To ensure a valid statistical database, the Commission on Cancer (CoC) of the American College of Surgeons requires that a start date be established for CoC accredited registries. This date is known as the reference date. It should be set as January 1, of a given year. Once this date is established, all cases diagnosed and/or treated at the facility on or after this date must be entered into the registry. Registries in cancer programs seeking approval from the CoC must first accrue two years of data with one year of successful follow-up. The original reference date must be maintained unless one of the items in Table D occurs.
Requests to change the reference date must be submitted in writing to the Commission on Cancer. They are considered and/or approved at the CoC's Cancer Department's administrative level.