Set up a recurring course

Program management allows you to create a program that includes one course that learners need to repeat at regular intervals.

When a program is set up with a recurring course a new course occurrence is set up at the required interval e.g. yearly. The previous course is renamed to include the recurrence date and hidden to ensure learners are not able to access the old course.

To create the new course Totara automatically completes a backup and restore of the existing course. Any changes made to the existing course are backed up and restored to the new occurrence of the course.

The learners assigned to the programme are automatically enrolled in the new occurrence of the course.

Once you have created a new program (see Managing Programs for more information) you can add a recurring course under the Content tab.

  1. Click Courses from the Site administration menu.
  2. Click Manage programs.
  3. The Find Courses page opens on program view in edit mode. Open your program and click Edit program content on the Overview tab.
  4. Select Recurring course from the Add a new dropdown menu to set one and click Add.
  5. Select the course from the course list and click Ok.

    You can only select one course. It is recommended that you use Certifications if you wish to add more than one course to a program and require additional flexibility. See Certifications for further information.

  6. Complete the Recurring course set settings:

    • Give your set a name.
    • Set a time allowance i.e. setting how many days, weeks or months the learner has to complete the course.
    • Set the recurrence e.g. the course must be completed every 365 days.
    • Set the course creation timeframe: i.e. setting how many days, weeks or months before the end date of the course that the new version of the course should be created.

  7. Click Save changes. The content has now been added to your program and you are ready to set the learner assignments. See Adding program assignment to learn more.


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.