Last updated: 26.07.13

Use your LMS to prepare for audits

Why using an LMS is the best way to ensure your organisation is audit ready.

In our most recent webinar delivered by the team at Virtual College we looked at the importance for many organisations of “Audit Trails of Training” and how a well-designed and configured LMS can provide organisations with evidence of compliance to mandatory training requirements.

While it has been popular in recent years to criticise e-learning led compliance courses, in my view they play a crucial part in training staff in the required systems and procedures. We have delivered several hundred thousand e-learning compliance courses and the vast majority of our learners tell us that they really valued and enjoyed these courses.

Indeed, I firmly believe that the importance of compliance led courses will continue to grow, and here is why:

In health and social care, after the recent scandals of poor care standards, the unannounced audit and inspection from the newly invigorated CQC will place much greater demands upon hospitals and care homes for learning audit trails. In food manufacturing, after the unfortunate horse meat scandal, I believe we will also see an enhanced audit regime impacting on all food manufacturers, with a new regime driven by large retailers and restaurant chains.

Indeed, this will mean several unannounced audits a year for many organisations.

These unannounced audits are also likely to become more demanding, and if organisations are unable to provide detailed audit trails of training in the required systems and procedures, the consequences for them could be very serious indeed in the present climate.

A well-built LMS will provide you will the ability to record learner training and keep a central record of all face-to-face and e-learning courses completed, making it the easiest and most effective way for any organisation to ensure it can provide an auditor with the required training records on demand.

Instead of physically chasing up team members to see if they have completed the tasks you set them, a click of a mouse can produce a report that shows you who has completed training, who is part way through and who hasn’t started. What makes this function even more valuable is the way it categorises the users, so you can look out for patterns. Indeed, you are now running your own compliance audits.

The audit function on the Enable LMS is very powerful indeed and allows for compliance audits to be matched to job roles and competencies matrices, giving even greater flexibility in monitoring and measuring how up to date training actually is and, even more interestingly, how flexible your workforce is. Seeing all this is easy using one of our LMS reporting dashboards.

As an example, in a factory environment it was found that everybody who hadn’t completed the training worked in the same area, and after a little investigation it was discovered that they had a team member on long term sick, meaning their workload didn’t allow for the designated time to complete their training. A quick chat and shuffle of the timetable meant that within the week everybody had finished and the whole company was up to speed, ready for any inspection that might come their way.

At Virtual College our whole approach is built round our Enable Learning Management System, dedicated to ensuring learners learn and managers can track and evidence the learning and training, and this is how we do it: We support the learner, the LMS administrators and the management team with our dedicated first line support desk to ensure our Enable LMS delivers those learning records ready for any audit, announced or unannounced.

By Rod Knox, Virtual college CEO