Training & Certification

Training & Certification


Researchers working with human subjects may not begin recruitment or research until they receive a final IRB approval letter. All research staff and faculty sponsors submitting an IRB protocol must have an updated CITI training certificate on Mentor IRB (awarded within the last three years). Please visit our Training & Certification for information on how to update CITI certification.

What is CITI?

CITI Program – Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative – provides high quality, peer-reviewed, web-based educational courses to train individual learners in research, ethics, regulatory oversight, responsible conduct of research, and research administration. CITI’s mission is to:

  • Enhance the knowledge and professionalism of investigators, staff, and students conducting research in the United States and internationally
  • Educate members, administrators, and leadership of ethics committees that review and oversee research
  • Promote ethical research at organizations through the education of research administrators and organizational leadership

CITI training is required prior to IRB approval of:

  • A new study on which Key Personnel are named
  • An amendment application adding Key Personnel to a previously approved study
  • A continuing review application for a study on which Key Personnel are named

Who Needs CITI Training?

Before beginning research with human subjects, you will need to complete a basic training course through CITI. Please go to CITI program and register for the course using your TC affiliated email. All researchers with TC IRB must take the IRB Social and Behavioral Researchers Basic Course. Click on the link for detailed steps on How to Register for CITI Training.. 

All TC researchers submitting to TC IRB must take the IRB Social and Behavioral Researchers Basic Course with CITI. 

All Key Personnel involved with human research subjects must have a current and complete Human Subjects Protection certification. 

What does Key Personnel in Research Mean?

Key Personnel is defined as the Principal Investigator (PI), research collaborators, research coordinators, research assistants, external researchers, research staff, administrators, and other investigators who are directly involved in conducting research with study participants or who are directly involved with handling private information related to study participants during a research project.

CITI FAQ


CITI Program offers research ethics, compliance, and professional development education for researchers, students and faculty, IRB members, and research administrators. Courses are also designed to be relevant to specific disciplines such as Social and Behavioral and Biomedical fields.

CITI holds researchers to the following standards:

Account Security: I will keep my username and password secure, and I will not share them or allow anyone else to access my account. I will contact CITI Program Support if I believe my account has been compromised.

Work Integrity: I will complete all required quizzes and any other assessments using only my own work. I will not engage in any activities that would dishonestly improve my results, or improve or hurt the results of other means.

Quiz Sharing: I will not share CITI Program quiz questions or answers on any website, via email, photocopying, or by any other means.

Recordkeeping: I understand that CITI Program keeps account activity logs, including computer IP address, time spent in each content area, number of quiz attempts, and quiz scores. Indications of inappropriate use will be investigated, and may be reported to organizations with which I am affiliated.

Before beginning research with human subjects, you will need to complete a basic training course through CITI. Please go to CITI program and register for the course using your TC affiliated email address (e.g. YOUR.EMAIL@tc). Click on the link for detailed steps on How to Register for CITI Training.

After you are CITI trained you will upload that training certificate into MyTC/Research Tab/Mentor IRB/PI Documentation.

All researchers with TC IRB must take the IRB Social and Behavioral Researchers Basic Course. The Basic Course consists of 7 Basic Modules, 4 Elective Modules, and 3 Optional Modules. In order to be CITI certified, you are required to pass the 7 core Basic Modules and 2 Elective Modules.  You must score at least an 80% on all modules to be fully certified. Based on your other affiliated institutions, you may be required to complete more courses. 

CITI Basic Courses Image

Click our Basic Course Modules pdf for a list of modules.

CITI training is typically organized into learner groups, each consisting of a few modules on specific topics.

Most TC affiliated individuals registering to get CITI trained will fall under the “Social & Behavioral Researchers” or “Basic Scientists/Investigators,” learner groups. Roles within CITI Training delineate the type of training modules you will receive. Please do NOT select a role with "IRB" in the title unless you are on the TC IRB Board. If you have dual roles, choose the most salient role.

