CITI Courses

Consult the information below before visiting www.citiprogram.org.

CITI Help Desk
(213) 821-5272
citi@usc.edu
Instructions for CITI and ISTAR

About CITI

CITI (Collaborative IRB Training Initiative) was founded as a collaboration between the University of Miami and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to develop a web based training program in human subjects protection. It is currently used at more than 1130 institutions and facilities around the world.

Required Courses

COURSE REQUIREMENTS DESCRIPTION
Human Subjects Protections “Basic Course Mandatory for Principal Investigators and Key Personnel conducting human subjects research. Faculty Advisors must also take this course if he/she will supervise a project involving human subjects research.“Refresher” training must be repeated every 3 years. Pertains to ethics and principles, laws and regulations, informed consent, vulnerable populations, and more.
Refresher Course on Human Subjects Protections Mandatory for Principal Investigators and Key Personnel who have previously completed a human subjects training course and will continue conducting human subjects research. The “refresher course” is not available to those completing human subjects training for the first time (the Human Subjects Protections Basic Course is designed for them). Pertains to data credibility and accuracy, protection of subjects rights, safety, and confidentiality of subjects/data.
Good Clinical Practice (GCP) Mandatory for Principal Investigators and Key Personnel conducting Full Board clinical trials research. May be substituted for the Human Subjects Protections training, on a case-by-case basis.
If GCP training is taken as a substitute for Human Subjects protection training, investigators are still obligated to take Human Subjects training (or the refresher course) every 3 years.
Pertains to data credibility and accuracy, protection of subjects rights, safety, and confidentiality of subjects/ data
Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Mandatory for all students on NSF grants, as well as some NIH training awards, and PHS traineeships. Cannot be substituted for Human Subjects Protections training. Pertains to ethics, data integrity, collaborative research, and more.The USC Office of Compliance will provide the certificate of completion.
Conflict of Interest Mandatory for all USC Investigators supported by HHS funding. For more information visit the Conflict of Interest page.
Generic Classroom Mandated at the discretion of the instructor, this course is sometimes used as an assignment for research methods courses. Consists of 4 modules; two modules from the Human Subjects Protections course and two from the Responsible Conduct of Research course.
 

Looking for HIPAA?

The USC HIPAA training course is not hosted by CITI.

 

HIPAA training is required for all investigators who have access to Protected Health Information such as patient health records.

Visit the USC Office of Compliance website to access the HIPAA course.

ooc.usc.edu/hipaa-privacy-education-program

Courses above are available to CITI subscribers affiliated with USC.

Accessing Courses in CITI

Previously Completed/Expiring Human Subjects Certificates

Human Subjects Training

Good Clinical Practices (GCP)

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Accessing CITI

Note: You can complete CITI training before obtaining an ISTAR account. The CITI and ISTAR systems operate independently of one another.

How do I access the CITI courses?

To access the CITI course, follow these instructions…

  1. Go to the “CITI Login and Registration Page”: www.citiprogram.org
  2. If you already registered for CITI, enter your username and password. If you have not registered for CITI, proceed below.
  3. Click “Register Here”
  4. Under the “Participating Institutions” drop down menu, select University of Southern California. Click the “submit” button.
  5. Choose a unique username and password (username DOES NOT have to be your iStar username). Click the “submit” button.
  6. Enter your name and email address in the appropriate fields.
  7. Fill in the required fields in the “Member Information” page. (This is the section where you will input your iStar username). Only asterisked fields are required. Click the “submit information” button.
  8. Select a learner-group appropriate to your research activities. Unsure of what user group applies to you?
  9. You can begin the course from the “Learner’s Menu” page. Click “Enter”, located under the “Status” header.
  10. You can elect which modules to complete. Some users choose to complete modules related to their research, or modules that their department or advisor may require, or modules that are of interest. Yet it is mandatory that users obtain a cumulative score of at least 80% on the quizzes before a certificate is issued. You can retake any quiz as many time as you would like to improve your score.
  11. Log in as many times as necessary to complete the course. Once you have completed the course, a certificate will be issued and stored in your CITI account. Your certificate validity dates will be automatically uploaded into iStar.
  12. Contact the CITI help desk at (213) 821-5272 or citi@usc.edu if you have questions.

Do I need to have an ISTAR account to take CITI training?

You can complete CITI training before obtaining an ISTAR account. The CITI and ISTAR systems operate independently of one another.

Which user-group should I select?

The user-group you select depends on:

  1. which IRB you will submit to;
  2. what your role is in human subjects research (PI, IRB member, student investigator, etc);
  3. the type of research you are doing: biomedical, social & behavioral; and
  4. the level of IRB review (Exempt or Expedited/Full Board)

USC user-groups in CITI:

Campus Role
Health Sciences Campus
  • Medical Students and those conducting Exempt Research*
  • Investigators, Key Personnel, Faculty Advisors and HSIRB Members/Staff
 University Park Campus
  • Student Investigators, Faculty Advisors, and and those conducting Exempt Research*
  • Faculty/Staff Investigators, Key Personnel, and UPIRB Member/Staff

* Exempt research (e.g. de-identified data analysis, retrospective chart reviews, case reports, or key personnel listed for authorship purposes only). This course is NOT intended for studies involving vulnerable populations (e.g. children, pregnant women), or for Expedited or Full Board studies.

