What is training management software, and why is it important?

There's a difference between training management software and training management systems.

June 9, 2021

Article highlights

  • What is training management software?
  • Difference between a training management system and software
  • Capabilities your software should include

Training management has come a long way since we first began paying attention to organizational training and development. Sixty years ago and more, if training was measured at all, it was tracked via index cards, forms, and log sheets. 

As the need for accreditation grew and organizations began developing policies and procedures, the need for tracking all employees' training grew as well. So training management systems were created to help HR staffers and training professionals measure who was taking their training and how and when.

Now training management software, also called digital training software, makes it possible for those same professionals to easily track that information, access more resources, connect with third-party tools, and analyze data in new and interesting ways.

What is training management software?

Training management software is just what it sounds like: software that helps manage a company's training program.

Think of a regular training session held 20 years ago. There was usually an in-person presentation, instruction, or video. There was sometimes an assessment and then an acknowledgment that the attendee had completed the training. That all got tracked in a binder or spreadsheet until it was time to count the number of employees who had received the necessary training for accreditation compliance.

Training management software is an application that helps HR or training staff administer, track, and report on all instructor-led training, completions, and certifications. Just like enterprise resource planning software is a central hub for a company's inventory and financial data, digital training software is a central hub for the company's training and development efforts.

Difference between training management software and a training management system

A training management system is just the system someone has developed to manage all the training. It could be handled with binders and paper logs that keep track of all training events and certifications. Or it could all be handled with a database or Excel spreadsheet. Essentially, it's like a binder-and-paper system, only it's all stored digitally on something that wasn't actually made for training management.

But training management software is an application built specifically to help you with training management. Rather than muddle about with paper assessments and sign-in sheets or cobble together a few spreadsheets on software that was never made for training management, you can use software that is specifically geared toward this specific function.

Capabilities your software should include

Training management software should be a cloud-based application that's accessible from anywhere by authorized personnel but secure enough to prevent access by outsiders.

It should be able to incorporate assessment data from other applications, such as remote learning software or web-based training modules.

Training management software should let you create training progress reports in seconds, not hours and hours of tabulating everyone's past attendance and test results.

It should also tie into your accreditation and/or policy management software. This way, you can know when and how well your employees are trained on your different policies and procedures, and then apply that information to your accreditation tracking so you can show your accreditation monitors that everything is completed.

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