Community Partner Training

Any individual conducting human subject research is required to have completed human subject research training.


What is a Community Partner?

Community Partners are non-academic personnel (for example, business associates, local government representatives, school system representatives) who may or may not be engaged in research requiring IRB approval.

Some researchers may include community partners on their research team. The Core IRB Training through the CITI program may not be the most appropriate human subject training module for non-academic personnel who do not regularly conduct research.


What is CIRTification?

CIRTification is a training program in human research protections created by the University of Illinois Chicago CCTS tailored to the unique roles of community research partners. It is interactive and relevant to the roles and responsibilities that community partners have in research projects.

CIRTification considers community partners’ limited experience with research, discusses key concepts in research ethics and responsible conduct of research in plain language, and focuses on applying knowledge to real-life scenarios.

Ideally, CIRTification will teach community partners about the importance of protecting research participants and empower them to be active contributors to their respective research teams. CIRTification introduces learners to the basics of the research – the terminology, people, and methods. It also reviews the history of research abuses that has informed current ethical principles, rules, and regulations.

The training program also covers standards and best practices for:

  • Recruitment and informed consent 
  • Collecting and protecting data 
  • Handling challenges that may arise during participant interactions 
  • Reviews the role of the institutional review board in protecting the right and safety of research participants.

Community Partner Questions

Will OPRS Accept Community Partner Training in Place of CITI?

Yes, for anyone who is a community partner. These trainings do not replace human subjects research training required for University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign personnel engaged in research requiring IRB approval.

Who is Responsible to Ensure Community Partners Receive this Training?

The Principal Investigator listed in the IRB application must ensure that their community partners receive this training. IRB applications will not be approved by the IRB if the application lists community partners who have not taken this training.

The PI or the staff member assisting the PI with IRB application can forward this page to their community partners and direct them to the online training instructions below.


Online Training or In-Person Lesson Plan

The CIRTification training program offers an individual online training program for community partners.

Alternatively, if it better meets the needs of the community partners, a curriculum is available with lesson plans, teaching manual, and slides. If a UIUC investigator chooses to implement the in-person version of the CIRTification program, please consult with OPRS in advance to ensure that the training facilitator has the appropriate qualifications.

Generally, OPRS expects the principal investigator or other experienced faculty member act as the training facilitator. Learn more about the In-Person Training.

Individuals who aren't taking an in-person class must complete the online version of CIRTification. Learners complete a knowledge quiz at the end of the program and receive a date- stamped certificate of completion.

The program takes about four hours and can be completed in multiple sessions. CIRTification Online is also available in Spanish. Simply access the training portal, enroll in CIRTification or login, and select the option to launch the course in Spanish (empezar in Español).


Online Training Instructions

To enroll in CIRTification, please follow the instructions below. Please select the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign only from the list. If you don't, you will not be able to access the user information/progress reports.

  1. Go to the CCTS Training Center website
  2. Click "Register" (top right hand corner).
  3. Select "I am not from UIC."
  4. Complete the registration form. When asked to select a site, select "University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign."
  5. Click "Register" to finish.
  6. Visit the Course Catalog. Scroll until you find information about CIRTification.
  7. Click "Learn More" under CIRTification: Community Involvement in Research Training.
  8. Select "Enroll" to start the CIRTification course.