A comprehensive primer on choosing a Learning Management System (LMS) for government agencies

post cover

Reduce risk, stay compliant, and manage accreditation with a well-designed training system — no matter the size, scope, or mission of your agency.

Whether you’re leading a new initiative for a federal agency or you’ve just been elected to your local city council for the first time, in the near future you’ll almost certainly need to educate your staff or the public on new policies, procedures, or regulations. And managing that training is just one function a learning management system, or LMS, can help you accomplish.

Government LMS Basics

Governments are notorious for their paperwork requirements. But managing training, compliance mandates, accreditation requirements, and privacy and safety regulations makes building a manual pen-and-paper training system inefficient. On the other hand, the complexity of most government programs — from federal to state to municipal organizations — means off-the-shelf software solutions aren’t usually up to the task.

Building or customizing a digital solution and maintaining it in-house will require approvals, specialized personnel, time, and a sizable budget. While utilizing a one-size-fits-all software-as-a-service (SaaS) option may be implemented more quickly and for a fraction of the cost — it also creates issues with security and privacy compliance.

All of this makes finding the right solution for your agency more difficult. That said, a flexible, modern SaaS solution, from a proper, government-approved provider, will often meet your needs more quickly, evolve as requirements change, and wind up costing your taxpayers less in the long run. 

Utilizing your LMS: Integration

Before rolling out an LMS for your government agency or department, it’s important to make sure that the solution you’ve chosen integrates with your existing technology. Once an appropriately secure and integrated system is in place, the versatility of an advanced LMS will help you meet your training and compliance needs while being ready to adapt and scale as needed.

Use case 1: Onboarding and ongoing training

Hopefully the days of enormous three-ring binder employee manuals are behind us — but the need to make sure your workforce has the right training to do their jobs properly will be ever-present. An LMS helps you move beyond an infodump and a signature to ensure compliance. You can build interactive training that ensures your employees are engaged and learning, while tracking and maintaining records of their progress.

Use case 2: Accreditation tracking and reporting

Ensuring regulatory compliance often means keeping accurate records, tracking employee credentials, and creating reports on your workforce. While doing this manually may not prove too difficult, keeping track of this across departments and thousands of workers would be nearly impossible. With an LMS, the system helps you build those reports and ensure your employees stay compliant with timely reminders and easy-to-access learning opportunities.

Use case 3: Educating the public

From multiple forms to odd office hours to changing documentation requirements, it’s critical for government departments and agencies to engage and educate the public in a timely, accessible way. A public-facing LMS module tailored to the needs of government can help an agency provide educational resources, interact intuitively with the public and ensure they have the resources they need to navigate the complexity of government systems.

Benefits an LMS should provide to government clients

Regulatory compliance

From where and how data is stored to access management and more, ensuring any LMS solution meets the myriad of federal, state, and local regulations isn’t just a nice-to-have. It’s the base level service that must be met to even consider a provider. Partnering with an experienced LMS provider who has served government agencies at all levels is critical to ensuring no detail is missed.

Tracking and reporting

The larger your department, the more daunting the task of ensuring your workforce is up-to-date on their training. Utilizing an LMS that not only tracks employee progress and certification but also helps you build reports is critical to keeping your workforce compliant with all training and credentialing mandates.

Easy customization

The training system you need to build today will likely not be the system you need a few years from now. Policy changes may require net-new training to be built. Whatever the case may be, if your LMS requires costly developer resources every time you need to scale or adapt, your solution will quickly fall out of use. Ensure the LMS you choose is able to grow and adapt easily alongside your needs.

Choosing your government LMS

Your department’s requirements, regulations, and policies are likely complicated —meaning choosing your LMS is complicated. So how do you even begin to evaluate an LMS? Do you compare the features to your needs? Do you dive into how it’s deployed and integrated? Do you map out long-term goals and evaluate against those? Which ever approach you take, here are a few quick tips to help you get started:

Tips for choosing an LMS

  • Focus on the intended experience and results: Make sure solutions you’re evaluating are intuitive, mobile-friendly, and meet the needs of your workforce.
  • Remember ALL of your end users: Outside of your training participants, you’ll likely have different teams setting up courses, dashboards, and automated reporting — all on a variety of devices. These employees likely include a range of experience and comfort with technology. Ensuring all team members can easily use the tool is critical to its success.
  • Know your needs: It’s impossible to find a solution before you truly know what you need. From regulatory requirements to solution features, build a comprehensive list of all your needs and requirements and evaluate potential solutions against this list.
  • Integrations can unlock adoption: Technology that doesn’t integrate with your current systems will only create more complexity. Look for an LMS that integrates with your existing technology. This will help drive adoption, engagement, and long term use.
  • Always be ready for audits: From changing regulations to unexpected public information requests, your LMS should be ready to turn out the required reporting clearly and easily, right when you need it.
  • Made-to-evolve: Your first priority is often meeting the need right in front of you, but it’s rare for needs to stay the same over time. Can your solution evolve with your department to meet new needs and regulations in the future?

The end result

Governments are vast, complex and employ thousands of people. The government workforce has changed post-covid and remote flexibility has become more apparent. Any learning management system that you implement should have a primary goal of reducing complexity and meeting learners where they are comfortable. But finding a solution to meet your regulatory requirements and security mandates is no easy task. Finding a solution that exceeds those needs and sets you up for future success while reducing complexity? That’s a job for a modern, flexible LMS managed by a partner with deep expertise deploying solutions for government clients — a partner like Learnsoft. Learn more about the new way of learning.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Related Resources