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The Learning Plans block on the Record of Learning tab contains a list your learning plans. Learning plans are grouped into ActiveUnapproved, and Completed, and they are displayed chronologically.

The way learning plans work in your organisation is determined by the learning plan template set by the Site Administrator. See Templates to learn more.

You will also need to ensure that the Learning Plan enrolment plugin is enabled, as this is turned off by default. You can read more on the Enrolments page.

Create a learning plan

To assign a learning plan to a user you need to go to their profile. If you wish to bulk assign a learning plan to a group of people then this can be done via audiences, see the Auto-create learning plans section below.

  1. From the user's profile, select Learning Plans
  2. Click the Create new learning plan button.
  3. Choose a Plan template.
  4. Enter the Plan namePlan descriptionDate started and Completion date.
  5. Select Create plan.

Permissions for a learning plan will be inherited from the permission settings for the template that plan is based off. Changing the permissions for the learning plan template will affect all plans created from that template.

Creating a new learning plan.

Learning plan components

Learning plans have a number of components that you can add items to. The components are: courses, competencies, objectives and programs. Depending on how the learning plan template has been set up by your Site Administrator, you may have access to all components, or just specific ones.

Courses

  1. Select the Courses tab to view the course options for your learning plan.
  2. Select Add courses to add a course to your learning plan.
  3. Choose the course(s).
  4. Your chosen courses appear in the right-hand column. Select the delete icon to remove a course.
  5. Select Save to add the course(s) to your learning plan.

    When there are more than 100 courses in the category, you can only use the search function to select courses.

  6. Once a course has been added you are able to set the Priority and Due date (depending on the template settings).

  7. Select the delete icon to remove a course from your learning plan. 

Competencies

  1. Select the Competencies tab to view the competencies options for your learning plan.

    Your Site Administrator can set up your learning plan to work in a specific way. For example, they can choose to allow competencies assigned to your position and/or organisation to automatically appear in your learning plan when created.

  2. Select Add competencies to add a competency to your learning plan.
  3. Choose the competency framework you wish to add competencies from.
  4. Choose the competencies you wish to add.
  5. Your chosen competencies appear in the right-hand column. Select the delete icon to remove a competency.
  6. Select Continue.
  7. When you select a competency with a course assigned as an evidence item, the course(s) are displayed and selected by default. Uncheck the checkbox to prevent the course(s) being added to your learning plan (only possible with optional courses).
  8. Select Save to add the competencies and course(s) to your learning plan.

    When there are more than 100 competencies in the framework, you can only use the search function to select competencies.

    Competencies can have mandatory or optional courses associated with them, however the mandatory courses can't be unchecked.

  9. Once a competency has been added, you are able to set the Priority and Due date (depending on the template settings).
  10. Select the delete icon to remove a competency from your learning plan.

Objectives

  1. Select the Objectives tab to view the objective options for your learning plan.
  2. Select Add new objective to add an objective to your learning plan.
  3. Enter an Objective title and Objective description.
  4. Set a Priority, if available.
  5. Set a Status, if available.
  6. Select Add objective
  7. Once an objective has been added you are able to set the PriorityStatus, and Due date (depending on the template settings).
  8. Select the delete icon to remove an objective from your learning plan.

Programs

  1. Select the Programs tab to view the program options for your learning plan.
  2. Select Add programs to add a program to your learning plan.
  3. Choose the programs you wish to add.
  4. Your chosen programs appear in the right-hand column. Select the delete icon to remove a program.
  5. Select Save.

When there are more than 100 programs in the category, you can only use the search function to select programs.

Submitting a learning plan for approval

Once you have completed the plan, select Send approval request to submit your plan for approval. A notification is sent to your manager(s) and a new task appears in their Tasks block.

When your manager approves or declines your plan a notification is sent to you.

Approval and multiple job assignments

If you have multiple job assignments linked to different managers, approval requests and other learning plan notifications go to all of your managers. All of your managers have the ability to approve, decline or delete your learning plan and its components (depending on your plan permissions).

The first manager to act on any approval will be successful and other managers will see that approval has already occurred.

Auto-create learning plans 

  1. Go to Quick-access menu > Audiences and create a dynamic audience.
  2. Add a rule to select some users.
  3. Go to the Learning plan tab to create new learning plans for all members in the audience.
  4. The Plan template option will allow you to pick the template you want the users' plan to be based on. 
  5. The Exclude users who option lets you define audience members who shouldn’t get a new plan created. If a user meets any of the excluded criteria, a plan won’t be created for them.
  6. The Create new plans as option lets you define the status of newly created plans (draft or active). 
  7. You can also choose to Automatically create a new learning plan for every new user who becomes a member of this audience.
  8. Select Save and create plans.

It may take a few moment for the new learning plan to appear (depending on the frequency of your cron).
 

When you select Save and create plans, you will see a confirmation dialog explaining how many users will be affected and giving you the chance to confirm.

If you continue, the plans will be created and you will get a confirmation message. The history table will also be populated to show what was done.

If no users meet the plan creation criteria i.e. there is no-one in the audience, or all users meet the exclusion criteria, then the confirmation dialog will display No users require having learning plans created, the settings will be saved and the history table will be populated to show what was done.

