What a training management system is
A training management system (TMS) is software for training companies, that automates training-related tasks and helps organize and schedule courses, resources and attendees. The aim of a training management system is to bring all training operations together on one central platform; to allow your business to grow; your customers to be more satisfied, and your team to all row in the same direction without anything getting missed.
Functionality typically includes course and resource management; automated communications; delegate tracking; task management; reporting; document generation, and CRM.
What a training management system isn't
A training management system isn't a performance management system, HR platform or an assessment tool. While there are overlaps with a learning management system (LMS), the main difference is intent: a TMS is built for training managers; course administrators; customer service teams, and business owners. An LMS is built for learners, to facilitate front-end learning.
While learner experience is important, it is not the only factor that contributes to happy customers. Having streamlined back-end processes, supported by a training management system, means all of your operations run smoothly and nothing falls through the cracks.
56% of training professionals are yet to invest in automated training management technology
If you're one of these providers- this page will guide you through everything you need to know about training management systems and how training tools could benefit your organization.
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Popular blog posts
Check out the popular blog posts below for essential information around training automation.
Guides and eBooks
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I need a training management system?
When a business decides to invest in training process automation, there's a few triggers that we commonly see:
- They want to grow their training business, but they've hit a ceiling
- Issues caused through human error are increasing
- Course inquiries are increasing but the workload is becoming unmanageable
- Their admin team is close to burn out
- It's difficult to look up training completion, monitor upcoming qualification renewals or track certification
- They have their training information in lots of different systems which makes it difficult to gain a complete overview of the business
- Increasing admin resource and workarounds are being used just to get the job done
- Important tasks are slipping through the cracks and it is beginning to impact their service and reputation
- They need to standardize the way their business or department operates
- They want to improve customer satisfaction (reputation and referrals are recognized as the #1 marketing techniques by training professionals.)
Do any of these challenges sound familiar? In most businesses more than one of these triggers applies.
What is the difference between a training management system and a CRM?
A training management system is designed to manage course attendees' and customers’ course bookings, from payment through to delivery whereas a CRM is designed to take care of the beginning of the customer journey including generating leads, tracking opportunities and managing the sales pipeline.
A CRM may also come back into play at the end of the journey in ways such as offering re-booking discounts or suggesting other courses that could be of interest. However, the CRM doesn't fill in the middle bit. This is where a training management system comes in. This table provides a side by side comparison of a training management system and CRM:
|Notes & documents||✅||✅|
|Online course booking||✅|
|Website integration for course advertising||✅|
|Tasks & Reminder||✅||✅|
|Invoicing & payment||✅||✅|
|Discounts & vouchers||✅||✅|
Ultimately, a CRM and TMS can work together in sync to harmonize the entire end-to-end customer experience but a CRM alone is not enough to manage a training business effectively.
What makes a good or bad training management system?
This all depends on what you want. If you are looking for a simple event management tool or somewhere to host eLearning, then there are plenty of off-the-shelf systems on the market. However, if you're looking for a centralized system to manage and automate all of your training operations then you need to do a bit more digging.
If you are seriously considering course management software for your training business then there are some questions that you need to answer before you make a start:
- How many courses do you run annually, and how many attendees register for each course?
- Do you use a number of venues, hire external trainers and manage equipment?
- Do you manage training for clients or are your courses public facing?
- Is it easy for clients to make multiple bookings for a number of attendees?
- Do you currently (or want to) offer discounts, special offers or promotions?
- Do you manually book attendees and distribute invoices?
- Is it easy for attendees to cancel, re-book and be added to waiting lists?
- Do you lose track of how many pieces of communication you issue to delegates, trainers, venues or suppliers related to one course?
- Do your trainers have mobile access to course delegate lists, sign in sheets and course documents?
- Is reporting, such as tracking attendance and finances essential to your business?
- Would document generation of course materials, such as sign in sheets; name badges; evaluation surveys, and certificates be useful?
- Do your clients require visibility of their employee training?
Once you have defined your criteria then you have your own clear list for deciding whether a training management system is good or bad.
There are a lot of different terms around - what else is a training management system known as?
There's lots of terms that are used interchangeably to describe training management software including: training management system; course management software; software for training companies; training business software; training booking system; course administration system; training admin software; training CRM, and many more!