Implementation of the three-year renewal of IRB training has been delayed. We will now require all Key Personnel who have not taken the CITI training within the past three years to complete the refresher courses by February 1, 2020. Faculty and professional staff PIs will receive notification from the IRB office that their training has expired. Since many student PIs will have left the college three years after completing the CITI training, we will notify any students with expired training at the time of protocol submission. In the Interim, the Office of Sponsored Program (OSP) will ask any PI who receives a new federal award and their project personnel to take the CITI refresher course during the “Just-in-Time” period after the award notice and the official final award. Anyone who needs to take the refresher course in order to comply with the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) training requirements should contact the IRB office. 

For more information specific to researcher status, please see the below sections.

Faculty without a CITI Online Account

All faculty, including new or affiliated faculty, who would like to conduct research with human subjects must be CITI certified. We ask that you complete the CITI IRB Social and Behavioral Basic course before February 1, 2020 in order to remain in good standing with both federal regulation and TC IRB. Please see How to Register for CITI Training. for more information on how to create a CITI account.

Once you have your completion certificate, please upload it to Mentor IRB. You can do so by visiting MyTC/Mentor IRB/PI Documentation and clicking the “Upload” button next to IRB Human Subjects Training Certification. 

Faculty PIs with Expired/Expiring CITI Training

The new federal regulations covering research with human subjects (aka the New Common Rule) have been in effect since mid-January, 2019. Part of our implementation efforts includes updating all expired human subject training by February 1, 2020. Expired human subject training is indicated by one of three factors:

  1. If you were CITI certified prior to November 2016, your CITI training is expired.
  2. If you were CITI certified through any institution other than Teachers College, Columbia University, your CITI training is expired.
  3. If you were CITI certified at any point between November 2016 to February 2017, your CITI certification will be expiring soon.

Either one of the following conditions indicates an up-to-date certification:

  1. You took the CITI IRB Social and Behavioral Basic course after February 1, 2017, 
    OR
  2. You took the CITI Refresher course after February 1, 2017.

If your CITI training is expired, we ask that you update your CITI training by completing the refresher course before February 1, 2020 in order to remain in good standing with both federal regulation and TC IRB. Any expired CITI profiles that have not been updated by February 1, 2020 will have their research suspended until the refresher course has been completed. In order to access the refresher course, please email IRB@tc.edu with your full name, title, affiliation, and a formal request to refresh your CITI Training.

Once you have your completion certificate, please upload it to Mentor IRB. You can do so by visiting MyTC/Mentor IRB/PI Documentation and clicking the “Upload” button next to IRB Human Subjects Training Certification. You can track all of your previous CITI certifications through Mentor, in the "PI Documentation" section.

The new federal regulations covering research with human subjects (aka the New Common Rule) have been in effect since mid-January, 2019. Part of our implementation efforts includes updating all expired human subject training by February 1, 2020. Expired human subject training is indicated by one of three factors:

  1. If you were CITI certified prior to November 2016, your CITI training is expired.
  2. If you were CITI certified through any institution other than Teachers College, Columbia University, your CITI training is expired.
  3. If you were CITI certified at any point between November 2016 and February 2017, your CITI certification will be expiring soon.

Either one of the following conditions indicates an up to date certification:

  1. You took the CITI IRB Social and Behavioral Basic course after February 1, 2017, 
    OR
  2. You took the CITI Refresher course after February 1, 2017.

If your CITI training is expired, we ask that you update your CITI training by completing the refresher course before February 1, 2020 in order to remain in good standing with both federal regulation and TC IRB. Any expired CITI profiles that have not been updated by February 1, 2020 will have their research suspended until the refresher course has been completed. In order to access the refresher course, please email IRB@tc.edu with your full name, title, affiliation, and a formal request to refresh your CITI Training.

Once you have your completion certificate, please upload it to Mentor IRB. You can do so by visiting MyTC/Mentor IRB/PI Documentation and clicking the “Upload” button next to IRB Human Subjects Training Certification. You can track all of your previous CITI certifications through Mentor, in the "PI Documentation" section.

All graduate students submitting a new IRB application must have up-to-date human subjects training. Any graduate students with expired training will need to update their training before they can submit to TC IRB. Expired human subject training is indicated by one of three factors:

  1. If you were CITI certified prior to October 2016, your CITI training is expired.
  2. If you were CITI certified through any institution other than Teachers College, Columbia University, your CITI training is expired.
  3. If you were CITI certified at any point between October 2016 and February 2017, your CITI certification will be expiring soon.