If the have an existing, automatically created plan based on this template option for the Exclude users who setting is not set, automatic creation of learning plans will not be available.

If a user is removed from the audience any learning plans already created will not be affected.

Editing a learning plan

Before a plan is submitted for approval you can go in and add or remove courses, competencies, and objectives.

Once you have submitted your learning plan for approval, what you can edit depends on how your Totara Site Administrator has set up the workflow for the learning plan template being used.

Select Add coursesAdd competencies, and Add new objective to add an item to the learning plan. When an item is added to an approved plan, a notice of a draft item appears. Select Send approval request to request approval of the added item.

Setting a competency status

You may need to change the status of a Learner's competency in their learning plan. This can be done quickly, by using the dropdown option in the Status column (if you have the right permissions) or if you wish to edit anything else you can also follow these steps:

  1. In the Actions column click the Set status icon (it looks like a bar graph).
  2. Edit the assessor details, assessment type, status, and completion details (including Proficiency achieved date).
  3. Click the Save changes button. 

If the Proficiency achieved date is not manually set then it defaults to the time when the user first achieves a proficient status. If there are multiple proficient values in the competency it won't automatically update unless you select an unproficient value before saving the record and then reselecting a proficient value.

Learning plan comments

Learning plans have a comments section, which allows a dialogue between the Learner and their manager(s). Comments can be added to the plan as a whole and to each individual item (course, competency, etc.) in the plan. Comments appear in a linear list and comment notifications are emailed to the users involved in the conversation. This would typically be the Learner and the manager, although comment notifications will also be sent to other users who have participated in a conversation, for example a previous manager.

To add a comment on a team member's learning plan:

  1. Select Learning Plans.
  2. Select the plan you want to comment on.
  3. Type in the comment.
  4. Select Save comment.
  5. A history of the saved comments will be kept on the learning plan.


Viewing learning plans

Learning plans are viewable by the Learner's manager(s), temporary manager(s) and Site Administrators.

Viewing learning plans as a manager/temporary manager

As a manager you are able to view the learning plans for all your direct reports. The permissions you have when viewing your team members' learning plans are defined in the learning plan template set by the Site Administrator.

View learning plans

  1. Select My Team on the navigation bar.
  2. Select Plans under each staff member to view all their learning plans. You are able to see all completed and active learning plans for each staff member.
  3. Select the name of the plan to view the details of the plan.

Approving a plan

You are notified when a Learner submits a plan for approval. When viewing a plan which requires approval, the approve and decline buttons appear on the learning plan overview page and in a box above the plan when viewing the plan details.

Approval and multiple job assignments

If your team member has multiple job assignments linked to different managers, approval requests and other learning plan notifications go to all of their managers. The first manager to act on any approval will be successful and other managers will see that approval has already occurred.

Note that whilst you will be able to see approval status changes completed by another manager, you will not be notified that it has been completed and approval tasks will remain on your dashboard until dismissed.

Learning plan comments

To add a comment on a team member's learning plan:

  1. Select My Team on the navigation bar.
  2. Select Plans under the staff member.
  3. Select the plan you want to comment on.
  4. Type in the comment.
  5. Select Save comment.
  6. A history of the saved comments will be kept on the learning plan.

Viewing learning plans as an administrator

As a Site Administrator you have the ability to view and edit all users' learning plans.

To view a user's learning plan:

  1. Select Users > Browse list of users from the quick-access menu.
  2. Search for the user you want.
  3. Select the name of the user to view their user profile.
  4. Select Learning Plans to view the users learning plans.

As a Site Administrator you have the ability to edit plans, delete plans, create a new plan, reactivate a completed plan, and approve plans.

Assigning a learning plan

As a Site Administrator you can assign learning plans to both set and dynamic audiences.

To assign a learning plan to an existing audience:

  1. Select Users > Audiences from the quick-access menu.
  2. Select the Learning Plan tab.
  3. Select a learning plan template from the Plan template dropdown list.
  4. Untick the Exclude users who check boxes to exclude users who have existed plans based on the selected template.
  5. Select Dynamic creation if required.
  6. Select Save and create plans, then Save in the dialogue box.

Now Learners can use the assigned template to set up their learning plans.

Record of prior learning

In some cases, Learners will feel that they already meet one of the requirements on their learning plan, and don't feel that completing a certain course is a good use of their time. For example, a Learner may be required to complete a basic first aid course, but they already hold an up-to-date First Aid at Work certificate.

In cases such as this, Learners can upload their evidence via the Record of Learning tab. Site Administrators can customise this functionality to allow Learners to include all relevant evidence of their record of prior learning. 

If a Learner uploads evidence for one of their required courses and links it to the relevant course on their learning plan, the Learner's manager can review the linked evidence on the course page. If the manager believes that the prior learning is sufficient and the Learner does not need to take the course on their learning plan, they can choose to mark the course as complete. On the courses tab of the learning plan, the manager can click the Add RPL button (Add RPL button.) under the Actions column.

Learning plan actions column.

Now the manager needs to provide a brief explanation for why the Learner does not need to complete the course, then click Save Changes. Once done, the Learner will not need to take the course, which will now be marked as complete.

Recognition of prior learning details.

Totara Academy

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





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