Learning development professionals and training managers everywhere want to know, “what is the best way to handle employee training?”
Inconsistent training lost documentation and expired certifications are three things that make training managers squirm. And it’s for a good reason, too.
For regulated industries like healthcare or construction, you need to be able to track employee certifications (to make sure they don’t expire), and make sure that individual employees and teams have what they need before they start a project or step onto a job site.
The first solution that everyone typically goes to is using spreadsheets, but that quickly becomes a mess when you have more than like five employees to deal with from a time and effort standpoint.
So, what’s the alternative?
The answer is a training management system. Think about it: what if you could keep everything to do with training in one place, including documentation and certification tracking, and have strong administration features (many of which can be automated) to reduce the tedious manual tasks that come with managing training?
That sounds like time savings, effort savings, and sanity savings.
Interested in learning more? Here is our complete breakdown of training management software, including some recommendations you should consider for your business.
What is a Training Management System?
Employees need training in every type of business. A training management system allows you to track and manage all courses, materials, schedules, and resources related to employee training, including instructor-led training (ILT) and eLearning.
At this point, you might be thinking, “isn’t that just an LMS?”
A training management system and LMS, in a lot of cases, are seen as synonymous. This can get confusing because there are so many terms being thrown around that seem to refer to the same thing.
Here’s the broken down definition of each:
- A training management system manages instructor-led training (both virtual and in-person), including all the administrative functions (scheduling, enrollment, notifications, etc.) that go into that management.
- A learning management system allows content management and provides a way to deliver, track, and manage course content, whether it’s an eLearning course or Instructor-led training.
In a lot of cases, like with Tovuti, digital training management software functionality is built into the LMS, meaning you don’t need two separate systems to completely manage every aspect of your courses and learners. In other words, you can manage courses and training material, build new courses and update old ones, and manage administrative tasks like enrollment, notifications, and more with one system, as opposed to two or more.
Additional integrations, like calendars, email, and more, mean that the whole process of enrolling learners, booking classrooms, ensuring course material is accessible, and delivering the course itself runs seamlessly and smoothly.
Who Uses Training Management Software?
A digital training management system can be used by a variety of stakeholders within a business or organization, including
- Training managers
- Learning and Development professionals
- Executives and C-Level employees
- Regular employees,
However, the software is used by a variety of stakeholders, it’s usually training managers and executives that are responsible for keeping it up-to-date and in working order. This means that parties outside of the organization may be employed to create and maintain courses and ensure the smooth running of the system.
4 Types of Training Management Softwares
There are a variety of businesses and organizations that benefit from using a digital training management system, from regulated industries to education to non-profits and charities. As a result, providers have tailored their offerings to cater to the different needs of these organizations.
The characteristics of these different types of training management software offerings are as follows:
Business Training Management Software
Businesses often have a variety of needs when it comes to training. This includes back-end administration, like course management, user management, analytics, and reporting, but also front-end needs like website integration, course registration, and marketing.
The organization is key for the back end of business training management software, as HR and Learning and Development professionals need to be able to keep track of enrollment, completion, and delivery of courses for both individual employees and teams. Front-end features like an easy-to-navigate user interface, well-organized dashboards, and an overall responsive design are also important, as software that is difficult to use can affect employee adoption and also require more time for training.
Many business-focused LMS incorporates business training management software into their platforms. Examples include:
Education Training Management Software
Schools have some similar needs to training management software, including being able to keep track of enrollment, delivery, and completion of courses, but the functionality of the system itself often needs to be very focused on strong back-end administration features.
For example, a University likely has thousands of courses within different programs, some that require prerequisites or are gated so only students that are currently enrolled in a particular program can take them. This means the system has to have quite a strong back-end administration functionality that can pull information from a student’s profile and match it to the course requirements to determine if the student is eligible for a course or not. It also needs to be able to handle complex course schedules for students.
In addition, education training management software needs to be able to handle a large number of uploaded files from both students and instructors (like syllabizes, assignments, and learning resources) and control who can access those files (e.g. preventing students from seeing each other’s submitted assignments, blocking access of course material to students that are not enrolled in that course).
Examples of education training management software include:
- Blackboard Learn
Instructor-Led Training Management Software
Instructor-led training refers to any course where an instructor is actively teaching learners the course material, like in a lecture or live webinar. To create and manage an instructor-led training course, you need to be able to direct enrollment, send course materials to learners, and provide them with a video conferencing link (either built into the system or through a platform like Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, etc.). This can all be done through instructor-led training management software.
Learners should be able to easily log into the course and download any materials or other resources they may need to review in advance or have handy when the course starts. The interface of the instructor-led training management system should also be easy to use and responsive to mitigate technology issues getting in the way of learning as much as possible.
Examples of instructor-led training management software include:
- Mindflash (Learn LMS)
Automated Training Management System
Let’s be real when it comes to training, nobody likes manually managing things like enrollment, reminders, milestones, and other tasks when they could be easily automated by the training system itself. An automated training management system can save a ton of time and eliminate human error.
For example, Tovuti includes auto email notifications that let learners know when they have a new assignment, if their certification is expiring soon, an event they signed up for is coming up, and much more. Pop-up notifications within the system itself can also be customized based on location, or so they have to be acknowledged by the learner to continue.
Examples of automated training management systems include:
Training Management Systems Software Features
We’ve talked about how training management systems work and generally what they can do, but what are the specific features that set them apart from each other? The answer lies in the administrative capabilities of the system.
Let’s go through some essential training management system features you should look for when choosing your software:
- Single Sign-On makes it easy for employees to access the training management system without having to type in additional login credentials. Instead, if they’re already signed into their standard work computer or a specific program, they can click a button and be instantly signed into the system.
