When presenting TSG’s HPI based Quality Document Management solution to a regulated industry (Life Sciences, Energy, etc.), we often get asked about training requirements. The question is typically asked in one of the following ways:
- Does HPI support Read & Understood Notifications and tracking?
- Does HPI have Distribution functionality?
- Can HPI integrate with a Learning Management System (LMS)?
All of the above questions boil down to a similar need — the ability for impacted users to train on a document (SOP, policy, etc.) after the document is approved and before the document becomes Effective (released for use). It is necessary that users have this training period prior to the new procedure being implemented so the company can prove to a regulatory agency that their employees know how to execute their job responsibilities (i.e. know how to clean a piece of equipment, know how to log a deviation, etc.). While a “training period” may sound straight forward, it can be a very complex process, involving number requirements:
- Notification of Impacted Users – typically based on user’s department and role, which is often changes
- Training of Impacted Users – users must train on the document. This can happen in a variety of different ways
- Online course and exam
- Read and Understood signoff (confirmation that user understands the content
- Classroom training
- Reminder Notifications – reminder of training if it is not complete X days prior to the document’s effective date
- Creation of Training Records – record when a user was trained (should be prior to the document becoming Effective/Ready for use)
- Retrieval of Training Records – the ability to retrieve training records when audited by a regulatory agency and confirm that a user was trained on the appropriate version of a document on a specific date
- Management by Business Users – the business needs the ability to manage training without IT involvement. SOPs are updated regularly and users are constantly changing roles. Managing the frequently changing training requirements can be a fulltime job and one that should be managed by a business resource rather than IT
As you can see, training management can quickly get very complex. This is why we recommend HPI, or any application that is responsible for managing quality documents, integrate with a Learning Management System, rather than being the LMS. Implementing a best of breed approach between your content management system (HPI, Alfresco, Documentum, etc.) and your Learning Management System will minimize customization and maximize out-of-the-box functionality; letting each system focus on doing what it was initially designed to do.
There are numerous Learning Management Systems out there. The one we have most frequently integrated with is SuccessFactors, from SAP. This integration has been straight-forward to implement. We used OpenMigrate to create a data feed to SuccessFactors. The data feed is responsible for letting SuccessFactors know if a new version of the document is Approved or made Effective as well is if an old version is Superseded or Obsoleted. Once SuccessFactors is notified of the update it will take over and send out the notifications to impacted users (sometimes referred to as distribution) as well as record the training.
This integration has allowed clients to take advantage of the robust functionality that a content management system such as Alfresco or Documentum offers to manage their quality documents, while utilizing SuccessFactors, or a similar LMS, for the complex task of managing, recording, and reporting on training. We have seen some companies implement “lightweight” training requirements into their content management system (distribution, etc.), but it is always with heavy customization that typically falls short of what is really needed to support training management.
Please respond below with your experiences and feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like additional information on integrating your content management application with a Learning Management System (LMS) system.