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Using completion conditions allows the system to automatically report when a learner completes a course. If a learner has completed the course, or activities used to calculate the course completion, the completion options are locked. This is because changing these options may result in unexpected behaviour.
Courses with completion conditions set can be used as evidence items for competencies.

(This video above is taken from the Grading, completion and certificates course in the Totara Academy).

Set up completion conditions

Completion conditions are locked once a learner has attempted an activity within the course because they may have completed it according to the conditions set and if these conditions are then changed this affects the learner's progress and the integrity of the learner's data.

  1. Click Course Completion in the Course Administration options to set the course completion conditions. 
  2. Next you can configure your desired settings
  3. Click Save changes to save the course completion conditions.


Completion requirements

Determines whether all or any of the completion conditions on the rest of this page are required. 

Completion of other courses

Allows you to select courses that must be completed before the learner can complete this course. Select the course(s) to select the prerequisite course(s).

This setting does not prevent a learner from enrolling in this course when they have not completed the prerequisite course, but they cannot complete this course until they have completed the prerequisite course(s).

Specify the date that users must remain enrolled until.

Days leftSpecify the number of days the user must remain enrolled for.-
Course gradeSpecify the course grade that the user must achieve; this is different from the pass grade for an activity which is set in the Gradebook.-
Manual Self completion

Allows a learner to mark themselves complete in the course; the Self completion block needs to be added to the course page to enable this.

Manual completion by others

Allows you to assign users with the selected role the ability to manually mark a learner as complete. The Site Administrator allocates to roles in the system the ability to manually mark a learner as complete.


Editing completion conditions

When a course has completion settings included, the completion settings are automatically locked so they can't be changed easily. If you need to change the course completion conditions there are two options on what to do with the existing completion data:

  • Unlock criteria and delete existing completion data
  • Unlock criteria without deleting

Modifying course completion criteria after some users have already completed the course is not recommended since it means different users will be marked as complete for different reasons.

Unlock criteria and delete existing completion data

All completion information for the course and course activities is deleted. You can then set new completion conditions for the course, when you click Save changes on the Completion Settings page Totara will, where possible, recalculate the user completion data according to the new settings the next time cron runs.

  • If the new completion option is manual, everyone is set to not completed regardless of any previous setting.

  • If the new completion option is automatic then, depending on the options chosen, the system may or may not be able to construct a correct current value for everyone.

  • The viewed requirement cannot generate a complete status on activities the learner has previously viewed, unless they view it again.

  • If you change completion options while a learner is logged in, they may not see the changes for some minutes.

  • Unlock completion options and delete user completion data will not remove RPL completion data.

Unlock criteria without deleting

You can choose to keep all existing course completion records and accept that different users may have received their status for different accomplishments.

Course completion editor

The course completion editor allows you to review and edit a learners course completion. 

The editor allows you to edit course completion, criteria completion, activity completion, and historic data for any learner. It allows you to put this data into any valid state. There are also transaction logs, which record all changes that are made to these records (both from within the editor and in other areas of Totara Learn, e.g. completion of an activity, or when cron reaggregates completion). It also includes a checker, which can be used to find records which have a problem (e.g. data in an invalid state).

The Course completion editor is available if you have the right permissions from any course via Course administration > Completion editor. To access the editor you need to have the capability totara/completioneditor:editcoursecompletion (by default this is only administrators).

Edit course completion 

  1. Go to Course administration > Completion editor.
  2. Find the learner whose record you wish to edit, then click the Edit course completion link alongside their name. 
  3. You can then scroll down or use the tabs to find an activity or criteria you wish to edit.
  4. Once you have found the item you want to edit click the cog icons next to it so you can edit the settings.
  5. Once you have made your edits click Save changes.


Editing mode

Choose from:

  • Use activity completion: This will pull details from the activity completion record, meaning you cannot manually override the criteria status.
  • Use separate completion data: Does not use activity record so you can manually set the criteria status.
Criteria status

If using the editing mode Use separate completion data then you can use the dropdown menu to change this to Completed or Not completed.

If you make this completed you will be able to set the time of completion and any RPL.

Otherwise this will be marked as completed only if the activity is complete.

