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What to Look for When Procuring an LMS for Compliance Training

Published Mon Feb 25 2019


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Learning platform procurement can feel like a bit of a minefield at the best of times; but when that platform needs to support compliance training, it becomes even more important that you make the right decision.

The traditional procurement model—reading industry reports, opting for the learning platform with the most features or the one offering the best discount, and then being disappointed when you end up with an LMS that stops meeting your needs a few months into a long-term contract—is obviously not working. Too often, procurement failure means that organizations don’t get the value they need from their LMS, which makes senior stakeholders lose faith in their L&D teams. So how can businesses stop making the same mistakes over and over again and finally select a learning platform that will help them support compliance? What does your LMS need?

According to Brandon Hall’s Compliance Training 2017 report, classroom training is the most popular method for compliance training at 62.2 percent, with video and virtual classrooms at 51 percent each and on-the-job training at 44.9 percent. This means the LMS has to play a lot of roles to support a blended compliance training program.

Some learning platforms are built to support all of these methods out of the box, with the ability to manage seminars, e-learning, and digital resources all in one place. However, it’s best to avoid getting too hung up on the current features of the learning platforms you are comparing as part of the procurement process. For instance, 45 percent of organizations want to include more simulations in future compliance training initiatives. Instead of trying to guess what will matter to you in the future and buying an LMS with every single feature ticked off your list right now, instead prioritize flexibility and the ability to customize your solution to ensure you have the freedom to adapt faster in the future.

In-House or Third-Party Content?

Although many organizations will have company-specific compliance requirements to follow, such as internal processes or site-specific safety measures, much of your compliance program will not be unique. For instance, health and safety training is pretty much the same across organizations, and industry regulations will be the same for all businesses in your industry. This is why many organizations prefer to use third-party content catalogs to access compliance training; it saves you money and means you’re not duplicating content that already exists. You should consider whether you will use third-party or in-house content on your LMS, or a combination of the two. Some learning platforms come with plugins or partnerships with content providers, making it easy for you to make compliance programs immediately available through your LMS.

Comprehensive Reporting

The ability to generate and share reports and analyze data is essential when you’re using your learning platform for compliance. Your platform will contain crucial evidence of training activity, certifications, course completions, and assessment scores, so ensure that any LMS you choose has either excellent in-built reporting and analytics functionality or the ability to use plugins to generate the reports you need. You should look for reporting and analytics functionality with a good set of pre-made reports, but also with the freedom to set up your own reports. This is particularly important for compliance use cases, where there may be a very specific set of criteria upon which you will need to report.

Choose Freedom, Not Features

While it’s tempting to choose the LMS with the most features right now, it’s important to remember that things can change quickly. The smartest way to procure learning technology today is to plan for uncertainty. A flexible, open source solution like Totara Learn gives you the potential to adapt fast and keep up with the compliance rules and regulations in your organization, industry, and market , and means that you won’t be stuck with a learning platform that just drains money and resources a few months down the line. To learn more about how the right learning platform can help you meet compliance requirements, download this Insights Compliance Guide. Don’t forget you can also meet the Totara team at ATD 2019.

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