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Why tracking training matters

A phrase many training professionals recognise is, "it did not happen if we cannot track it". While that phrase can induce deep sighs, there are reasons it is so common, and reasons why it is so very true. More importantly, there are ways to accomplish it while eliminating the sound of sighs.

Everyone is familiar with two common reasons for tracking training: compliance and return on investment

When regulations require records for mandated courses, there better be a way to prove completions. This is especially true in industries such as Oil and Gas and Healthcare. Having all of this information in one central repository makes it a lot easier to prove to regulatory bodies.

Likewise, training can only be viewed as an investment when you can measure who took it and how it impacted the business, and pressure is increasing to prove program effectiveness according to 57% of respondents to PwC’s State of Compliance 2013 survey. The use of 360° feedback is a great tool here.

“Managing compliance is not just a functional necessity – it’s a critical component needed to successfully navigate the turbulent global environment and deliver against the business strategy” said Bobby Kipp, partner, PwC.  “Increasingly, [compliance professionals] are under intense scrutiny to provide value for money spent, and proving return on investment (ROI) continues to be difficult.”*

This is why tracking training and its outcomes is key.


There is a third, less common but equally important reason to track your training, which is to allow for strategic resource planning. When you know the who, what and how of an employee's training, you can use that information to project their ability to perform new functions or learn new skills.

This is invaluable information for any company especially due to rapidly changing technologies and business climates. When the next major change is near, training records can help define skill gaps and provide a map for future training needs.

Accruing this information is one thing but reporting, analysing and identifying trends is the key. You don't want to have a mountain of data available only to find that you cannot sort or analyse it to your benefit.

Through the use of the use of a training management system or LMS, this laborious task becomes significantly reduced by streamlining reporting, facilitating skills profiles and automated expiring award tracking. A facility for staff to request training is also hugely beneficial as after all, they can see first-hand the areas that they may be lacking in.

Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust have increased non-medical appraisal compliance sevenfold since 2010 and their development team can automatically track learner targets, expiring awards, certificates and competencies. Read more by downloading the case study.