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FAQs: CITI Training Requirement for UCSF Key Personnel (PIs, Co-PIs and Other Key Personnel) Listed in CHR Applications


Registering and Completing the CITI Course

Who must complete CITI training? As of March 1, 2009, all Key Study Personnel* at UCSF or affiliated sites must complete human subjects protection training on the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) website. CHR approval of any individual application will be contingent upon the fulfillment of this requirement.

*UCSF Key Study Personnel include the Principal Investigator, other investigators and research personnel who are directly involved in conducting research with study participants or who are directly involved in using study participants’ identifiable private information during the course of the research.  Key Personnel also include faculty mentors/advisors who provide direct oversight to Postdoctoral Fellows, Residents and Clinical Fellows serving as PI on the IRB application.

CITI training is only mandatory for Key Personnel. However, the CHR recommends that anyone involved with human subjects complete CITI training or similar human subjects protection training.

CHR members, HRPP staff, and Institutional Officials also must complete CITI training.

How do I register?
1. New users
 Register Here and follow steps 2-4.

Note: If you a VA investigator or staff, you do not need to complete the UCSF course (see below for more information).

2. Select "University of California, San Francisco" as your Participating Institution. Then enter your email address and create a user profile.

Important Note: Your UCSF or SF VAMC CITI training record is linked to your account in iRIS, the CHR’s online submission system. The two accounts are linked by email address, so your Preferred Email Address in CITI must match your email address in the "My Account Information" section of iRIS.

If necessary, update your Preferred Email Address on the CITI site or update your email address in the "My Account Information" section of iRIS (under "My Assistant").

3. When you are asked which course you plan to take, choose one of the Basic Human Subjects courses based on the type of research that you conduct -- Biomedical, Social and Behavioral, or both.

4. You then will be asked to select your curriculum and given three options. The only course required by the CHR is option 1, Human Subjects Protection Training.

5. You also will be asked if you wish to enroll in the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Responsible Conduct in Research (RCR) courses. These two courses are optional for CHR. Some units on campus ask their staff to complete the GCP and RCR courses.

Some federal awards require that grantees undergo education in the responsible conduct of research. To meet this requirement, researchers should register and complete the CTSI RCR Course.

How many modules are required?
You will be required to take five core modules and two modules of your choosing. You can take additional optional modules on other topics, if you wish.

How long does it take? Can I stop and start again later?
Most users complete all of their required modules in two to four hours.

You can stop and begin anytime. Save your work before you exit, and remember your user name and password.

What should I do if I forget my login information?
If you forget your user name or password, click the "Forgot Username or Password" link on the CITI website. The UCSF staff do not have access to your password.

How do I obtain a certificate of completion?
After you finish the training, CITI will issue a completion report. Keep a copy for your records and give a copy to members of your administrative team who need it for their records. 

You can print the completion report any time from your learner menu
My Courses


Completion Reports


Human Subjects Protection Training


Print Report


CHR will be able to confirm that you have taken the training, but will not be able to print off your certificate for you. The Office of Sponsored Research also can confirm your training by looking online. 

Refresher Course

How often is the training required?
UCSF CITI training is valid for three years. You can renew your training easily by taking any three modules of your choosing.

The VA CITI training is valid for two years. The optional UCSF GCP training is valid for four years.

How do I complete the refresher course?
After you log into the CITI site, the refresher course (Stage 2) will appear in your grade book (e.g. the “My Courses” section - see below). Click on the title of the course to begin. You will be asked to select and complete any three modules of your choosing. Doing so will renew your CITI training for another three years.

Important note: The refresher course will only be available 90 days prior to your expiration date.
My Courses


Completion Reports


Human Subjects Protection Training, Stage 2 (or similar name)

Not Started

Not Earned

Not Available

CITI Training From Other Sites

What about VA investigators who have taken the VA's required CITI training course?
The VA requires regular training for all individuals engaged in research with human subjects, their tissue or data. If you are working at the VA, we recommend completion of the VA CITI training, which will meet UCSF’s requirements.

Please remember there are other annual education requirements for the VA, so please check the VA training page to ensure you and all members of your research team are current with those requirements. Contact the VA directly with questions about these requirements.

What if I am transferring from another institution at which I completed CITI training?
Your previous CITI training may be valid at UCSF, depending on a number of factors.

Log on to the CITI site with your current login information. Then add UCSF as an affiliate institution.

CITI will review the modules you previously completed and the date(s) on which you took them. CITI will ask you to complete any modules required by UCSF that were not required by your previous institution and/or modules that are no longer eligible to be transferred.

Do collaborators at other sites need to complete UCSF's training?
Collaborators only need to complete this training if UCSF has agreed to act as their IRB of record. If outside collaborators have received their own IRB approval, they do not need to undergo the UCSF training and should defer to their own IRB's educational requirements.

Additional Information

Why has UCSF subscribed to this online training?  
UCSF is now part of the (CITI), along with over 600 other organizations throughout the world. About 80% of the AAHRPP-accredited institutions, of which UCSF is one, use this training. The majority of the institutions which are part of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), which UCSF is a part of, also subscribe to this training.

CITI training was chosen by UCSF because the content is extensively reviewed and critiqued and updated and participant satisfaction is high.  In addition, the training is both more targeted and more complete. Additionally, if an investigator has taken CITI training elsewhere, this training will be accepted at UCSF, with only the small additional requirement that the investigator take the UCSF core module of the training. 

Investigators may take additional modules, at their leisure, to fit their interests, but any additional modules would be optional.  CHR Members may occasionally recommend an investigator take an additional module.  

Who can I contact if I have questions? 
Contact Mario Velez at 415-476-6013 if you have questions. The CITI Support Center also provides resources, hints, tips and answers to frequently asked questions about the CITI Program.