BACKGROUND: There is a need for guidelines on patient navigation activities to promote both the quality of patient navigation and the standards of reimbursement for these services because a lack of reimbursement is a major barrier to the implementation, maintenance, and sustainability of these programs. METHODS: A broad community-based participatory research process was used to identify the needs of patients for navigation. A panel of stakeholders of clinical providers was convened to identify specific activities for navigators to address the needs of patients and providers with the explicit goal of reducing delays in the initiation of cancer treatment and improving adherence to the care plan. RESULTS: Specific activities were identified that could be generalized to all patient navigation programs for care during active cancer management to address the needs of vulnerable communities. CONCLUSIONS: Oncology programs that seek to implement lay patient navigation may benefit from the adoption of these activities for quality monitoring. Such activities are necessary as we consider reimbursement strategies for navigators without clinical training or licensure.