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Customised, automated messages can be created and emailed to all users assigned to a program. An optional message for the managers of each assigned learner can also be added, depending on the message type selected.

When adding messages to a program, open the Messages tab in the relevant program and follow the below steps:

  1. Select the required message type from the Add a new drop down menu and choose Add.
  2. If relevant, set a time based Trigger for the message being sent
  3. Add a Subject line and Message body, using variables as required.
  4. Select Send notice to manager to send a message to the manager of a learner at the same time the learner message is sent. If a learner has multiple job assignments with more than one manager, the message will be sent to all managers.
  5. Add a Subject line and Message body for the manager notice, using variables as required
  6. Select Save changes to save the message(s).


If a subject is not provided i.e. the field is left blank, the manager subject is populated with the default language strings for each message type.

The Enrolment message and Exceptions report message is added by default for every program.

The subject of the message will be displayed to recipients within their Dashboard.


Program message options

Message types

Message TypeDescription
EnrolmentA message is sent to the learner when they are assigned to a program.
Exceptions report

A message is sent to site administrators when there are new exceptions on the program. An exception occurs when the system is not able to process an action related to the program, e.g. the completion date is set for 30 days from the position start date, but this field is empty for a user assigned to the program.

Un-enrolmentA message is sent to a learner if they are unenrolled from a program.
Program dueA message is sent to the learner a set number of days, weeks or months before the learner is due to complete the program.
Program overdueA message is sent to the learner when the program completion date for the learner has passed.
Program completedA message is sent to the learner when they complete the program.
Course set due

Sent a certain length of time before the current course set is due. The due date is calculated by adding the course set Minimum time required to the date the user started the course set.

Course set overdue

Sent a certain length of time after the current course set is due. The due date is calculated by adding the course set Minimum time required to the date the user started the course set.

Course set completed

This message will be sent whenever a course set is completed.

Learner follow-upA message is sent to a learner a set period of time after they have completed the program.

Variable substitution

Variables can be inserted into the Subject and/or body of a Message so that they will be replaced with personalised or the relevant values when the message is sent. Variables should be inserted exactly as shown.

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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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