5 great training management systems for training providers in 2024
What is a training management system?
Training generates a lot of data - information about courses, bookings and learners. Small training providers and freelancers often start with MS Excel, but the data soon becomes difficult to manage; you get more errors in data, searching across multiple spreadsheets is slow and it’s hard to do useful data analysis.
A training management system is the next step. A typical training management system will include online course publishing, bookings and enquiries, payments, invoicing, customer relationship management (CRM) and some kind of reporting/analytics.
Some training management systems include more specialist functionally. For example, there are systems for training providers that deliver apprenticeship training - systems that simplify the data collection and reporting processes that are associated with apprenticeship training and associated funding claims. Other systems are designed to support training delivery and management inside large organisations.
What should you look for in a training management system?
This is our checklist:
Can you publish course descriptions online?
Can your customers book and pay for courses online?
How easy is it to integrate your online directory with your existing training company website?
Does the training management system include attendance registers, learner feedback surveys and certificates?
How easy is it to use the data you collect about organisations and learners to create email marketing campaigns?
How hard is it to export data into other systems? How do you get your data out if you decide to switch to another system at some point?
How does pricing work? What happens when your learner enrolments increase and your business begins to grow?
We’ve taken a quick look at 5 of the top training management systems. These are established systems that include functionality to support the end-to-end delivery of training, from online publishing and enrolment to communication and analytics.
1. Dante Systems
Accounts - sophisticated features include credit notes, vouchers and cancellation fees. There are integrations with leading accounts software like Sage and Xero.
Course Tools - tools include online booking, resource scheduling, trainer management and support for awarding body compliance.
Delegate Management - includes group bookings, cancellations & transfers, evaluation and feedback. You can also use delegate photos to generate ID cards and certificates.
Online Booking - Dante’s online booking functionality integrates with your existing website. It includes online payments via Stripe.
Integrated CRM - all data about delegates, bookings and invoices is stored inside Dante. Dante’s email system stores copies of all messages - so you can see a contact's full communication history.
Dante - What we like
Dante’s fully featured accounting and finance system includes integrations, payment terms for individual customers, a credit facility (you get notified when a customer is about to overspend) and price agreements - you can set course specific or global discounts for individual customers.
Dante's Standout Feature
Awarding Body Compliance - Dante includes features that make it easier to store coursework, generate awarding body approved certificates and export delegate data in CSV format for upload into awarding body systems.
£400/month for 5 users. That’s on the Professional Plan - the plan that includes online course booking. There is also a £1250 to £2500 implementation fee.
Course Management - create different kinds of courses, build resource schedules. Accessplanit includes a trainer portal and integration with MS Exchange and Outlook calendars.
Surveys & Feedback - build custom feedback surveys for both before and after courses. Surveys can be sent via email or accessed through the learner portal.
Customer Relationship Management - all customer data is stored in AccessPlanit. You can also create custom fields - so you have some control over the data you choose to collect. Access levels to customer data can be set so different groups of users have access.
Reporting & BI - sophisticated reporting tools include both built in reports and dashboards, but also tools to build bespoke/custom dashboards and reports.
Online Booking & Payments - multiple payment gateways mean you can choose your preferred payment gateway. Course set-up options so delegates can book for optional or mandatory sessions.
Sales & Marketing - fully featured sales and CRM system includes email campaigns, sales pipeline analysis, lead capture through your website and integration with Google Analytics.
AccessPlanIT - What we like
Accessplanit’s automation features aim to streamline much of the routine admin around training management. You can set various rules and triggers to automate tasks like email communication, joining instructions, certificate generation and feedback surveys.
AccessPlanIT's Standout Feature
Accessplanit includes a Kanban board for day-to-day task management.
There’s no pricing on the Accessplanit website. You request a quote.
Course Management - manage courses, room availability and repeat courses. Bulk course creation by importing data in spreadsheets.
Online Registration - simple registration forms, online payments (multiple payment gateways to choose from). You can also set up applicant screening for funded courses that have specific entry requirements.
