CITI Human Research Training

CITI Human Research Training

This page provides information about the Human Research Protection Course through the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) that is required to be completed prior to research staff engaging in human research. You will also find information about possible substitutes for CITI training.

CITI Human Research Training

All individuals engaged in human research at Penn must complete training on human research protections. Penn-affiliates (e.g., faculty, staff, students) satisfy the human research training requirement by completing the Human Research Protection Course through CITI online. This requirement extends to anyone listed in the HSERA application as:


  • A Principal Investigator,
  • Other Investigator,
  • Study Contact, or
  • Key Personnel.

How to Complete the CITI Training

Accessing CITI

CITI may be accessed via the CITI website linked above. Below are instructions on how to assign Human Subjects’ Protection Course to your CITI profile through Penn.

Renewal of CITI Training

As of April 2, 2019, renewal of CITI training is no longer required at Penn. For those who already completed their CITI training who would like an updated certificate or report of completion to reflect that the training does not expire, please view the following guidance.

Courses Required by Other Departments

Other courses (such as Good Clinical Practice or Responsible Conduct of Research) may be required by other departments at Penn as part of your role in research. The Penn IRB does not review nor track these trainings and they are not accepted as a substitute for the Human Participants’ Protection Course.

Transferring CITI Training from Other Institutions


If you have completed CITI training for Human Research through another institution (i.e., your completion report does not say “University of Pennsylvania” in the Institution Affiliation), it may be transferrable to Penn. There are two options for transference. 

Options for Transferring CITI Training to Penn


You may transfer your completed trainings to Penn within the CITI website. This is the recommended method. You can do this by logging into CITI with your existing login and password. On the Welcome page, click “Add Affiliation.” Type in University of Pennsylvania and follow the remaining steps. Most course modules should transfer to your Penn affiliation but there may be additional course modules you will need to complete.

Completion Report Assessment

Your completion report may be assessed for module content prior to approval. Please forward any training completion reports from other institutions to the CITI help desk and ask for an assessment of your modules. The document provided must be a completion report with full list of included modules in order to be assessed (Certificates alone do not include sufficient information for this assessment). If the modules are appropriate, the IRB CITI Support team can manually update your training to document receipt of initial training. Renewal will not be required once your training is accepted. If the modules are not appropriate you will be required to complete Penn’s Human Participants’ Protections training in order to engage in research at Penn.

Alternatives to CITI Training


Below are alternatives to the CITI Human Participants’ Protections training course for Penn Biomedical Faculty, Staff, and Students and community partners.



Alternatives to CITI Training for Penn Biomedical Faculty, Staff, and Students

The Division of Medical Ethics at Penn developed an online research ethics training course, which is available free to Penn and CHOP faculty, staff, and students/trainees. The Penn IRB has approved this course as sufficient to satisfy institutional requirements for human participants’ protection training, as an alternative to the CITI course for biomedical researchers. For Penn-based staff at CHOP, the course will satisfy CHOP’s initial and re-certification requirements. For CHOP-based staff, the course will satisfy the re-certification requirement only.

Accessing the Alternative Course at Penn and CHOP

The course takes about 4.5 hours to complete. It is comprised of engaging videos, supplemental resources, and brief quizzes. Continuing education credits are available. NOTE: The course does not interface with Knowledge Link or Workday, so you will to upload a certificate of completion with your HSERA application.

Alternatives to CITI Training for Community Partners

If you are collaborating with community members who will be engaged in human subjects’ research (e.g., if they will consent, collect data, and/or have access to participants’ private/identifiable information), they should complete the Community Partner Training. The Community Partner Training is an online human research protections training program for community-based research projects. The training provides an overview of human subjects’ research principles and explains the responsibilities of a community researcher. The training includes real-world examples and content tailored to the unique roles of community partners engaged in research.

Accessing the Community Partner Training

The curriculum can be completed in approximately 2 hours and can be used by community partners as a substitute for CITI training. Research coordinators and faculty can log-in to the program and create projects, track their community partners’ progress, and download a certificate of completion to submit to the IRB.

CITI Training FAQs


Click below for guidance and commonly asked questions about CITI Training.

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