Instructor guiding businessman in computer training class
ATD Blog

Training Management Systems Are Perfect for In-Person Training

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Many chief learning officers (CLOs) are investing heavily in asynchronous, self-paced online learning programs. But in some industries, hands-on, instructor-led training is where the most critical learning happens. And managing in-person training is an entirely different monster than managing self-paced learning. Locations, equipment, instructors, and various communications issues can turn the logistical challenge up to eleven.

Learning management systems (LMSs) are not built to handle this. They are built for scaling asynchronous, self-paced learning quickly: You create a course once in your LMS, publish it, and add students. Done.

Figure illustrating how to add students in a training management system.
But what if you’re using an LMS to plan instructor-led online or in-person courses? Every resource, location, staff member, and email has to be re-created from scratch for every delivery of every course. Some of our clients train thousands of learners across hundreds of in-person courses every month.
Figure illustrating how to manager course creation content in a training management system.
A training management system (TMS) works differently. A TMS isn’t restricted to just online course management, although most TMSs on the market (and there aren’t many) are able to integrate with your LMS just fine. They allow you to templatize in-person course creation. Build it once, repeat it over and over again—just like you do with an online course. And because the TMS connects to your LMS, it makes it simple to blend online and instructor-led training. Pre-work can be completed through your LMS, hands-on training in a lab.
A figure illustrating where to create course templates in a training management system.
As many companies and CLOs invest deeply in LMSs and self-paced learning, they’re leaving in-person training stranded, with inadequate tools and processes that don’t scale. An LMS can’t solve every problem, especially if your team relies on in-person training. Your CLO may not care how hard you have to work—after all, working hard is your job. That’s the prevailing theory: Scale as much training volume as you can through an automated LMS, and leave the rest to be manually crunched.

But there’s a cost to this that even the most hardboiled CLO should consider: lost time. Teams that use a TMS to scale in-person training management have much more time to reinvest in improving training. This allows them to create better courses, implement newer technology, and spend time making data-driven decisions.


We have worked with companies like Siemens Healthineers that depend on in-person training to train medical providers, technicians, and sales staff on cutting-edge medical devices. This training requires hands-on time in a lab, with an instructor. It also requires plenty of self-paced training, and it occurs in hundreds of training hubs all over the globe. To meet this challenge, an LMS must be paired with a TMS.

To learn more about how a TMS works and why it integrates well with an LMS to solve the challenges of instructor-led training, check us out

About the Author

Rob Walz is the content marketing manager for Administrate, a TMS focused on instructor led training for enterprise companies. Rob has been in the training and learning field since 2020.

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