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How does an LMS improve operational efficiency in local councils?

5 min reading time

A modern LMS will have the necessary functionality and flexibility to achieve a number of use cases across a wide variety of sectors and industries. For public sector organisations, an LMS can serve as a solution to a number of L&D issues along with improving day-to-day operations. Local councils rely on e-learning software to improve their operational efficiency – keep reading to find out more.


What is an LMS?

A Learning Management System (LMS) is a digital learning platform used to manage and measure e-learning and online training. An LMS unites all the elements required to deliver a learning and development programme, including course content creation, training, assessment and reporting.

For more information on LMSs – read our comprehensive guide here.

What is an LMS?


Each local council will have its own unique functions and duties to carry out and its workforce will likely be made up of a variety of staff with vastly different skill sets, job roles, and positions of authority. Without the right systems in place, managing L&D within the complex infrastructure of a local council can be difficult, resulting in poor operational efficiency. However, an LMS can help local councils improve operational efficiency and achieve a strong output with minimal or reduced input – let’s explore some examples.


Staff retention through induction training

Employee churn places a significant financial burden on local councils and as a public sector organisation with limited funds, financial efficiency is of great importance. Losing staff and re-hiring positions can also put a strain on those who are expected to train new starters. One of the ways local councils can retain staff is to ensure they feel comfortable in their role; this begins with a proper onboarding process.

With an LMS, L&D managers can create a strong, role-specific induction programme that is designed to help new starters familiarise themselves in their new roles. For local councils, it’s important that a new starter understands what is expected of them in order to provide a better service for the local community. The induction process will cover elements such as the values they are expected to uphold with public interest in mind, organisational structure, policies and role-specific training. Without an LMS, induction training can take up a great deal of time for those delivering training if done manually – particularly if training needs to be learner specific.

Using an LMS, induction training can be automatically assigned to a new starter based on a predefined set of criteria such as job role, location, skill set and more. Once learning is assigned, new starters can complete it autonomously, removing the need for a staff member to be present all the time, resulting in a better use of staff and resources.

Utilising an LMS’s broad range of functionality makes it easy to create engaging, thorough and effective induction programmes – ensuring staff are well equipped to perform well in their role and feel comfortable and happy doing so. Once the onboarding process has been completed, staff will be more likely to stay in their role. Additionally, offering long-term L&D opportunities will result in better staff retention rates, meaning local councils will have a better chance of being consistent in delivering a good public service.


Streamlining the training process

Maximising operational efficiency begins with a properly trained workforce who have been educated on what needs to be done to create the best outcomes for the local community. If staff members are sufficiently trained to perform well in their roles, a local council can achieve a stronger output with reduced input from senior management needing to oversee or ‘micro-manage’ staff. However, ensuring that staff are fully trained across the board can be time-consuming and difficult to manage and track. Using an LMS, local councils can create a structured training process designed to streamline training.

One of the challenges for training in local councils is the diversity of services involved and the complex structure of the workforce. With this in mind, it can be difficult and time-consuming to deliver role or department-specific training that feels relevant to each individual team member.

With an LMS such as Totara Learn, L&D leaders can use powerful hierarchies tools to replicate the complex structure of a local council, create learning pathways and automatically assign learning to individual user profiles – streamlining the training process and saving hours of manual admin.



All UK Local Councils will be required to adhere to regulatory requirements as a public sector organisation and failing to meet these regulations can result in fines and penalties. A local council will need to ensure that all staff members are fully compliant, understanding the regulations they must adhere to and carrying out their job responsibilities with strict guidelines or policies in mind. Without full compliance, a local council cannot be operationally efficient which is why many choose to deliver thorough compliance training through an LMS.

Keeping track of who has or hasn’t completed mandatory compliance training can be problematic when done manually. With an LMS, compliance training can be distributed automatically, and audit trails recorded on the system, making it easier to keep track of who has or hasn’t completed training. Compliance training courses can be created so that employees receive a notification when training needs to be completed, along with notifications reminding them that their certification will soon expire, and that updated training must be completed.

When St. Helens Council faced increasing pressure to achieve high compliance rates throughout its workforce, they sought out an LMS that could be used to deliver training along with comprehensive reporting to track team activities. With Totara Learn, they achieved over 1,600 employee certifications within the first four weeks of implementing the system. Find out more about their LMS journey by reading their case study, here.


Training remote workers and dispersed workforces

Local councils are often made up of a dispersed workforce and with today’s shift towards remote working, many departments have chosen to cut public spending by removing the need for a physical office and asking employees to work from home. This is also true for training opportunities as many have chosen to deliver training remotely rather than face-to-face.

local council remote learning

Delivering training online is a cost-effective option when compared to in-person training and can result in better operational efficiency. When training is delivered in a physical, face-to-face setting, a considerable amount of time and money is spent on travel, hiring out a room, producing printed materials and asking staff members to lead the session. With an LMS, training can be completed anywhere and anytime, learners can access the platform from home or in an office, and automated reporting tools give L&D managers the visibility needed to analyse whether training is being completed in an efficient and timely manner.

As an LMS can be used from any location, local councils may choose to use it to reach out to the local community and offer learning and development opportunities externally. An organisation may choose to design learning courses with the local community in mind and with the right LMS they can host workshops and seminars online for learners to join remotely.

Many local councils may choose to adopt a blended learning approach, delivering training suited to autonomous, online training via LMS courses and training suited to in-person, instructor-led delivery in a physical setting. Stockport Council’s School Improvement Team have chosen to do just this, delivering a blended learning approach and using their LMS to consolidate both offline and online learning environments. Using Totara Learn LMS’ Seminar functionality for event booking, Stockport Council can create, manage and report on classroom-based learning events. Within their LMS, users can contribute to online forums, share resources and join web conferences. Find out how Stockport Council are using their LMS by reading their case study, here.

local council blended learning

Things to consider when looking for an LMS suited to local councils

Although implementing an LMS can see a strong ROI along with making the L&D function more cost-effective, many local councils need to keep tight budgets in mind. Opting for a cloud-based SaaS LMS means a lower cost of ownership and some open-source LMSs require no licensing fee. To find out more about the costs to consider when implementing an LMS, download our pricing guide e-book here.

Data security is a major concern for any public sector organisation, with sensitive data at risk and potential threats of cyberattacks, any systems in place must have the highest data security measures. When considering an LMS, local councils will need to opt for an LMS provider with the necessary security measures – at Hubken our HubkenCore package promises cloud-based, enterprise-grade security, providing complete assurance that all data is secure and GDPR compliant. Find out more about our HubkenCore package here.

Many local councils and public sector organisations rely on the GCloud framework to find cloud-based services that have been pre-approved by Crown Commercial Service Supplier – streamlining the process of finding a supplier - making it faster and more cost-effective. We’re delighted to have been accepted on the G-Cloud 13 Framework – find out more about what this means here.

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