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Configure features contains a number of features that may be enabled/disabled globally by the Site Administrator. You can access it from the quick-access menu under Configure features.

(The video above is taken from the Plugins and Advanced Features course in the Totara Academy).

Shared service settings

When navigating to Configure features you will arrive on this page. In this section you can configure the Totara settings that are available regardless of which products you have installed.


Enable comments

A comments block can be added to any page in Totara, enabling users to easily add comments. A similar interface enables comments to be added to glossary, database activity and blog entries. The comments interface uses AJAX so that comments are added instantly without needing a page refresh.

By default Learners can see comments from other Learners.
Comments displayed per pageSet the number of comments that will be displayed per page if Enable comments is turned on.-

Enable tags functionality

Tags can be used for a number of reasons to categorise various elements on your site. For example, you can tag courses and the activities within them to help users find them. Tags allow learners and trainers to describe their interests in a way that is easy for people with similar interests to find them. The user's profile has a place to enter interests, which will create or add the user to an existing tag. Tag pages can be viewed and blog posts can be tagged.

Please see Tags for more information.

Enable notes

The notes feature is a way to attach information about a user by another user. For example, a trainer might attach a note to a specific learner about the hobbies and interests that seems to engage that learner.

Users must have the permissions to View notes and Manage notes in order to use this feature in any context. Thus learners might be allowed to view or even manage notes within a course.


Enable messaging system

'Messaging' refers both to automatic alerts from Totara about new forum posts, assignment submission notifications etc., and to conversations using the instant messaging feature.

Disabling messaging will also stop alerts and tasks along with their associated emails from going out.

Please see Messaging for more information.

Hide read notifications

Read notifications display when messages such as forum messages have been read. The read notification can also be deleted after a specified time.

Enable this setting to hide read notifications, or disable if you want read notifications to be visible.

Please see Forums for more information. 
Delete read notificationsSelect when read notifications should be deleted to save space. Read notifications can be deleted after one day, one week, one month, six months, or never.-

Notification email override

Allows user to add an extra email that can be used to send email notifications to.


Enable statistics

If statistics are enabled for the site, graphs and tables of user activity may be generated.

Please see the Server Help page for more information.

Enable RSS feeds

RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds in Totara enable people to stay up to date with forum posts, glossary entries, and other events within Totara.

RSS feeds also need to be enabled for the specific activity modules you want to use them with.

Enable badges

Open badges allows the awarding of badges for meeting specified course and site level criteria. Enabling this allows the creation and award of badges on the site.

Please see Open badges for more information.

Enable report restrictions

Global user report restrictions are designed to restrict the content visible in report builder reports. Turning this feature on allows for fine grained control over what records are visible to users viewing a report builder report but can have a significant impact on performance.Please see Global report restrictions for more information.

Enable audience-based visibility

The visibility of each individual course, program or certification can be set to:

  • Visible to all users
  • Visible to enrolled users
  • Visible to enrolled users and members of the selected audiences

Enabling this setting will change the visibility of courses, programs, and certifications across the whole site, meaning the existing visibility settings and the  viewhiddencourses capability will no longer apply, so courses, programs, and certifications that are currently hidden may become visible.

Please see Audiences for more information.

Enable Totara Connect server

Totara Connect implements a single-sign-on and user identity solution for multiple Totara servers.

Please see Totara Connect for more information.

Display hierarchy shortnames

Hierarchy shortnames are able to be displayed in addition to the fullname in hierarchy forms.


Enable Totara dashboard

Dashboards allow Site Administrators to design multiple interface options for a user to access upon logging into Totara.

Please see Dashboards for more information.

Enable report builder graphs

This allows data from report builder reports to be aggregated and displayed as a graph.

Please see Graphical reporting for more information.

Enable positions hierarchies

These allow the assigning of users to managers, organisation, and position hierarchies.Please see Positions for more information.

Allow multiple job assignments

When enabled (checked) this allows users to have more than one job assignment. This feature is enabled by default for new installations and upgraded sites.
When disabled:

  • Only one job assignment can be created for each user
  • HR Import will prevent uploading multiple job assignments for a single user when disabled
  • Any existing multiple job assignments within the system when the setting is disabled will still remain; they will not be automatically removed and they will continue to function until they are manually removed
Please see Job assignments for more information.

