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Certified Specialist in Trauma Registries (CSTR)


The Certified Specialist in Trauma Registries (CSTR) represents a trauma registry and data expert who has demonstrated current competence in a specialized area of practice and been credentialed through the American Trauma Society (ATS).  Certification in trauma registry is highly valued and provides national and formal recognition of basic trauma registry knowledge. 

The certification program was designed to promote the delivery of safe and effective care and the highest quality of data analysis.  It establishes and measures a requisite of knowledge required for expertise in building, managing and enhancing trauma registry practice. This process encourages continued personal and professional growth in the practice of trauma registry. 

The credential is awarded to candidates who pass the CSTR Certification Exam. The credential must be re-certified every 4 years by continuing education or re-examination to give evidence of continuing competency and knowledge. The CSTR must have current status in order to use the credential.


The following guidelines are for those interested in taking the exam.  While these are not requirements, the ATS highly recommends those applying to take the exam have a minimum of the following: 


  • A bachelors degree (B.A., B.S., or equivalent)
  • At least 2-3 years of full-time or the equivalent (4,000 hours) experience in trauma registry practice.

Application Procedure

Please read through the CSTR handbook to understand all the requirements for initial and recertification of the CSTR credential.  Once complete, please click the link below to complete your application.  NOTE: The application will be considered incomplete and not processed if any requested information or the appropriate fees are not provided.

Once you have submitted the application and payment, the ATS will review the information and, if approved, will send a confirmation email to the applicant within 5 business days. Upon approval by the ATS, PSI Exams Online will send a follow up email within 5 additional business days to the applicant with scheduling instructions. All exams must be scheduled through PSI Exams Online using the instructions provided in the email. All emails will be sent to the email address provided on the application.



The Certification Examination for Trauma Registrars is administered for the ATS by TesTrac.

The ATS and TesTrac can make accommodations for those with special needs or disabilities.  Please refer to the Candidate Handbook for more information.


Examination Content

The Certification Examination for Trauma Registrars is a computer-based examination composed of a maximum of 250 multiple-choice, objective questions with a total testing time of four (4) hours. 


The content for the examination is described in the Handbook for Candidates. Unless otherwise specified, definitions are based on National Trauma Data Standard. 


The Certification Examination for Trauma Registrars covers four primary domains::

  • Data Management 
  • Conditions of Injury
  • Coding and Scoring Concepts 
  • Registry Issues  


Fees for each application submitted for the CSTR Examination:

$275 - ATS Members
$350 - Non-Members

These fees include a non-refundable administrative fee of $50.00.  ATS membership must be current to be eligible for the reduced fee.


Study Materials

The American Trauma Society has developed multiple CSTR Exam study tools to assist exam candidates in preparation for the CSTR Exam. Please see a full list of CSTR Exam study tools below:

  • CSTR Candidate Handbook: The handbook provides a detailed overview of examination processes, procedures, and the exam outline. 
  • CSTR Responsive Practice Questions (RPQs): The RPQs provide an experience to review examples of the type of questions and content areas included in the Certification Examination for Trauma Registrars. The RPQs provide an opportunity to learn more about the question format, style, and level of difficulty.
  • What to Expect: CSTR Exam Preparation Webinar Series: The ATS and TCAA have partnered with Amanda Truelove, RHIA, CSTR, and Trauma Data Analyst, TQIP Coordinator for Trauma Services at St. Louis Children's Hospital to offer you a new study tool for the Certified Specialist in Trauma Registries (CSTR) Exam. Join Amanda for a four part webinar series as she walks through each domain of the CSTR Exam and outlines resources and suggested best practices for exam preparation.
  • Archived Webinars: Each month the ATS hosts two webinars, one of which is typically trauma registry focused with an emphasis on the CSTR Exam content, when possible. 

NOTE: Performance or participation with any ATS CSTR Exam study tool may differ from actual performance on the Certification Examination. Thus, there is no guarantee that participation will help you pass the Certification Examination. Participants may find it helpful to review content in any areas of weakness.


For More Information

For more information on the Certification Exam for Trauma Registry professionals, please contact and download the CSTR Candidate Handbook for more information. 



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