Finance & Invoicing - integration with your exisitng finance system. Booking transfers, refunds and cancellations can all be managed in Arlo. Invoices can be generated from your own branded templates.
Certificates & Licences - Arlo's automated reminders let customers know when they need to book training because their certification is about to expire. Customers can use Arlo to maintain audit-ready records of certification and licensing information.
Online Webinars - simplifies the management and admin oif multiple online video sessions. Integrates with popular web conferencing tools like MS Teams and Zoom.
Blended Learning - Arlo enables more complex courses that are a mixture of face-to-face, video and traditional elearning activities.
CRM - includes functionality for managing customers, leads and learners. With Arlo you can capture leads directly from your website.
Arlo - What we like
Arlo includes a Salesforce integration plugin. Organisations that choose Arlo and already use Salesforce can synchronize organisations, leads and courses between the two platforms.
Arlo's Standout Feature
Arlo's integratrion with WordPress makes it easier for training providers to build a more integarted experience for website visitors. Arlo comes with a set of pre-built web pages and WordPress widgets.
Arlo has a nice pricing calculator that lets you build your own quote based on your requirements.
Administrate is a bit different from other systems we’ve looked at because it is more focused on enterprise training. It is used by organisations that train their own staff.
Course Templates - allow you to build and copy courses from pre-existing templates that already include the information needed to deliver the training activity.
Scheduler - with Administrate you can schedule courses in advance across multiple locations. Scheduling speeds up trainer allocation and resource planning.
Automated Emails - will speed up communication with learners across the organisation.
Administrate - What we like
Collaborative learning paths. Individual learners can have their own learning path - a sequence of professional development courses and activities. With Administrate’s built reporting you can see learner progress and schedule training for learners who are waiting on a learner path.
Administrate's Standout Feature
Focus is more on enterprise training - so in-house company training management.
No pricing on the website - need to request a quote.
Schedule & Manage - plan and schedule courses. Genius say their course management features reduce training administration time by 65% on average. Attendance registers can be completed by trainers and viewed by customers - so they can see how often staff attended courses.
Customers & Learners - includes detailed records for learners that enable qualification management, attendance and qualification renewal reminders.
Trainers/Instructors - detailed records for trainers. Trainers also get their own Trainer Portal. They see their own diary for tasks, events and assignments.
Bookings & Finance - all finances can be managed inside Genius. There are integrations with popular accounts packages like Xero, Quickbooks and Sage. Customer card payments are supported through Stripe.
Genius - What we like
The Genius customer platform allows customers to track and manage invoices, payments, orders and more. Corporate clients get to manage their learners - they can view attendance, qualifications and exam results.
Genius' Standout Feature
Genius comes with some smart data analysis features. For example, with Genius you can dig into data about customers, the courses they book and how much they spend across time. You can identify customers who may qualify for special promotional status.
Premium - £250/month per user licence. Minimum x2.
There’s also a £995 setup fee. There’s an additional charge for data import.
There are two other things that may work for you if you are a larger training provider.
First, you can ask a software company to develop a bespoke training management system. Yes, there may be more upfront cost, but you should get a more focused solution that over time will pay for itself and the cost can be spread by breaking a bespoke software development down into smaller phases.
Bespoke works for training companies that want to do some or all of the following:
Create a system that is a much closer fit with existing or planned future business processes.
Build an end-to-end system that integrates online learning (e-learning) delivery with tutor management, online assessments and certification.
Avoid increased licensing costs as learner (and user admin) numbers grow.
Develop a multi-tenancy training management system that can be white labelled and resold to other training providers.
There’s also the Salesforce or Dynamics 365 option. This is a bit like the bespoke option, but you’re starting inside Dynamics or Salesforce, using the tools that come with those platforms. This option might work for training organisations that are looking for a CRM focused solution. You can find links to our earlier posts about Salesforce and Dynamics 365 in the list below.