When enabled, you will be able to create and manage multiple site policies. 

Please see Site policies for more information.

Note that if a current site policy exists, it will be lost when you enable this setting.

Catalogue default view

Choose which catalogue display type to use.Please see Catalogue for more information.
Enable multitenancy supportWhen enabled you can create separate, self-contained tenants for your sub-organisations, teams, or for different types of users (e.g. internal and external). Note that some features will not be available with multitenancy enabled, and tenant data separation is not guaranteed.Please see Using multitenancy for more information.

Enable competencies

Competencies are skills that can be attained through completion of course work or on the job training. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Competencies for more information.

Enable team

This allows managers to see information regarding their staff learning and items that require manager approval.Please see Team for more information.
Enable evidenceThis setting will enable all features related to evidence. This allows you to create evidence items (such as external certificates or photographic evidence) to associate with other functionality, such as learning plans in Totara Learn.Please see Evidence for more information.
Enable legacy web services

Web services enable other systems to log in to Totara and perform operations.

Please see Web services for more information.
Enable legacy blogs

Blogs in Totara are user based, each user has their own blog. Users can also register their external blogs, such as Blogger or Wordpress, so that entries are automatically included in their Totara blog.

Please see Blogs for more information.
Networking (deprecated)

The Totara network feature allows a Totara administrator to establish a link with another Totara site and share some resources with the users of that Totara.

You can also use Totara Connect

Note that this feature has been deprecated in Totara 13.

Learn settings

Navigate to Quick-access menu > Configure features > Learn settings to configure various features and settings in Totara Learn.


Enable portfolios

Portfolios in Totara make it easy for a learner to export their work to an external portfolio. For example, learner work might include forum posts or assignment submissions that they believe demonstrates their knowledge.

Please see Portfolio for more information.

Note that Totara Engage can also be used to compile portfolios of users' work.

Enable completion tracking

Completion tracking is a process that assists course completion and activity completion features. It must be enabled in advanced settings before it can be used anywhere in the site. Select the roles that require tracking (usually learner) under Site administration > Grades > General settings > Graded roles.

Please see Course completion for more information.
Default completion tracking

This setting determines the default setting for completion tracking when creating new activities. Choose from:

  • Use activity default
  • Do not indicate activity completion

Enable restricted access

Restricted access enables trainers to restrict the availability of any activity according to certain conditions such as dates, grade obtained, or activity completion. When it is enabled by the Site Administrator, a Restrict access setting appears in the settings of activities or resources.

Please see Restrict access for more information.

Enable RPL for courses

When enabled, a course can be marked as completed by assigning the user a Recognition of Prior Learning. It is also possible to enable or disable this for specific course activities and resources.

Please see the Record of Learning Help page for more information. 
Enable RPL for modulesUse these tickboxes to configure which modules (activities and performance activities) you want to enable RPL for.-

Enable plagiarism plugins

Plagiarism is when a learner submits content they have copied and the real author was not given credit for the words. Plagiarism prevention detects when this form of cheating or academic dishonesty has happened.

Note that enabling this setting does not automatically set up plagiarism detection. You will need a plagiarism detection plugin or app to use with your Totara site.

Enable content marketplaces

When this setting is enabled it is possible to access training content from Totara's third-party content marketplaces.

Please see Content marketplaces for more information.

Enable program extension requests

When enabled extension requests can be turned on for individual programs. This allows the program assignee to request an extension to the due date for a program. This extension can then be accepted or denied by the assignee's manager.

Please see Managaing programs for more information.

Enable learning plans

Learning Plans are used to specify the training required by staff and are able to be reviewed by managers. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Learning plans for more information.

Enable programs

Programs allows you to create learning paths for learners where you can define dependencies and control the order and flow of the competencies and courses your learners complete. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Programs and certifications for more information.

Enable certifications

Certifications allows you to create learning paths for learners that need to be repeated after a specified time. You can define dependencies and control the order and flow of the competencies and courses your learners complete. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Programs and certifications for more information.