Either one of the following conditions indicates an up to date certification:

  1. You took the CITI IRB Social and Behavioral Basic course after February 1, 2017, 
    OR
  2. You took the CITI Refresher course after February 1, 2017.

If your CITI training is expired, we ask that you update it by completing the CITI refresher courses. In order to access the refresher course, please email IRB@tc.edu with your full name, title, affiliation, and a formal request to refresh your CITI Training.

Researchers coming from other institutions may already have CITI training through their institutions. If your research falls under the jurisdiction of TC IRB, you will also need to update your CITI training to be TC affiliated using your TC email. For information on adding or changing your affiliated institution, please click here. 

Please note that due to the nature of TC's CITI training, you cannot transfer credits from a different institution to TC. Instead, researchers should plan to take the IRB Social and Behavioral Researchers Basic Course. 

The CITI refresher course is a required course necessary to update expired human subjects training. If your human subject research team includes students or staff who may have expired CITI training, please encourage them to contact Dr. Myra Luna Lucero, Research Compliance Manager at IRB@tc.edu or 212-678-4105 to request a formal expiration and access to the CITI refresher course.

The refresher course consists of 11 modules. You will choose 5 modules to complete. Once you have completed the modules and received your refresher CITI certificate, you will need to upload it to Mentor. You can do so by visiting MyTC/Research Tab/Mentor IRB/PI Documentation and hitting the “Upload” button next to IRB Human Subjects Training Certification. You can track all of your previous CITI certifications through Mentor, as well as find information about TC IRB in the “Documentation” section.

CITI Refresher

Click here for an accessible version: CITI Refresher Courses - PDF 

CITI’s website offers resources such as “frequently asked questions,” and resources for individual learners.

You can contact CITI’s Support Center Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. EST

Phone: (888 )529-5929

Outside of U.S.: +1 (305) 907-3100

Email: support@citiprogram.org

Mailing Address: 

101 NE 3rd Avenue, Suite 320

Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301

Fax: 844.529.5929

Outside of U.S.: +1 (786) 502-4001

Most users complete the initial training in approximately eight hours.

Refresher courses typically take less than two hours to complete.

You can stop and start CITI training at any time. CITI’s training system will save your progress. You can log in later to complete the modules using your using your CITI username and password.

A passing score of at least 80% is required for each module. If you want to improve a score on a quiz, you may repeat any quiz in which you didn't score 100% correct.

After you finish the required modules, you will be issued a Completion Report. You can print the report from your Main Menu by clicking on the "View-Print-Share" link within the Completion Record column.

TC IRB asks Key Personnel to submit the “Completion Report.” Completion Reports are transcripts of your course work and include all quiz scores. Part 1 shows scores "frozen" at the time you completed and passed the course. Part 2 reflects scores for any subsequent quiz attempts.

However, we will also accept in addition to the “Completion Report,” the “Completion Certificate.” Completion Certificates are "diplomas" that reflect course completion, but do not include quiz scores. Certificates are suitable for sharing with persons who do not need to see your quiz results or posting online.

 

Once you have received your completion report, you will need to upload it to Mentor. You can do so by visiting MyTC/Mentor IRB/PI Documentation and hitting the “Upload” button next to IRB Human Subjects Training Certification. You can track all of your previous CITI certifications through Mentor, as well as find information about TC IRB in the “Documentation” section. 

Yes, the CITI Training requirement applies to submission of studies that meet the criteria for Exempt Certification.

In some situations, members of the research team may not be fluent in English and/or will not have readily available internet access and therefore will not be able to complete TC IRB’s online CITI certification.

In such situations, the TC IRB will consider on a study-by-study basis approval of an alternate human research education mechanism, to be directly described by the Principal Investigator.

Upon approval of such a Human Subject Training exception, the principal investigator and other Key Personnel will be asked to ensure that these members of the research team receive or have received alternate human research training that includes discussion of:

  • Research ethics
  • The voluntary nature of research participation and the consent process
  • Standards for maintaining the confidentiality of participants' data
  • Data management, storage, and security

If you have registered for an account with CITI but are unable to login, please follow the instructions in our pdf. You can access the CITI login page by visiting https://www.citiprogram.org/index.cfm?pageID=14&region=1 

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