IRB Training and Certification Program

Training and Certification of Researchers and Educators in the Use of Human Subjects in Research

Federal regulations require all institutions that sponsor research with human subjects to insure that investigators and instructors have an adequate background in the ethical principles and requirements governing research involving human subjects.  Certification of Training must be received prior to the acceptance of a research protocol for review. Protocols from students of an instructor who has not been certified will not be accepted. (WPUNJ IRB Policy, Part V (1))

William Paterson University provides a web-based certification program for investigators and educators to obtain Certification.  The IRB also offers workshops on general IRB topics ( and can meet with classes or groups for special presentations. 

Certification Is Required For:

Investigators:  Certification of Training is required for anyone serving as the principal investigator, co-principal investigator or senior-level support of research involving human subject unless the investigator is an undergraduate or graduate student. 

Educators:  Certification of Training is required for faculty teaching courses that require students to actively engage subjects in significant research activities.  Certification is required prior to the receipt of student research protocols. 

Administrators:  Certification of Training is required for all members of the IRB, the Responsible Institutional Official, the IRB Chair, and the IRB Administrator.  Certification of Training is strongly suggested for Deans, Department Chairs and other Managers and Senior Administrators of because of their supervisory responsibilities.

Certification is NOT required for:

Graduate and Undergraduate Students: The IRB considers faculty to the lead investigators in courses that requires students to undertake significant projects involving human subjects.  As the lead investigator, the course instructor must have a Certification on file with the IRB.  Faculty may ask or require their students to complete the Certification Training but that does not remove their oversight responsibility.

New: Students in Research Course!

This new, optional course is an effective resource for introducing undergraduate, master's and doctoral degree students to the ethical engagement of human subjects in research.  The course also include a module on WP's IRB policy and procedures.  

The course is not required for students learning about or undertaking research activities.  

See information sheet for instructions on use by faculty and students. To complete course: click here for the CITI Program, register, select Group 2: Students in Research, and then begin modules.

Students in Research information sheet


The Certification Program for Faculty and Staff

William Paterson uses the CITI Program to provide and monitor Certification of Training.  This is an internationally recognized program used by hundreds of educational and research organizations.  William Paterson’s program is targeted to the primarily social-behavioral nature of the research conducted here; it includes general ethical standards as well as William Paterson’s Policy and process. Following completion of the program, certification is provided to both the person completing the module as well as WPUNJ's IRB Administrator.

Click here to access the CITI Program to register and begin the program. Register for Group 1 William Paterson University Researchers and Educators learner group (the other group is for WPU faculty and staff administering the program and includes all the modules that CITI offers). You may exit and return as many times as needed to complete the program. A score of 80% is required to obtain certification.

If you would like to review the modules included in the CITI Program, please click here: modules list. 

Training module for WPU's policy and procedures: WP Policy and Procedure Training Module

Certification Received from A Previous Institution

Proof of previous Certification of Training will be accepted for individuals who fulfilled this requirement at another institution prior to their appointment at WPU. This must be supplemented by completion of the WP Training Module.  After the previous certification has been received by the IRB, the investigator will instructed to complete the WP Policy and Procedure Training Module and will be sent a copy of the module test to complete and return to the IRB.  

Instruction Only Certification Compensation

Regular or Adjunct Faculty who are not involved in research themselves but teach courses that actively engage undergraduate or graduate students in the use of human subjects in research may be compensated for completing the program. After obtaining certification, faculty may apply for this compensation by completing and submitting the Instruction Only Certification Form (Instruction Only Certification PDF Form  or Instruction Only Certification Filable PDF Form) to the IRB through the WPU Office of Sponsored Programs. Additional information is included in the WPU-AFT Agreement on Training.