Using an LMS to house association content and courses

Using an LMS to house association content and courses

Sunday 29th March 2020
Francis Greenwood

Members often go to associations for knowledge and insight into their industry, how an association is able to present this information with a Learning Management System (LMS) can often provide more benefits than traditional methods.
An LMS can be used as a hub to store training documents. This can be more effective than housing information on a website because it provides a ready-made layout for document storage and a way for anyone at the association to quickly upload PDF, PowerPoint, Word, Video, and Audio files, which is easily accessible to members.
This content can also be made into interactive short courses. These can be anything from converted PowerPoint slides, right the way through to interactive videos with assessments and certificates upon completion. Associations can then provide these courses onto the members for them to be used as company training materials.
An LMS can also be utilised for running professional qualifications from awarding bodies, members can submit assignments and receive feedback from assessors through the system.

The system can also be to organise face to face training conferences and webinars on a session calendar. The association can receive feedback from members on these events through the system features.
How many of these functions the association wants to give to its members is entirely at their discretion. Once the association has decided on their offering they can market the LMS in a variety of ways, either by selling individual courses to members, or by offering monthly/annual licencing fees for members to access the system.

Offering Members Additional Training Materials

One of the biggest blocks to a member providing their staff with training is budget restraints. With the bulk purchasing power of an association they could provide pre-made high quality training to companies that would otherwise not consider a comprehensive approach to staff training. Topics which can be covered as online courses include:
• Health & Safety Training
• HR Compliance Modules
• Role Specific Courses
• Business Soft Skills
• IT Courses (Including Microsoft Office and niche software training).
These courses may not be directly linked to the function of the association, but members will have requirements for them on a regular basis. In the same way that many insurance companies now provide HR and H&S training, an association can now help member businesses to cultivate a safer and more productive working environment at a fraction of the cost of face to face training or going directly to an online content provider.

Allowing Members to Tailor Part of the System for Their Company

Just like with access to additional training content, members face a price barrier to implementing a high-end learning management system.
Members want to use an LMS to store their own training material, log face to face training sessions, run reports, and to proactively manage training through the system. Because of the time and money usually associated with setup, many companies shelve LMS projects indefinitely, rather than implementing a system that would better meet their training needs.
Professional associations can sell licences to their members with the understanding that they have their own personal subsection of the system. This subsection can be branded to look and feel like part of the member's own website, and with access to admin user roles, members can use the system to manage all of their own training.
Because the member companies are going through the association they receive cost effective licences, but the main benefit is that the system is much easier to implement than if they had gone directly to an LMS provider. The association has already vetted a versatile LMS that meets training requirements, they know there aren't any hidden costs, and providing members their own subsection and admin roles is as easy as a few clicks on their own live system.

Want to find out more about how your association can generate revenue through an LMS? Our consultants can provide you with proposal tailored for your needs so that you can see if this is the right move for your association.