Human Subjects Training

Federal regulations require principal investigators and all research team members to complete and document appropriate training in the protection of human subjects. Completion of this training is required for all principal investigators, co-principal investigators, faculty advisors, and research assistants. 

NMSU utilizes the training course offered by the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) Program. The following instructions walk you through setting up a new CITI account and enrolling in the appropriate training course. Once you have passed the course, please be sure to upload your completion report to Maestro in the “My Certificates” section.

NOTE: ALL researchers with NIH training certificates will need to take the CITI Human Subjects training course by January 1, 2017. This date is the end of the grace period set by the NMSU IRB to accept both CITI or NIH training during the transition. CITI Human Subjects training is required for new researchers and those researchers who are renewing their human subjects training.

CITI Instructions

First time users: (General Information setting up your CITI account)

  1. Go to to register for a new account.
  2. Click on “Register” in the box “Create an account” to create a new account.
  3. Select “New Mexico State University” for your Organizational Affiliation.
  4. Provide all pertinent information and create your personal username and password.
  5. Follow the directions to finalize your CITI account registration.

To Enroll in a Course:
Returning users should select the option “New Mexico State University Courses,” then “Add a Course” after logging in to the CITI Program site. The remainder of the instructions are the same.

  1. You will be presented with a series of questions or options to enable you to enroll in the Learner Group appropriate to your interests or your role in Human Subject Research.  The course(s) you enroll in depends on your answers to the “Select Curriculum” questions. For Human Subjects training, scroll down to “Question 1” and check the first box titled "Social/Behavioral/Educational Researchers".
  2. After you click “Submit,” the next page is the “Main Menu".  This page lists the courses you have selected.
  3. Click the “Title of the Course” to enter the grade book and begin or continue the course.  
  4. Complete the Integrity Assurance Statement presented at the top after clicking a course title. The system will allow you to start taking the course modules after completing the Statement.
  5. Complete the “Required” modules and associated quizzes, as well as the number of “Elective” modules and associated quizzes. You must obtain an average score of 80% on all quizzes. A running tally is compiled in the grade book. You may repeat any quiz if you want to improve your score. However, scores obtained after a completion report has been issued will not be reflected on the completion report.
  6. When all Required modules and appropriate Elective modules have been completed, you will be shown a list of “Optional” modules. NOTE: Optional modules do NOT count toward IRB training certification, nor do they appear on your completion report. You may return to the course site at any future time to review these Optional modules.
  7. When all Required modules and appropriate Elective modules have been completed, you may print or download your Completion Report by clicking on “Print Report” from the Main Menu or your “Previously Completed Coursework” page. Note: You may return to the course site at any future time to print or download a copy of the completion report.  You may access any completion reports you have earned through the “My Reports” page.
  8. If you have completed CITI training from another institution, you can transfer certificate completions from that institution to NMSU.  After logging in to CITI, you will need to affiliate with New Mexico State University.  "Click here to affiliate with another institution" link on your CITI Main Menu to add an affiliation. When you are affiliated with both institutions, enroll in the courses that need to be transferred under both institutions, via the "Add a Course" link under the appropriate institution, if necessary. You will need to enroll in the same stage of the course (Basic/Refresher) for a proper transfer to occur. Once you are enrolled in the courses, any modules that are shared between the institutions will have their credit transferred automatically. The transfer is based on each module's unique ID number. If the courses do not match exactly, not all credit will transfer and you may need to complete the difference in modules at your new institution to get full credit for a Completion Report. Each institution determines the period in which modules are transferable. This period can span any time between 1 and 10 years. Some institutions opt out of this option and do not allow modules to transfer.

The following CITI “Learner Tools” are designed to help you navigate throughout the site.

The Add a Course link allows you to go to the enrollment questions and change your “Learner Group” by providing new responses to the enrollment questions.

The View Previously Completed Coursework link allows you to see your past scores, view expirations, and print completion reports.

The Update Institution Profile link allows you to update your institution-specific details, such as your institutional ID or employee number, email, department, role in research, etc.

The View Instructions page link brings you back to the CITI Instructions page.

The Remove Affiliation link allows you to un-affiliate with an institution if you are no longer required to be certified under them and wish to no longer receive email notifications regarding courses under the institution. Please be aware that you will not have access to previous scores or completion reports obtained under the institution unless you remain affiliated.

You may affiliate with another institution. The software will sum the requirements of both institutions so that you need not retake modules common to the requirements of both institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the CITI Basic course take?
The Basic course will require 4-6 hours to complete depending on the number of Required and Elective modules.

How long does the CITI Refresher course take?

The Refresher course will require approximately 30 minutes depending on the modules selected.

Can I complete training in several sessions?

Yes, all completed work is stored in the CITI site. You can go back to the site and login using your CITI username and password as often as necessary.

How often must I take this course to keep my training current?

NMSU Policy for all human subjects training is that it is good for 3 years, after which a refresher course will need to be taken. After the initial CITI training, you should take the Refresher course. You will be notified 90 days prior to the expiration date that you must take the Refresher course.   

What do I do if I have forgotten my username or password?

On the CITI Home page, you may click on “I forgot my Username or Password” and CITI will send an email with appropriate information to your registered e-mail address.  You may also contact the CITI Help Desk if you need more help.

What if I take my Refresher course ‘early’?

When you take the Refresher course, your expiration date is 3 years from date of completion, regardless of the current expiration date. Example: Your current expiration date is in August. CITI sends you an automated reminder 90 days prior to your August expiration date. If you take your Refresher course immediately (in May) your next expiration date will be 3 years from May and not from August.

I took CITI training at a different institution; will it count toward my IRB certification?

CITI training is required for all NMSU researchers, with the Institutional Affiliation of NMSU selected on the CITI Program site. Each institution determines the course curriculum and each module has a unique ID number.  You may receive credit for completed modules at another institution through affiliations based on matching ID numbers.

I completed training at another institution and have affiliated with NMSU. Both have different expiration dates of IRB certification. Which expiration date do I consider when refreshing my training?

The expiration date for the NMSU affiliated training should be used to determine when refresher training needs to occur.