Criteria time completedThe time the criteria was completed which is taken from the activity completed time (if using activity completion).-
RPLThe RPL is the Record of Prior Learning, use this field to enter a note if the criteria/activity was completed previously or outside of the system. This can be set if the criteria or activity status are set to Completed.-
Activity statusUse the dropdown menu to change this to Completed or Not completed.-
Activity time completedThe time the activity was completed (if using activity completion).-
ViewedYou can manually check the box to mark the activity as viewed.-

Completion checker

The completion checker displays a summary of all problems that have been detected, as well as a list of all the individually affected records. Advice and/or automated fixes may be available for each category of problem. Clicking a user will take you to the completion editor for that user, where the problem can be manually fixed, or automatically fixed if an automatic fix is available for the specific problem.

The checker can be accessed in two ways:

  • Site level: If you've got the capability in the site context then in you can go to Courses > Manager courses and Categories under the Site administration menu, where there is a link at the top of the page Check course completions. Using this link will check for all problems in all completion records in all courses.

  • Course level: From the Completion editor in a course there is a link in the top left corner to Check course completions. Using this link will check for all problems in all completion records relating to the current course.

Course completion record tabs

When viewing the course completion record to edit it you will notice there are a number of tabs, these are:

  • Overview: A summary of the information avaialble in the other tabs. 
  • Current completion: The learners completion record for the current course (can be edited directly on the page, then click Save changes).
  • Criteria and activities: Completion record for individual activities and resources on the course (can be edited as described above in edit course completion). 
  • History: Completion history if the learner has previously completed the course (you can create records using the Add history button). 
  • Transactions: A record of any completion record changes, including who changed then and what they chanaged. 

Completion record tabs

Completion archive

The course completion archive allows you to reset the course completions for all the users who have previously completed the course.

This is done by moving the completion records into a table on the database called course_completion_history table which stores a limited amount of information about the completion record, only the id, courseid, userid, timecompleted, and grade. Once it has been moved the system then deletes the course completion record, criteria completion records, and activity completion records so that the user can retake the course.

The course completion archive will not remove learners from the course, anyone enrolled will remain enrolled but with an empty course completion record so that they can retake the course. 

Once the course completion has been archived the learner's Record of learning will have a previous completions column with a link to see when the course was completed and the grade at the time of completion. The progress of the course will be zero as the user would need to complete the course again. 

Archiving course completion 

To archive the course completion records:

  1. Go to Course administration > Completions archive. 
  2. Once you have clicked Completions archive you will be asked to confirm if you wish to proceed and alerted as to how many users will be affected by this change (e.g. how many users will have their course completion records reset).

Restrictions and limitations

Courses which are a part of a program or certification can not be manually archived. This is to avoid unexpected results.

Manually deleting course completion

When enrolled Learners are unenrolled from a course there will still be a course completion record that remains as a record of their previous enrolment. This is not always desirable, for example when the enrolment happens by accident. There are two ways of safely removing the course completion record, depending on the circumstance.

Removing individual completion records

The completion editor can be used to remove the course completion records of individuals who are no longer enrolled. Upon editing course completion for such a user, an information box will appear at the top of the screen with a link to delete the current course completion record.

Completion records for a learner.

This operation will permanently remove all completion history and information for the user on the course, and cannot be undone.

Removing completion records in bulk

If many users were accidentally enrolled and then immediately unenrolled from a course (as could happen when selecting the wrong audience for audience sync enrolment, for example), individually editing and deleting the course completion records for each Learner would be time consuming.

For this case, there is a command line script, to be run by a System Administrator, that will delete all (or a time-based subset of) unstarted course completion records of users who are no longer enrolled on a given course. This script can be found at admin/cli/delete_unused_course_completions.php and can be run with a --help flag to output usage instructions.

When run, this script will log that it has executed, and include the parameters used as well as how many unstarted completion records were deleted.

It is important to back up the database before you run the script. 

Plugin settings

As a site administrator you can configure site-wide settings for the course completion report under Plugins > Reports > Course completion in the Administration menu

Show only active enrolments

When enabled, completion records are shown for learners with existing active enrolments only.

When disabled, the report will also include the completion records of learners with suspended or expired enrolments.

Learners with removed enrolments are always excluded.

On this page

Related pages

The Totara Academy has a two courses, one dedicated to using Courses and categories and another for Grading, completion and certificates in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use use these tools, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

Provide feedback about this page using the link in the bottom right of this page. 

Still have questions? Why not post them in the forums of the Totara Community?

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