registries.

Objective 1: Use modern methods such as internet-based technologies to capture and share member views, opinions, and perspectives on important registry issues.

Objective 2: Release position papers and policy statements, as appropriate, that support registries, cancer surveillance, and the NAACCR mission as required by the Board, NAACCR membership, or steering committees.

Objective 3: Serve as a united voice for policy issues and position statements that promote NAACCR’s mission or benefit central cancer registries.

Goal 2: Promote the sharing of expertise, knowledge, procedures, and best practices among NAACCR members to ensure efficiency and reduce redundancy of effort.

Objective 1: Promote the Workspace Collaboration resource on the NAACCR website where members may post informational items that may be of value to other NAACCR members.

Objective 2: Develop an area on the NAACCR website where members may ask other members for guidance with particular issues or suggest a problem for collaborative solution efforts.

Objective 3: Enhance NAACCR’s use of web-based and technology-driven communication systems to improve information sharing and promote adoption of best practices, and develop a more global distribution list for outward communication.

Objective 4: Provide a venue and act as a clearinghouse for sharing software products, SAS or other programs, algorithms, tools, and/or templates to make them more widely available and minimize duplication of effort.

Volunteer or SMP Inquiry? Correspond directly with Communications Steering Committee Chair at

Priority Area 5: Professional Development


The development and training of skilled CTRs, epidemiologists, IT specialists, and registry managers remains essential to the future of centralized registries. New technologies and advances in genetics and molecular biology are informing clinical and cancer control strategies. Informatics, analytics, and molecular epidemiology are combining to push for change in the way registries function. Personnel are being asked to do more with less, as budgets are cut and the complexity of work responsibilities increases. Enhanced training and professional development will remain an essential priority of NAACCR.

In addition, an aging workforce creates a demand for succession planning to establish a talented pool of future leaders for central registries. Programs to develop management, leadership, and strategic thinking proficiencies will grow. NAACCR needs to work collaboratively with other key agencies to address this serious concern.


Goal 1: Partner with other professional organizations to address recruitment and retention issues and delineate NAACCR’s role in national retention and recruitment efforts.

Objective 1: Develop and implement strategies to retain personnel in central registries by enhancing career opportunities for individuals with diverse skill sets such as epidemiology, operations, statistics, and information technology.

Objective 2: Support collaborative approaches to make career opportunities more attractive to individuals with skill sets and expertise to build and implement the cancer registry of the future.


Goal 2: Develop a comprehensive multidisciplinary training program that provides cross training and leadership skills to ensure that professional personnel in NAACCR member organizations possess the requisite skill sets required to excel in the rapidly changing cancer surveillance environment.

Objective 1: Continue to provide educational venues to assist development of registry personnel in scientific, operational, technological, management, and data use issues.

Objective 2: Assist registries in the development of IT skill sets, including database management, information security, health information exchange/transfer, knowledge of cancer reporting requirements, reporting sources, file formats, coding schemas, and business needs.

Objective 3: Create a comprehensive training program that includes core competencies in the areas of leadership, management, registry operations, epidemiology/statistics, IT, and data security to prepare members for management positions and to provide for a talented and reliable supply of future NAACCR leaders.

Volunteer or SMP Inquiry? Correspond directly with Professional Development Steering Committee Chair at

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