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When a Manager is linked to a staff member they are automatically assigned the Staff manager role at the User context. This provides them permissions and capabilities (access rights) to manage their staff member's learning. However, by default, this role doesn't provide them access to the courses in which the learners are enrolled or to edit/manage any of the activities that sit within the course.

This means, in order for Staff managers to reserve and allocate spaces for their team in courses containing seminar activities, a Site Administrator must provide them specific access.  

Depending on the requirements of your organisation, you may want to assign these access rights to one, many, or all Managers within one, many or all courses within the LMS.

Assigning all staff managers access to reserve and allocate

To give all Staff managers the ability to reserve and allocate spaces within a seminar activity, you will need to edit the Staff manager role (access rights) so the required permissions/capabilities can be added.  


You will still need to assign these Staff managers access to the relevant course(s).


  1. Within the Administration menu navigate to Users > Permissions > Define Roles click on the corresponding Edit icon (cog) against the Staff Manager role.
  2. Under Context types where this role may be assigned select Course.

  3. Under the Capability list find or search for Reserve or allocate spaces for team members (facetoface:reservespace), View seminar activities and events (facetoface:view) and Sign-up for an event (facetoface:signup)You may also want all Staff Managers to be able to Reserve of behalf of other managers (facetoface:reserveother).  

  4. Ensure the Allow permission has been checked for these items.

  5. Click Save changes to update the Staff Manager role or Cancel to discard your changes.

Assigning selected users access to reserve and allocate

To give one or selected users the ability to reserve and allocate spaces within a Seminar Activity, you will need to create a new Role (access right) which provides the required permissions/capabilities and assign the relevant users this role.  

  1. Within the Administration menu navigate to Users > Permissions > Define Roles, click on Add a new role.
  2. Select No role under Use role or archetype and click Continue.
  3. Enter a unique Shortname and Custom fullname in the boxes provided. (e.g. Reserving and Allocating Manager).

  4. Under Context types check System, Category, and Course.

  5. In the Capability list check Allow for Reserve or allocate spaces for team members (facetoface:reservespace), View seminar activities and events (facetoface:view), Sign-up for an event (facetoface:signup)and (optionally) Reserve of behalf of other managers (facetoface:reserveother).

  6. Click Create this role or Cancel to discard your changes.

You will still need to assign these users access to the relevant course(s).

You will also need to assign this new role to the selected users at either the System, Category or Course context (Please see Roles for information on assigning access rights)

Assigning all staff managers access to all courses

To provide Staff Managers access to all courses, you will need to provide them the ability to View courses without participation within the Staff Manager Role.

  1. Within the Administration menu navigate to Users > Permissions > Define Roles, click on the corresponding Edit icon (cog) against the Staff Manager role.
  2. In the Capability list check Allow against View courses without participation (course:view). 
  3. Click Save changes.

Assigning all staff managers access to selected courses

To provide Staff Managers access to selected courses, you will need to assign them Staff Manager access to each course.  The fastest way to do this is via Audience enrolment.  Audience Sync will need to be enabled as an enrolment plugin via the Site administration area to be available with each course.

  1. Under the Administration menu, navigate to Users > Audiences > Add New Audience.
  2. Create an new Dynamic Audience called 'Staff Managers' with the rule Has direct reports = 'Yes'.
  3. Click the Assigned Roles tab.

  4. Check the Staff Manager role.
  5. Navigate to the relevant course.
  6. Within the Course administration menu go to Users > Enrolled users >Enrolment methods.
  7. If not already listed, select Audience Sync from the Add method dropdown list.

  8. Choose Staff Managers from the Audience dropdown list.

  9. Choose Staff Manager from the Assign role dropdown list.
  10. Select Add method.
  11. Audience Sync will be added as an available Enrolment Method within this course and you will be prompted to enrol an existing Audience.


Assigning selected users access to all courses

To provide selected users access to all courses, you will need to provide them the ability to View courses without participation within the 'Reserving and Allocating Manager' Role (or as named as above).

  1. Within the Administration menu navigate to Users > Permissions > Define Roles, click on the corresponding Edit icon (cog) next to the Reserving and Allocating Manager role.
  2. In the Capability list check Allow next to View courses without participation (course:view).
  3. Click Save changes.

If both the grid catalogue and self enrolment options are enabled you will need a different permission when using the report catalogue. The capability required in this scenario is moodle/course:update. Please note that users with this capability can also make other changes to the course settings and are not limited to just allocation of spaces to team members. For example, users with the moodle/course:update capability can change the completion criteria and edit other parts of the course as well.

Assigning specific users access to selected courses

To provide specific users access to selected courses, you will need to manually assign them a role within each course with the required Capabilities such as Staff Manager.

  1. Within Course administration > Users > Enrolled users and click on Enrol users.
  2. Choose the required role from the Assign Roles in the dropdown menu.

  3. Search for the relevant user(s) and click Enrol user for each user.
  4. When all users have been enrolled, select Finish enrolling users.

On this page

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

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