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Regular education is required to ensure that IRB members, investigators, and co-investigators are aware of the historical foundations which underscore the importance of protections for human subjects who participate in research, the relevant codes and regulations that apply to government-supported human subjects research activities, and the application of the guiding principles of respect, beneficence, and justice in human subjects research.

Proof of completion of education requirements is required prior to the approval of any human subjects research project.

Education requirements are detailed below:

Education Requirements for Investigators and IRB Members

Investigators and Co-Investigators

IRB Members

All investigators and co-investigators (i.e., those individuals who are collecting data as part of research studies) are required to complete an online course entitled “Protecting Human Research Participants” before they begin working with human subjects.
The course contains seven modules, and is available at no cost via the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Extramural Research ( The required modules take up to 3 hours to complete and include:

  1. Introduction
  2. History
  3. Codes and Regulations
  4. Respect for Persons
  5. Beneficence
  6. Justice

This training must be completed by investigators every two years. The IRB Secretary (Cathy Moles) maintains a database of investigators who have satisfied the education components noted above.

In addition to the requirements for Investigators/Co-Investigators:

All IRB members must complete the three Human Subjects Assurance Training modules available via the OHRP ( These modules include:

  1. HHS Regulations and Institutional Responsibilities
  2. Investigator Responsibilities and Informed Consent
  3. Human Research Protections Program

IRB members are also recommended to be extensively familiar with some additional documents (available on the IRB Members/Reviewers section of this site):


Important Information for WVDE Employees!
  • When you successfully complete the seven module course, you will have the option of printing an education certificate.
  • The IRB Committee will not approve any research project where the principal investigator or a listed co-investigator does not have a current education certificate on file.