What is a Learning Management System (LMS)?

Sophie Doust /

The ultimate guide to understanding the wonderful world of the Learning Management System (LMS).

When beginning your search for a Learning Management System (LMS) it can feel a bit overwhelming, with endless eLearning jargon and people referring to it as being used for a variety of different purposes.

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

In this handy LMS guide, we’ll give you all the information you need to easily get to grips with the fundamentals of a Learning Management System.

Let’s start at the beginning, what is an LMS?

You’ve been asked to look for an LMS, so the first thing you need to do is understand exactly what is meant by the term.

LMS stands for Learning Management System and is a type of SaaS product (software-as-a-service) used by businesses to upload, deliver, manage and report on online learning.

If you’ve been on a course and had to complete mandatory online learning beforehand or were required to do some health and safety eLearning prior to starting a job in the food industry, the courses would’ve been hosted and accessed by a Learning Management System.

Much like Netflix is an online DVD player, hosting thousands of films and series, an LMS is an online system that hosts a range of learning materials and tracks progress.

Who uses an LMS?

We’ve established what a Learning Management System is but who’s using it?

Delivering learning throughout an organisation can be a time-consuming task with many different things to consider, so businesses of all sizes use an LMS to simplify the tasks associated with facilitating and reporting on online training.

Smaller companies to large enterprises from a variety of industries use Learning Management Systems, however their requirements might vary due to the size of the organisation.

An SME with slightly less employees may use an LMS with the main purpose of making it easier to manage general employee learning whereas large enterprises could use an LMS to ensure compliance across complex business structures.

What is an LMS used for?

When searching for an LMS, you’ll often come across terms like ‘compliance LMS’ or ‘employee training LMS’ but the beauty of a Learning Management System is that it has multiple purposes!

Learning Management System’s tackle a variety of specific training needs from one place and priorities will change depending on the needs of the organisation and industry. For instance, the financial sector often focus heavily on compliance.

However, compliance is just one of the many uses of an LMS!

Below we’ve compiled a list of the most typical uses of an LMS:

Onboarding/ Inductions

As businesses are subject to frequent change, often HR administrators spend a lot of time updating onboarding resources for them to be out-of-date a few months later. Using an LMS, they can easily welcome new employees with the ability to quickly amend induction information and can even send out onboarding for new starters before they begin!

Product and sales learning

An LMS allows businesses to quickly get staff up to speed on any new products or processes, especially useful for equipping sales teams with all the knowledge they need to attract new prospects.

Compliance training

Although its often dreaded, businesses of all sizes have a legal obligation to ensure completion of compliance learning, such as GDPR or health & safety. A Learning Management System allows businesses to easily administer and document compliance learning with reporting functionality. As some industries, such as insurance, require their employees to complete a number of CPD hours, the LMS provides them with the tools to monitor CPD hours throughout their business.

Example of a Learning Management System being used for compliance training
Jardine Motor Group using our glo learn LMS to deliver annual GDPR learning. Read the case study.

Skills development

Recognised as a top priority for L&D, more frequently companies require their LMS to identify skills gaps and recommend appropriate learning resources to develop soft skills and prepare employees for industry changes.

Classroom-based training

Despite an LMS being designed to deliver online learning, one of the key uses is to manage face-to-face training with the ability to schedule & assign courses, send booking information and monitor workshop attendance.

What are the main LMS benefits?

We’ve discovered the primary uses of an LMS but how does an LMS make it easier for businesses to achieve these goals? There are many advantages to using an LMS for businesses and learners.


Organising employee training is a time-consuming task with multiple things to consider, from assigning learning to different departments & regions, scheduling classroom learning and tracking learning completion. With an LMS’s capabilities, automate learning activities and reports, as well as using the classroom booking function to send automatic reminders for face-to-face or online learning, saving time manually organising training.

Reduce cost

From the cost of L&D or HR teams spending time booking training to the cost of hiring trainers and speakers, delivering training can be an expensive requirement. However, with an LMS, free up the time of your learning professionals and minimise trainer costs by administering learning online.

Report on learning

As compliance is one of the biggest reasons for needing to deliver employee training, reporting provides a huge benefit to organisations. Using reporting, businesses can track employee learning and ensure they’re meeting compliance regulations, as well as assess business performance.

Drive learner engagement

Thanks to the diversity of an LMS, make learning engaging by uploading and delivering multiple types of learning from eLearning to online assessments and quizzes.

Learn anytime, anywhere

Nothing demotivates a learner more than not letting them complete learning at a time that suits them or not giving them the freedom to explore additional resources. With an LMS, learners can access learning at a time and place that meets their needs, as well as explore a range of learning activities to develop skills.

Meet multiple training needs from one place

Rather than using different software or spreadsheets to monitor each learning requirement, an LMS allows businesses to achieve multiple learning goals from one system. From induction and compliance to product learning and CPD, businesses can upload, deliver and track various types of learning via one user-friendly system.

What are the common LMS features?

Although all LMS’s vary slightly with their range of functionality, there are common LMS features that you should expect from your system. Typical LMS features include:

  • Learning assignment & scheduling
  • Function to upload a range of learning resources
  • User management
  • Reports & dashboards
  • Course management
  • Classroom booking
  • Automated admin tasks (enrolling users, course reminders)
  • Learning pathways
  • Skills assessments
  • Gamified features (badges, points and leaderboards)
  • Certificates
  • Mobile learning

How our glo™ learn LMS features are different from the rest!

In addition to the above LMS features, our glo™ learn LMS provides advanced functionality that tailors the system to your learning requirements! Don’t fit your training around a system, find the LMS that can be personalised to your learning needs!

Deliver learning in complex organisation structures

Working with leading brands that have multiple franchises or a range of locations & offices, we specialise in helping businesses easily deliver and track learning in even the most complicated organisation structures.

Content management capabilities

With learning requirements changing regularly, why be stuck with a rigid homepage design? Using the content management features, amend text, move widgets to highlight particular learning activities and alter homepages for different departments, personalising the LMS to your business needs.

Customisable dashboard that shows reward points on Kia Motors Learning Management System
Kia Motors Uk used our customisable dashboard to deliver their new credit-based reward system. Read the full case study.


More than just a SaaS system, our LMS makes it easier to meet KPI’s with customisation. The advanced functionality allows us to create custom widgets to help make day-to-day admin tasks quicker to access, make specific LMS pages for key learning requirements and design custom dashboards and reports, all specific to your business.

The functionality helps businesses to create and configure a system to work for them; instead of having to bend the business around a system.


Engaging Visual Learning Journeys

Our award-winning Visual Learning Journeys guide users on a visual pathway of learning, creating an interactive learning experience where learners complete activities to earn badges or points that place them on a leaderboard. Using the journey builder, administrators can easily create their own Visual Learning Journeys personalised to their business by adding brand images and content.

Kia, Renault and Suzuki Visual Learning Journeys and gamified reward points and points available with glo learn LMS.

Identify skills gaps and recommend learning

Using our glo™ skills add-on module, learners can complete skills assessments, invite managers & peers for 180° & 360° reviews and download PDF reports that recommend learning activities. This lets businesses easily assess employee performance and help employees with career development.

glo™ skills LMS add-on module from glo™ learn LMS.

Interested in seeing how our LMS can be tailored to meet your needs?

Drop us a line at getintouch@digits.co.uk or give us a ring on +44 (0)1489 889900.

Or see glo™ learn’s functionality for yourself, by arranging your free demo below!

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