Enable Record of Learning

This displays all of the learners completed and current learning.Please see My learning for more information.

Enable program completion editor

When enabled (checked), the Completion tab will be made available to user's with the totara/program:editcompletion capability when editing a program or certification. This will allow them to edit completion records, both historical and current.Please see Completion editor for more information.

Enable outcomes

Outcomes are specific descriptions of what a learner has demonstrated and understood at the completion of an activity or course. Each outcome is rated by some sort of scale.

In simple terms outcomes are similar to sub components of a grade. A grade is an assessment of overall performance that may include tests, participation, attendance, and projects. Outcomes assess specific levels of knowledge through a series of statements, that may be coded with numbers or letters. Thus an overall grade can be given for a course, along with statements about specific competencies in the form of outcomes.

Please see Outcomes for more information.

Enable legacy program assignment interface

When enabled, this will revert the program assignment interface back to the legacy view. If your site uses large-scale program assignments we recommend using the improved interface.Please see Assigning Learners for more information.

Totara Perform

Navigate to Quick-access menu > Configure features > Perform settings to enable various features in Totara Perform.


Enable goals

Personal and organisational goals are able to be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Goals for more information.
Enable performance activitiesEnable this setting to allow users to manage and view performance activities.Please see Managing performance activities for more information.
Enable competency assignmentEnable this setting to show the competency assignment feature, which allows you to assign users or groups to competencies.Please see Competency assignment for more information.

Legacy dynamic appraisals

This setting allows you to specify whether appraisals lock on activation and no longer update assignments and roles or continue to update after activation.

Please see Appraisals for more information.

Legacy dynamic appraisals automatic progression

This setting determines what happens when a role does not have a user assigned to it.

  • Disabled: All roles must be filled (i.e. they have been selected as 'can answer' and/or 'required' for the stage)
  • Enabled (or non-dynamic): Unfilled roles (roles which have not been selected as 'can answer' and/or 'required) will be ignored

This mean that when enabled, this setting ensures appraisals are allowed to automatically progress to the next stage, even if one or more roles are not filled (assuming at least one role is filled and all filled required roles have completed the stage).

When dynamic appraisals is enabled and this setting is switched off, all required roles need to complete the stage. Empty required roles will need to have users assigned before the stage can be progressed.

Please see Dynamic appraisals for more information.

Enable legacy appraisals

Staff appraisals are forms that can be created that are required to be answered at specified times by the staff, manager, manager's manager, or appraiser. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see Appraisals for more information.
Show historic activitiesWhen this setting is enabled then any historic activities (legacy appraisals and 360 feedback) will be visible to their assigned users in their performance activities.

Note that Legacy appraisals and Legacy 360 feedback must be enabled for the respective activities to be displayed.

Enable legacy 360 feedback

360 Feedbacks are forms that can be created that can be answered by specified people. These can be Hidden or Disabled across the site.

Please see 360 feedback for more information.

Totara Engage

Navigate to Quick-access menu > Configure features > Engage settings to enable various features in Totara Engage.

LibraryWhen enabled users will be able to view, create and share resources and playlists in their Library. If this setting is disabled then users cannot access the Library, which will also be hidden from navigation elements.

Note that a Totara Engage subscription is required for this functionality.

Please see Library for more information.

WorkspacesWhen enabled users will be able to find, view and create workspaces. If this setting is disabled then users cannot access the Library, which will also be hidden from navigation elements.

Note that a Totara Engage subscription is required for this functionality.

Please see Workspaces for more information.

RecommendationsWhen enabled users will be able to discover recommended Totara Engage content via the Recommended learning block. When disabled this block will not be available.

Note that a Totara Engage subscription is required for this functionality.

Please see Recommendations for more information.

Microsoft Teams integrationWhen enabled users will be able to access Totara Engage content (e.g. resources, playlists, surveys and workspaces) through Microsoft Teams. You will need to set up the Microsoft Teams integration first.

Note that a Totara Engage subscription is required for this functionality.

Please see Totara application for Microsoft Teams for more information.

Totara Academy

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

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 Still have questions? 

Why not post them in the forums on the Totara Community?

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