Background: Human research ethics training should provide relevant, meaningful information and build skills. Compliance should not be the only goal; training should also enhance knowledge, skills, and capacity. However, most currently available human research ethics training programs are geared toward learners who already have some research experience and working knowledge of research methods (e.g., graduate students, junior researchers); many community partners, however, have little or no prior exposure to research. More important, standard training programs do not adequately address the unique context of community-engaged research (CEnR).
Objectives: This article describes the development process, final curricular materials, and suggestions for successful implementation of CIRTification, a human research ethics training program designed specifically for community research partners who will be working on the “frontlines” of research.
Methods: Development of CIRTification involved an extensive literature review, consultation with stakeholders including community partners, academic researchers, and human research protection program personnel.
Conclusions: The curriculum, as well as information and materials to help potential users promote acceptance of the curriculum by their local institutional review boards (IRBs), are freely available online at www.go.uic.edu/CIRT. Ideally, community research partners who complete CIRTification will not only learn about the importance of protecting research participants but also be empowered to substantially contribute to the ethical practices of their respective research collaborations.