Running a training business can be a challenge at times – particularly when it comes to all the operational and administrative aspects of managing your learners.
You’ve got to maintain lists of all the participants (while making sure they’re in the right groups), send them all the course information, create and send invoices, provide reports to your client, issues certificates, gather and assess feedback… the list goes on! Staying on top of all this can become increasingly unwieldy as your training business grows.
We work with many fantastic training providers and have noted a rise in their use of training management systems (‘TMS’) to streamline their operations. There are several platforms that help busy training providers manage their clients, learners and all the logistics more effectively – basically helping with all the back-office functions that are critical to the smooth running of their business.
Training management systems can help a training business by:
- Providing an overview of learner and client bookings and in turn, helping to get rid of all those sprawling spreadsheets!
- Giving learners the ability to manage themselves. Often learners can log in to the training management system, view their booking details and make any changes they need to.
- Significantly reducing administration tasks such as enrollment, invoice, providing receipts of payments and confirming details of when the training will occur.
- Providing learners with the opportunity to book on to ‘public’ courses (or private courses specifically for certain clients or groups).
If you have a large number of trainees, then the benefits of using a TMS can start to add up and save your team lots of time. Given spreadsheets can become inaccurate quite quickly – especially when there are lots of different people updating them – a training management system can help maintain accurate and up-to-date records of your learners.
One of our newest clients uses the training management system Arlo to manage their trainees and bookings. Like many training providers, until COVID they were delivering face-to-face courses to many different groups and Arlo has helped them systemise their processes. Given their recent switch to online this continues to help manage how they access their live online training.
Arlo is a platform providing course management for training providers.
So how does a learning management system fit in with all this?
Many training management systems don’t provide the ability to deliver on-demand online learning or elearning through their platform (and why would they – it’s not what they are designed for). A learning management system (or ‘LMS’ for short) works alongside a training management system to deliver their online training. They will typically log into the LMS to access all their course materials and any resources you provide, once they’ve registered through a TMS. Keeping up?
But if you want to have an accurate view of all your learners through your training management system – and some of these are doing an online-only or a blended course – your TMS will need to have an understanding of what is happening in your LMS.
That’s where an ‘API’ comes in. In simple terms, APIs are a way for systems to talk to each other and share information they both may need. Many training management systems understand training providers may have other systems they use, so provide APIs that work with their platforms. We’ve recently helped a client integrate the TMS they use with a new WordPress-based LMS we created for them and it’s helped their new online courses fit seamlessly into their existing business processes.
So if you’re a training provider who:
- Provides a mix of training modalities and formats such as self-study online, face-to-face training and blended learning
- Wants to simplify your processes and make life easier for your team
- Thinks providing a single view of their course information will make things better for your learners
- Wants to be able to update course information quickly and easily
Then a training management system may be for you. Just make sure it can talk to your LMS – if you’re not sure then we can help!
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