American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

CoC Membership

The Commission on Cancer (CoC) is a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education, and the monitoring of comprehensive quality of care.

Established by the American College of Surgeons (ACoS) in 1922, the multidisciplinary CoC:

  • Establishes standards to ensure quality, multidisciplinary, and comprehensive cancer care delivery in health care settings
  • Conducts surveys in health care settings to assess compliance with those standards; collects standardized data from CoC-accredited health care settings to measure cancer care quality
  • Uses data to monitor treatment patterns and outcomes and enhance cancer control and clinical surveillance activities
  • Develops effective educational interventions to improve cancer prevention, early detection, cancer care delivery, and outcomes in health care settings.

Commission membership consists of more than 102 individuals representing the multidisciplinary professionals that comprise the cancer care team. Members include representatives from the ACoS and 56 national, professional organizations involved in cancer care. Each representative serves on one of the seven standing committees which work to reach the Commission's goals by:

  • Establishing standards for cancer programs and evaluating and accrediting programs according to those standards
  • Coordinating the annual collection, analysis, and dissemination of data from CoC-accredited cancer programs for all cancer sites to assess patterns of care and outcomes of patient management to support the monitoring and improvement in the quality of cancer care delivery
  • Coordinating the activities of a nationwide network of more than 1,600 physician-volunteers who provide state and local support for Commission and American Cancer Society cancer control initiatives
  • Providing oversight and coordination for educational programs of the Commission which are geared toward physicians, cancer program leadership, administration, cancer registry, and others
  • Establishing collaborative opportunities with CoC member organizations to advance the national oncology agenda and the work of the CoC and its member partners

Membership Criteria

  1. Membership is open to government agencies and professional, non-profit organizations.
  2. Professional, non-profit organizations applying for membership must meet the following eligibility criteria:
    • Be national in scope
    • Have a national membership
    • Have a board of directors or appropriate governance structure
    • Have organizational bylaws
    • Hold an annual or bi-annual national meeting
  3. Organizations/agencies applying for membership must demonstrate involvement in one or more of the following areas within the field of oncology:
    • Cancer registration and/or surveillance
    • Cancer patient care services
    • Patient advocacy (oncology-focused across all cancers)
    • Cancer control & prevention efforts
    • Professional education in oncology
    • Oncology research
    • Clinical, professional organizations with an oncology focus
  4. Organizations/agencies that meet the criteria outlined in criteria #2 and #3 may download and complete the Member Organization Application for CoC Membership. Completed applications and supporting documentation should be submitted to the CoC via e-mail to Asa Carter at the CoC at or to Lynda Watt at Organizations/agencies will receive a confirmation of receipt and a timeline for the application review process.
  5. Consideration is given to the completeness of the application and supporting materials and the organization/agency’s alignment with the mission and goals of the Commission on Cancer.
  6. Applications are reviewed by the CoC Member Organization Steering Committee and, if accepted, are forwarded to the CoC’s Executive Committee for approval.
  7. Upon Executive Committee approval, the organization/agency is notified and requested to select and submit the name and curriculum vitae of an individual, in a senior or leadership position, within the organization/agency to serve as the representative. The individual being considered should:
    • Actively represent their organization/agency in the appropriate setting
    • Have knowledge of the CoC’s goal and activities
    • Have an interest in contributing to, and enhancing, the CoC’s  programs
    • Be involved in a CoC-accredited cancer program (if applicable)
    • Communicate CoC activities and updates to their membership through newsletter articles or other appropriate medium
    • Communicate issues to the CoC from their organization/agency
    • Submit a report to the organization/agency leadership/board of member participation in CoC activities
    • Meet the CoC core expectations outlined for CoC member organization representatives
    • Serve a three-year term with eligibility to serve a second term based on performance and contributions
    • Serve on a minimum of one standing committee of the CoC. Member organization/agency representatives have full voting privileges and may serve on, and chair, committees and subcommittees, work groups, or task forces.
    • Attend and participate in at least two in-person meetings annually, financially supported by the organization/agency
  8. The organization/agency is required to provide financial support for the participation of its representative in the annual meetings of the Commission on Cancer held each May and October.  
  9. Members who miss two consecutive meetings without appropriate cause and notification may be removed from membership on the Commission on Cancer.