UNCG Community Partner Research Ethics Training (CPRET)

Rationale, Procedures, and FAQs 

Regarding Community Partnered Research Ethics Training (CPRET)

This document outlines the rationale and procedures for pursuing community-based ethics training. This training and certification program has been adapted from the University of Pittsburgh, Human Research Protection Office and approved by the Office of Research Integrity at UNC Greensboro.

Rationale: This community-based research ethics training is offered as an alternative to Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI program) when it has been determined that CITI training is not the most appropriate or useful form of ethics training for community co-researchers. This could be for a variety of reasons, such as limited access to online training, intercultural differences in ethics, and language and literacy differences. In addition to serving as an alternative training format, this ethics training takes into consideration the unique principles and practices of community-engaged research, which engages community members as collaborators in all aspects of a research study, from design to implementation to analysis. There may be benefits to community-academic partnerships when they use this training, including:

  • The language is adjusted so that there’s less research jargon, and definitions are provided when necessary, which can encourage a stronger sense of collective ownership for the research project.
  • PIs and co-researchers may use specific examples related to their research project. This allows the research team to discuss ethics in a way that is specific to the project.
  • The training is flexible (e.g., location, training dates, some content), allowing for considerations that may be unique to a specific community.
  • The dialogic nature of the training process allows for greater rapport building and trust within the partnership.
  • By inviting input from community research partners during the training, the process fosters more transparency about how information will be gathered and results analyzed and disseminated.


Step One: Determine whether the community co-researchers are eligible for this specific ethics training.

Step Two: Add research-project specific discussion points, activities, and relevant information to the training slides.

Step Three: Please reach out to Melissa Beck before offering the training so that her office can ensure that staff meet the qualifications for the training.

Step Four: PI’s conduct the training either virtually or in-person. After successful completion of the training, research participants receive a certificate of completion that PIs can attach to their IRB application.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)?

  • How long is the training valid?
    • This training is valid for three years.
  • Who conducts this training?
    • This training is offered by the study PI. Co-investigators may also assist with facilitation. ORI provides a deck of slides to guide the training, and the researchers are encouraged to use case studies or examples that are most relevant to the community researchers.
  • What qualifications do PIs need in order to be eligible to offer this alternative training?
    • PIs need to have completed CITI training to be eligible to offer this alternative training.
  • How long does the training typically take to conduct?
    • It varies depending on the scenarios, but you should plan to set aside at least 2-2.5 hours to administer the training.
  • Do interpreters require ethics training?
    • Interpreters do not need to undergo ethics training as long as they are not collecting data, will not have access to identifiable data, and will not obtain consent.
  • Can I offer this to student researchers in lieu of CITI?
    • No. This training cannot be offered to UNCG student researchers in lieu of CITI.
  • Does this training need to be conducted in person or is online an option?
    • Either option is acceptable. Attendance should be confirmed if online.
  • Do I need to seek permission or approval before offering this training to community members? If so, from whom?
    • Please contact Melissa Beck (mdbeck@uncg.edu) before offering the training so that her office can ensure that staff meet the qualifications for the training.
  • Is there a certificate of completion for the participants?
    • Yes.
  • Is this training provided in other languages?
    • If the training needs to be offered in a language other than English, please contact ORI to make arrangements.
  • Can PI’s offer compensation to community partners for completing this training?
    • Compensation can be given at the discretion of the PI and the funding that is available.
  • To whom may I provide feedback related to this training?
    • Please contact ORI
  • What if I have additional questions?
    • Questions related directly to the training and certification can be directed to Melissa Beck (mdbeck@uncg.edu) in the Office of Research Integrity.
    • Questions about community-engaged research, methodologies, and ethics broadly can be directed to ICEE staff. Please contact Emily Janke (emjanke@uncg.edu) or Sonalini Sapra (sksapra@uncg.edu).
  • When can the UNCG IRB serve as the reviewing IRB for a study involving community partners?
    • In order for UNCG IRB to serve as the reviewing IRB for a study, UNCG faculty/staff/students must be involved in study design, provide direct oversight for recruitment, consent, and data collection, and be involved in data analysis (i.e. they are considered “key personnel”).
    • UNCG IRB is unable to provide IRB review/oversight for research studies where the site does not have an IRB or access to an IRB and the UNCG faculty/staff/students only role is facilitating the IRB application/submission due to the site not having an IRB/access to an IRB.
    • There are IRBs that do provide IRB services for sites that do not have an IRB. Resources for these IRBs can be provided by the UNCG Office of Research Integrity upon request by emailing ori@uncg.edu.

See below for additional resources for CPRET:

UNCG Community Based Research Training Certificate

UNCG Training Powerpoint

UNCG Pledge Statement to be signed by Participant and PI

UNCG Eligibility Criteria

Scenario Review Checklist