Ethical Research Oversight Course (E-ROC)

Online learning is an important component of 21st century education, and PRIM&R’s Ethical Research Oversight Course (E-ROC) (formerly the Ethical Oversight of Human Subjects Research online course) is a thorough, authoritative, and user-friendly way to learn how to navigate the human subject protections landscape. E-ROC is geared toward new IRB members and staff, as well as toward those seeking a refresher on the core principles of research regulations and underlying ethical principles. Simulated IRB meetings and discussions provide a practical, and interactive, introduction to all aspects of research oversight. PRIM&R developed this course after assessing a need for reliable, affordable research ethics education. 

E-ROC offers the perfect blend of critical information and adult learning pedagogy. Special features include: 

  • Content: Tools to build and strengthen an effective IRB.
  • Flexibility: Technology that allows users to take the course from any computer, at any time, and from any place.
  • Assessment: Frequent progress checks and module assessments to strengthen the user's knowledge.
  • Recognition: A certificate of completion, available after the final test.


The annual fees to access the course are as follows:

  • Individual PRIM&R Member: Annual Subscription: $200
  • Individual Nonmember: Annual Subscription: $250
  • Institutional Annual Subscription: $1850 (This option is available to institutions and has no cap on the number of users. Institutions with multiple campuses/schools are required to purchase a separate subscription for each entity.)

Please see a course table of contents here.
View a webinar previewing the online course here.

*Pricing may be subject to change.

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and Policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of Boston University School of Medicine and PRIM&R. Boston University School of Medicine is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. Boston University School of Medicine designates this educational activity for a maximum of 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. 

Target Audience

The target audience for this course is IRB Members. The target audience for CME credit is physicians who serve as IRB members.

Educational Needs Addressed

Institutional review boards (IRBs) oversee the application of ethical principles and regulations that protect human subjects, so it is essential that IRB members receive high quality education in these areas. Physicians serving on IRBs might lack adequate training regarding the ethical principles and regulations that govern the conduct of research with human subjects, and the role and scope of the IRB. This course seeks to address this knowledge gap.

Program Learning Objectives

IRB members who complete E-ROC will be able to: 

  • Define the function and purpose of IRBs
  • Describe the ethical principles and regulations that govern human subjects research
  • Apply these principles and rules to biomedical, behavioral, and social science protocols
  • Effectively express and explain one’s opinions during an IRB meeting


HRPP/IRB staff members who complete E-ROC will be able to:

  • Utilize the tools and strategies described to build and strengthen an effective IRB
  • Communicate more clearly with investigators and other institutional staff members
  • Find and utilize the resources necessary to stay abreast of regulatory changes 

The result? Improved knowledge of what is required, why it is required, and what constitutes a best practice.

System Requirements

The following technical requirements are necessary to access the audio, video, and interactive features of this course:

Computer hardware
Computer: 500 megahertz (MHz) processor or higher (32- or 64-bit)
Memory: 256 MB minimum 
Display: 800 X 600 screen resolution (1,024 x 768 or higher recommended) 
Multimedia: Sound card and headphones or speakers

Internet connection 
A minimum 256+ Kbps connection (higher connection speeds are recommended).

Acceptable browsers 
PC users (running Windows): Internet Explorer 6 and later, Firefox 1.x and later, Safari 3 and later, Google Chrome, or Opera 9.5 and later.Macintosh users: Safari 3 and later, Firefox 1.x and later, or Google Chrome.

Other requirements 
Adobe Flash Player 6.0.79 or later (Flash Player 7 or later recommended). You can download it for free at the following links:


Course Faculty

Leonard Glantz, JD, Course Director
Karen M. Hansen
Susan Z. Kornetsky, MPH
Stewart A. Laidlaw, PhD
Linda Lewicki, PhD, RN, CIP
Helen McGough, MA, CIP
P. Pearl O'Rourke, MD
Terry VandenBosch, PhD, RN, CIP
Amy Davis, JD, MPH
Joan Rachlin, JD, MPH

For more information about E-ROC, please refer to this list of Frequently Asked Questions

This enduring material has been designated for a maximum of 4.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Information about CME, continuing education credit, and certificates of completion can be found here.

Continuing Medical Education by Boston University School of Medicine