- Notifications keep learners on track when it comes to their training. Notifications through Tovuti are completely customizable as well, so you can tailor when notifications are sent based on your organization’s needs or the needs of the individual learner.
- User Groups are basically a full system for managing permissions and sorting users into categories based on their learning objectives, teams, or whatever other criteria you want to use. As an example, within Tovuti, you can organize groups of learners by their position within the company, or their level of access to the training management system. This makes it easy to quickly group learners together so everyone gets the information they need.
- User Permissions let you control who has access to specific parts of the training management system, which is important for security reasons. With Tovuti, you can set permissions based on user groups or by an individual user.
- Personalized Learner Portals are great for keeping learners organized. Instead of learners having to search for a relevant course or click around to see different relevant information, they can see which courses they are enrolled in, their progress within a specific course, and more right on their dashboard.
- Team Lead Dashboards are built so that training managers can keep track of the learning outcomes of their team quickly and easily. Things like learning task progress, course completion, grades, and recent activities are all shown on the Tovuti team lead dashboard.
7 Benefits of Online Training Software
Now that we’ve gone through the features that make training management systems stand out, here are seven major benefits that online training software can provide for your organization:
1. Keeps Training Materials and Information Organized in a Central Location
Rather than sifting through shared folders or wasting time asking around for different information, training materials are stored in one place and are easily accessible.
2. Provides a More Interesting Way to Deliver Training
Instead of having to read through endless documents and click through PowerPoints, employees can actually enjoy their training. Online training software often lets you add videos, images, and interactive gamification elements that make training more impactful and fun.
3. Helps Organizations in Regulated Industries Keep Track of Training Compliance
Paying for an online training platform is much cheaper than having to deal with a lawsuit. Keep track of your employee’s certifications and automatically get notified when they are close to expiring. You can also use an online training platform to provide that training directly and even automatically enroll your employees in the training courses they need to take to keep their certifications up to date.
4. Allows Organizations to Monetize their Courses
If you’ve created an amazing course that will benefit others, why not share it with the world? It’s often easy to monetize your course through your online training software. With Tovuti, for instance, you can easily assign a price to a course, handle promo codes and payment processing, and even set up a subscription service.
5. Gives Insight into Employee Performance and Skills
Keep tabs on how employees are progressing through courses, whether they’ve completed learning objectives assigned to them or need additional coaching in a particular area.
6. Scalable for any Number of Employees
As your organization grows, they’ll be more people to train and keep track of. Online training software doesn’t have a cap on how many employees can access a course at a time, meaning you’ll be able to provide training regardless of how many employees your organization hires.
7. Accommodates Different Work Schedules
With distributed teams increasingly becoming the norm for organizations around the world, training software that can support different work schedules is an absolute must. since training material offered through an online training platform can be accessed by any employee from anywhere, it’s often the best way to train remote employees.
Paid vs. Free Training Management System
When you’re doing research on training management systems, you’re going to come across some options that are free and some that are paid. While the word “free” is pretty compelling, especially if you want to save money, you might not be getting all the features and benefits that work for your organization.
Here are the major differences between free and paid training management systems:
5 Best Training Management Software Options
There are a lot of options out there for training management software, and the majority of them are LMS systems with built-in training management functionality. For our analysis, we’ve selected online training offerings that we feel provide the best-incorporated training management software features.
When it comes to impressive training management software features, Tovuti is at the top of the game. And we don’t just say that because it’s our software — we stand by it with the robust administrative capabilities of the system.
We built our training management software from the ground up to serve the needs of organizations, so that means being able to effectively manage users, assign permissions, gate lessons, automate notifications, and much more. What we’re really trying to say is, if you’re looking for the best training management software offering out there, Tovuti should be the first platform you look at.
Trainual is probably the most straightforward training management software out there, and that’s not a bad thing. It isn’t an LMS; it doesn’t have the ability to host a full-fledged eLearning or ILT course, but it can help you organize and manage your org chart, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and company policies in one easy to use the system. The main idea behind Trainual is to streamline onboarding and keep employees on top of the policy and procedural changes with ease. If that’s all you’re looking for, then Trainual is a good low-cost solution.
PowerDMS is specialized training management software built for first responders and others that work in the public health and safety sector. Though it might seem like an LMS on the surface, it appears that there is less of a focus on the actual training platform part of the software for the other components — policy management, certification tracking, user access, and document organization. Because PowerDMS is training management software that is focused on public industries, they emphasize security features and version control for documentation.
Coassemble caters to startups and small businesses by providing a training management system that helps your business become more efficient with onboarding and training. The features offered are basic for an LMS, but that might not be a bad thing if you’re diving into the world of online training for the first time. On the other hand, scalability might be an issue as your company grows.
GoToTraining is simple online training management software that focuses specifically on ILT. All the typical features that support a productive ILT environment are here, including mobile support, email notifications and invitations, payment processing, registration forms, and in-class features like chat rooms and screen sharing. GoTo Training also integrates with common workflow applications, which, once again, is expected for any good online training platform. If you’re looking for low-cost training management software that does one thing and does it well, then GoTo Training is a good bet.
Sold on training management software yet? Here are the main takeaways from this article:
- A training management system allows you to track, manage, and gain insights from eLearning or instructor-led training courses. Training management software features are often built into LMS platforms but can also be offered as a standalone piece of software.
- Different types of training management software are available that cater to one or more industry verticals or training types, including general business use, education, instructor-led training, and more.
- The benefits of training management software are numerous and include having your training materials and resources available in one centralized location, the ability to support different work schedules, insight into employee performance and skills, and the ability for regulated industries to keep track of training compliance, certifications, and more.
Discover more about the Tovuti platform and how it can help your business by watching our demo.