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Fixing exceptions 

The exception report details any errors that have occurred when the system has tried to calculate the completion dates and enrolments for the Learners assigned to a program/certification e.g. the completion criteria states the Learner has 30 days from the position start date to complete the program. If the position start date field has not been completed then the program is unable to calculate the program end date.

The Site Administrator receives an email when there is a new exception reported on a program or certification.

  1. To view the exception report click the Exception Report tab from the program page. The report details the name of the user, the user ID number, and the issue.

  2. Once you know what the error is you can decide how to fix it.

  3. You can use the Select and Action fields to perform bulk actions. Select allows you to select all the users that meet a certain condition. Action allows you to select an action. The available actions are:

    • Assign: This means 'ignore the exception and add them to the program anyway'. The user is now treated like any other user who was assigned without getting an exception. They should receive any program messages that other users would have got at the time when the exception is resolved. In the background the exception still exists it is just marked as 'handled'. Otherwise it might be recreated again.
    • Set realistic due date and assign: The system automatically calculates a realistic time frame for the Learner. This is based upon the minimum program time required plus one week. 
    • Do not assign: This means dismiss the exception. The user is still assigned to the program/certification and will appear in the completion report. If the user was added to the program/certification in error, they must be removed via the Program Assignment method used.

  4. Click Ok on the confirmation box that appears after you set the appropriate condition and action. This action may take a few minutes to complete.

Exception types

There are several different types of exceptions that occur in different circumstances.

Time allowance exceptions

On the Content tab, course sets have a Minimum time required field which states the shortest time that someone would need to complete that course set. These values are then used to calculate a total minimum time required for the program by combining the individual minimum times for each course set (how it is calculated depends on if course sets have THEN or OR logic between them). In more recent versions we print the Total minimum time required at the top of the content tab.

On the Assignments tab a Site Administrator can specify a completion date, which can either be a specific date, or a date relative to some other criteria.

A time allowance exception occurs when the difference between the completion date and the time the assignment is made is less than the total minimum time required.

An example of this: A program consists of one course set with a minimum time of five days. The Site Administrator assigns user A and sets the completion date to be 'Within 10 days of first login'.

Today is 14th October 2019. User A first logged in 1st September 2019. Therefore "within 10 days of first login" is equal to 1st Sept + 10 days = 11th Sept for that user. Since the user's due date is already in the past, they didn't have the minimum time to complete so an exception is thrown for that user.

Now imagine user B was also assigned with the same criteria, but they first logged in on 13th October: "Within 10 days of first login" is 13th October + 10 days = 23rd October. Today is 14th October so that gives them nine days to complete. The minimum time is five days, so therefore no exception is thrown for user B.

Already assigned to program exceptions

This exception type is thrown if:

  • A user has this program assigned to them via one of their learning plans. The program must have been approved and the learning plan must be active for it to count.
  • They are then assigned to the program via the assignments tab.

The reason for this exception is to let the admin know that they made have already completed the program (so it might not be necessary to assign it to them).

Assigned programs will appear under Required Learning for the user, whereas programs added via a learning plan do not.

Completion time unknown exceptions

This exception can occur if the completion date uses a relative date, but the relative date can't be calculated for that user for some reason.

For example, if you used the completion date of '10 days after a specific profile date field', but a particular user did not have any value set for that profile date field then you would get an exception.

Duplicate course in different certifications exceptions

This exception is raised if the user is being assigned to a certification, and the certification contains a course that is also included in another certification that the same user is assigned to. That would be bad because certifications will reset courses when they expire and you shouldn't have the same course being reset for the same user from two different sources.

Duplicate course in different certifications exception types do not apply to programs.

Totara Academy

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Programs and certifications in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use programs and certifications, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

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