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 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 110 individuals representing the multidisciplinary professionals that comprise the cancer care team. Members include representatives from the American College of Surgeons 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

A. Membership Process and Criteria for New CoC Members:

  • A slate of nominations representing the American College of Surgeons Fellowship and CoC member organizations is prepared each fall for review and selection by the CoC Nominating Committee. Recommendations are forwarded to the CoC Executive Committee and full CoC membership for approval. The College's Board of Regents confirms the final list of new members.
  • New members are notified in late October. Their initial appointment is for three years with eligibility for re-election to a second term.
  • Members can hold office or serve as a vice-chair of a committee/subcommittee during their second term.

There are Two Membership Categories:

  1. Surgeons Representing the American College of Surgeons Fellowship:

An annual “call for nominations” is held among a select group of individuals including the membership of the CoC, the College leaders and members, and other surgical organizations. Criteria for these nominees include the following:

  • Has never served on the CoC representing the American College of Surgeons Fellowship.
  • Has full membership in the American College of Surgeons Fellowship (MD, FACS).
  • Has staff appointment(s) at a CoC-accredited cancer program and participates in cancer program activities. 
  • Has served as State Chair or Cancer Liaison Physician.
  • Has knowledge of the CoC’s goals and objectives. 
  • Represents a surgical specialty, geographic area, or diverse group not currently represented by the CoC membership.
  • Has interest in contributing to and enhancing CoC programs through committee work. 
  • Can serve as a member of at least one CoC committee.
  • Is willing and able to work with the various committee electronic venues (i.e., SharePoint, etc.).
  • Can attend and participate in at least two in-person meetings annually.
  • Can participate in approximately three conference calls annually.
  1. Members Representing Member Organizations:

Individuals representing the CoC’s member organizations are selected by their organization. The organization is requested to submit an application and curriculum vitae of an individual in a senior or leadership role within the organization. Criteria for nominees include the following:

  • Should participate in cancer program activities at a CoC-accredited cancer program. 
  • Has knowledge of the CoC’s goals and objectives. 
  • Has interest in contributing to and enhancing CoC programs through committee work. 
  • Can serve as a member of at least one CoC committee.
  • Is willing and able to work with the various committee electronic venues (i.e., SharePoint, etc.).
  • Can attend and participate in at least two in-person meetings annually.
  • Can participate in approximately three conference calls annually.

B. Membership Process and Criteria for New CoC Member Organizations:

  • 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.
  • Membership is open to government agencies and professional, non-profit organizations.
  • 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
  • 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 and prevention efforts
    • Professional education in oncology
    • Oncology research
  • Organizations/agencies that meet the criteria outlined above 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 Susan Rubin at srubin@facs.org. Organizations/agencies will receive a confirmation of receipt and a timeline for the application review process.
  • 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.
  • Applications are reviewed by the CoC Member Organization Steering Committee and, if accepted, are forwarded to the CoC’s Executive Committee for approval.