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Training administration software?


I am running a course for training administrators and they have told me that most commercially available training administration software relies on links to the HR system. For some of them that is fine, because they work as part of HR and can share a system. However, for those that for various reasons are unable to access the HR database, or link to it, the systems are unreliable and over-complicated.

Can anyone recommend a simple system that can 'stand alone' from the HR system? It would need to keep historical data on trainees and courses, produce joining instructions, delegate lists, 'to do' lists for the course administrators, generate the paperwork for course cancellations etc etc.

Julie Butler

Recommendations only please!

14 Responses

  1. Integrate not Separate.
    I would strongly advise against a separate database for training records as this can lead to problems of information not being kept up to date and having to complete 2 data protection verifications and numerous other problems.

    The problem sounds like they have poor systems not only for training by generally. A good system should not relieve on links but should use the same core data so that when some is changed in one part of the system it is automatically there in the other parts. Yes HR and Training have different needs but much of the core data is the same.

    Much of the problem in this area is because people either get a friend or the IT department to write something for them or they buy the cheapest they can find. If you want a Rolls Royce you don’t buy a Mini the same applies to software. At the end of the day you pay for what you get.

    The other thing them must do before looking is write down everything they think that if should be able to do and check the replacement software of against there list.

    I have replaced training and HR systems for a number of large and medium size companies and nine times out of ten the reasons the previous systems did not work were for the reasons stated above.

    Try looking at people like Compel their systems are totally integrated.

    There is an exhibition called Softworld HR & Payroll form at the NEC Birmingham, on the 16 – 17 October bookings via at which you will see the major products in the HR and Training fields.

    If you need anymore information please contact me on [email protected] or on 0207 379 7255

  2. On the other hand …
    I’m sure what Iain says is correct mid-90s thinking, but I think the gist of your question was that you (or rather the people on your course) want a mini, not a Rolls Royce, and that, for whatever reason, integration is not possible.

    For instance, maybe some of the people on your courses are freelance trainers who just happen to be contracted, pro tem, to large corporates. Integration of systems may not be a very practicable answer in that case, but there is still a need for the admin things you mention.

    Iain will disagree, but I can see no reason why all the things you mention (possibly not “etc etc”: needs very clear definition, as Iain says) couldn’t be done with a relatively simple Access database. That’s free, software-wise (assuming they have it already), and it wouldn’t take long to develop. There may even be a free Access template somewhere, or one that could be tailored. Hopefully someone else will know of one and post an answer.

    Integration is desirable of course, but there are all sorts of new technologies that can pull disparate systems together, without having to throw the old ones away and buy a Rolls Royce. Look at what Cap Gemini are doing for instance: they have learned from experience that the way to avoid massive IT debacles is to give the customer what the customer wants, not assume they know better than the customer and impose a solution on them.


  3. Access Database
    I am not aware of any pre-coded Access applications, but in the past, I’ve worked with Access databases that were used for the purpose of managing training as required here.

    A simple system, integrated with Word and Excel can produce good results for very little programming time.

  4. 2000 not 90’s
    I would strongly disagree with the comments about my thinking being 90’s thinking. If you had asked me the question in the 90’s then I would have told you with one or two exceptions it was impossible to have a totally integrated system. Even today the number of truly ingregrated systems of a satisfactory standard is limited.

    Modern technology such as SQL allows for the total integration of systems. SQL programmes only really started to come out in this market in 1999.

    With regard to the use of MS Access, yes it can link to Excel and Word but if you are hold any personal data you could be in serious breach of the data protection act as it requires that personal information is properly protected. Before anyone saying that Access can be pass worded there are a number of programs on the market for very little cost that will tell me the pass word in about 30 seconds.

    My experience has been that the only person who benefits out the development of a bespoke programme is the developer as you keep having to go back to them to develop the system to meet you needs and then to change it and your needs change.

    By buying a professionally written programme you will be learning from the experiences of other users. Some of the better software companies are now including as part of their support programme upgrades to the software so as changes are made following comments from users those comments benefit all users of the software.

    Rolls Royces do not have to cost a fortune. They can often cost less than the clapped out mini that you keep on having to repair.

  5. SQL
    SQL dates back to the late 1960s. However, none of this helps Julie much!

    Sorry if I offended Iain: happy to continue the discussion elsewhere, but it doesn’t really seem to answer this question.

  6. Training Administration Software?

    I spent some time reviewing standalone training admin options earlier this year.

    We use our own access based system here but were looking at simple yet fully featured off-shelf alternatives.

    My personal favourite for standalone internal use within an enterprise was FOUNTAIN Training Administration & Employee Development. Further information from:

    Dunraven House
    Meadow Court
    High Street
    OX28 6RW

    Tel: 01993 709100
    Fax: 01993 709300

    For organisations that sell training services externally my recommendation would probably be COURSEBOOKER. More information from:

    Bank House
    The Paddock
    SK9 3HQ

    Telephone Number: +44(0) 1625 537777

    I hope this helps.

    Best wishes

  7. We recommend FlexTraining
    will provide you great flexibility and stand alone administrative support. I would be glad to answer your questions and tell you about our experience,if you like.

    Joe P. Bray

  8. Something that works

    I had the same problem when working for a local authority.

    The solution was to design a complete training system using Microsoft Access. Which I did.

    It was extremely useful and met everyones needs.

    I am happy to discuss this and give you a copy of my program.

    Please e-mail m if you wish to try it

    Best Regards


  9. Oh thought i’d better add
    Oh thought i’d better add that most of the options suggest in earlier replies are no longer available

  10. Hi Julie, all,
    Hi Julie, all,

    We’re new to the Training Course Administration Software sector.

    We will be releasing later this year (2017) and will be an easy to use but powerful Training Company or Department Management Software system based in the cloud.

    We’ll be aiming to serve the needs of smaller training companies or department level needs within larger organisations.

    Initially we’ll be only a cloud based solution but hope to add an on-premise version in 2018 (you install it on you own computers).

    We are not an LMS (learning management system), we’re just a ‘does what it says on the tin’ solution for those needing to schedule and manage training courses and to automate tasks like sending joining instructions or generating certificates. We’ll handle resource allocation and clashes too (rooms, equipment, trainers/instructors).



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