What do I do with my certificate/completion report after completing the course?

Nothing! The completion report/certificate will be uploaded into your iStar account. The completion report will also be stored in your CITI profile for you to access at a later date if needed.

How long will it take for my iStar account to be uploaded in iStar?

Typically, the turnaround time is 2 weeks. Please contact the CITI helpdesk if your iStar account does not show that you completed the course after two weeks of completion.

How do I print a copy of my certificate?

To print a copy of the CITI certificate do the following:

  1. Log in into CITI (How do I access the CITI course?)
  2. From the “Main Menu” page, click on Print under “Completion Reports”. This will bring up the most current certificate you have received.

Previously Completed/Expiring Human Subjects Certificates

I already have certification from an outside institution…

Valid human subjects education certification accepted by other institutions such as NIH (National Institute of Health), Childrens Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) or Rancho Los Amigos Rehabilitation Center will be accepted in lieu of CITI certification. Please email a copy of this certification to citi@usc.edu. Other institutions’ human subjects certifications may be accepted at USC’s discretion, but a copy must first be emailed to citi@usc.edu make that determination.

How do I upload my certificate from an outside institution into iStar?

Please email a copy of this certification to citi@usc.edu.

How do I check my certification expiration date?

To check the expiration date of your human subjects education certificate do the following:

  1. Log into iStar https://istar.usc.edu
  2. Click on your name in the upper right-hand corner to bring up your profile.
  3. Scroll down the profile page to the “certifications” section.
  4. Your certification expiration date will be listed there.

I received a notice from iStar indicating my certificate is about to expire, what do I do?

If you received a notice from iStar indicating your certificate is about to expire, you must re-certify. The human subjects education policy is that investigators/key personnel must complete training every 3 years (except for those conducting only Exempt research). CITI has a refresher course available to those individuals who have previously completed human subjects training and offers an overview of the more salient aspects of human subjects research. If you are having difficulty trying to sign up for the refresher course, try logging out of CITI and logging back in.  If you still cannot get access, email citi@usc.edu for assistance.

I need to complete GCP training and the human subjects “refresher” course, must I take both?

No. Investigators/key personnel that complete GCP training DON’T need to complete the human subjects “refresher course” (course offered in CITI after initial three year certificate expires). The GCP course will fulfill the “refresher” human subjects training requirement for three years from the date it is completed. However, the human subjects “refresher course” does not fulfill the GCP training requirement. GCP training is a one time requirement while human subjects education is required every three years.

Human Subjects Training

Do I need to take Human Subjects Protections Training if a project is “exempt”?

Yes, even if a project is exempt all key personnel are still required to take Human Subjects Protections Training. A special user group is available for key personnel listed on “exempt” applications. Human subjects training certificates for Exempt research projects do not expire so there is no need to renew. The certificates do expire every three years for Expedited and Full Board studies.

If a project was determined to be “not human subjects research”, do I need to take Human Subjects Protections Training?

No. If a project was determined to be “not human subjects research” (e.g., this applies whether coded specimen/data or not meeting the federal definition) key personnel do not need to take the CITI course.

If I already completed HIPAA Training, do I need to take Human Subjects Protections Training?

Yes, you must complete Human Subjects Protections Training even if you completed HIPAA Training.

Do I need to take Human Subjects Protections Training for amendments to a previously approved IRB application?

Amendments for adding “key personnel” on a study require that the added individual(s) complete CITI before the amendment is approved.

Good Clinical Practices (GCP)

Does GCP training expire?

No, GCP training does not expire. PIs and key personnel need to complete GCP training only ONCE.

Will Alternative GCP Courses Satisfy the Requirement?

Yes, alternative/equivalent GCP courses will satisfy the GCP requirement. These completion certificates must be uploaded into your iStar account.

How Do I Upload an Alternative GCP Completion Certificate into iStar?

Please email a copy or your certificate to citi@usc.edu for record keeping. The certificate will be automatically uploaded into iStar at a later date.

Do I need to take GCP if I already completed Human Subjects, HIPAA Training?

Yes, you must complete GCP training even if you completed Human Subjects, HIPAA Training. GCP covers areas that the other training program does not.
Announcement of GCP Requirement

I need to complete GCP training and the human subjects “refresher” course, must I take both?

No, Investigators/key personnel that complete GCP training DON’T need to complete the human subjects “refresher course” (course offered in CITI after initial three year certificate expires). The GCP course will fulfill the “refresher” human subjects training requirement for three years from the date it is completed. However, the human subjects “refresher course” does not fulfill the GCP training requirement. GCP training is a one time requirement while human subjects education is required every three years.

Can I Receive CME Credits for Completing the GCP Training?

The CITI GCP course provides the opportunity to receive CME credits for a small fee (CITI CME Credits).

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

Does this course satisfy in person RCR training requirements?

Some recipients of NSF grants are required to complete 8 hours of in-person RCR training. The RCR course in CITI does not satisfy this requirement. An in person RCR course is available at the USC Health Sciences campus: In-person RCR course.

Questions or Comments

USC CITI Help Desk
(213)-821-5272
citi@usc.edu