Default roles
  • 21 Jun 2022
  • 7 minutes to read

Default roles


Roles allow you to easily assign sets of permissions and capabilities to the various users on your site. On this page, you can find out more about the differences between the default roles.

Available default roles

RoleNotes
Site ManagerRead more in the Site Manager section of this page.
Course CreatorRead more in the Course Creator section of this page.
Editing TrainerRead more in the Editing Trainer section of this page.
TrainerRead more in the Trainer section of this page.
LearnerRead more in the Learner section of this page.
GuestRead more in the Guest section of this page.
Authenticated UserThe default role that is assigned to all logged-in users.
Authenticated User on FrontpageThe default role that is assigned to all logged-in users on the frontpage.
Staff ManagerRead more in the Staff Manager section of this page.
Workspace CreatorRead more on the Workspace roles page.
Workspace OwnerRead more on the Workspace roles page.
Performance Activity CreatorRead more in the Performance Activity Creator section of this page.
Performance Activity ManagerRead more in the Performance Activity Manager section of this page.
Tenant User ManagerRead more on the Multitenancy tenant roles page.
Tenant Domain MangerRead more on the Multitenancy tenant roles page.

Site Manager

Site Managers can do just about everything, except some of the site and server administration tasks. As with Site Administrators, they do not typically participate in activities on the site.

It is important to understand the distinction between Site Administrators and Site Managers, as these roles serve different purposes on your site. 

Essentially, Site Managers help to run and oversee the site, while Site Administrators determine how the site works. While you may only want one Site Administrator (or a handful, at most), you may want to assign several users as Site Managers to help with the day-to-day running of the site.

The key difference between these two roles is how you use them on your site. The Site Administrator role should only be assigned to trusted users who need to configure important server settings, handle site security, and implement advanced features, while Site Managers are trusted users who require access to site-wide content, user information, learning materials, performance management records and more, but are not expected to change important settings.

Site Administrators have the ability to change the most important settings on your site, including the initial setup of your site. 

Site Managers have a more limited set of permissions. Site Managers are unable to: 

  • Change site configuration
  • Install and uninstall languages
  • Access the site while in maintenance mode
  • Purge user data and configure purge types
  • Edit other users' content

Course Creator

This default role relates specifically to Totara Learn. If you need someone to have the ability to create courses then the best role for this is the Course Creator. Users with this role can also manage courses (enrolling Learners, editing settings, etc.). 

This role would normally be applied at the category level to allow the role holder to add new courses to that category (and any subcategories). 

If you are just getting started as a Course Creator in Totara, you may find the quick-start guide useful.

Editing Trainer

This default role relates specifically to Totara Learn. Editing Trainers can do almost anything within a course, including adding or changing the activities and grading Learners.

By default, Editing Trainers can also assign the Trainer role and/or the Learner role to other users. 

Other capabilities of an Editing Trainer include: 

  • Creating and managing courses
  • Creating and managing course activities
  • Managing grades
  • Administering course settings backup/restore
  • Administering course badges
  • Viewing course activity logs
  • Adding course blocks

Users are not assigned the role of Editing Trainer throughout the site by default, but are instead assigned (enrolled) as an Editing Trainer to a each course as required, one at a time. The same applies to Learners.

Editing Trainers can only make changes in the courses they have been enrolled in. 

Trainer

This default role relates specifically to Totara Learn. Trainers are responsible for delivering training to Learners, but do not have the ability to alter activities. This role is able to do many of the same things as an Editing Trainer, except only in a view capacity (without editing and making changes). 

Trainers can:

  • View courses
  • View course activities
  • View and add grades for course activities
  • Award course badges
  • View course activity logs
  • View course blocks

Staff Manager

The Staff Manager role allows assigned users the ability to access the learning records of staff, as well access and approval for staff performance management, learning plans, and seminar attendance. Performance management features require Totara Perform, whilst learning plans and seminars require Totara Learn. 

The Staff Manager will be able to:

  • View My Team: Records of staff
  • View and approve performance management: Approve and view appraisals, feedback, learning plans, and course requests (depending on the Totara products you have)
  • Manage goals: Manage team members' company and personal goals
  • Mark program progress: Mark staff as complete for programs (requires Totara Learn) 
  • Seminar approval: Approve seminar attendance requests (requires Totara Learn)

If you wish to assign a manager to a user this should be done via their job assignment. By associating a manager with a user's job assignment, you are assigning them staff manager rights at the user context. 

Learner

This default role relates specifically to Totara Learn. The Learner role allows the user to access course learning resources, including the ability to view their own grades. They can participate in course activities (such as forums and assignments) but cannot grade or edit activities on the course (by default). 

If you are using Totara as a Learner for the first time you may find it useful to review the quick-start guide.

Performance Activity Creator

In order to create a performance activity, a user must have the Performance Activity Creator role, which can be assigned at the system or tenant category level. After creating an activity they will automatically be granted the Performance Activity Manager role, ensuring they also have permission to manage the performance activity.

When multitenancy is enabled, where a user is assigned this role at the tenant category level, they will also need to have capabilities related to positions and organisations (which only apply at the system level). In such an instance, a system-level role will need to be created and assigned to them, with the following capabilities:

  • View an organisation (totara/hierarchy:vieworganisation)
  • View organisation frameworks (totara/hierarchy:vieworganisationframeworks)
  • View a position (totara/hierarchy:viewposition)
  • View position frameworks (totara/hierarchy:viewpositionframeworks)

Performance Activity Manager

The Performance Activity Manager role is automatically given to a user when they create a performance activity, in the context of that activity – i.e. creators are always allowed to manage their own activities, which means they can modify and delete them, as well as view reports on participation.

Additionally you can assign the Performance Activity Manager role more broadly, e.g. at the system or tenant category level, which would allow a user to manage activities they had not created themselves.

When multitenancy is enabled, where a user is assigned this role at the tenant category level, they will also need to have capabilities related to positions and organisations (which only apply at the system level). In such an instance, a system-level role will need to be created and assigned to them, with the following capabilities:

  • View an organisation (totara/hierarchy:vieworganisation)
  • View organisation frameworks (totara/hierarchy:vieworganisationframeworks)
  • View a position (totara/hierarchy:viewposition)
  • View position frameworks (totara/hierarchy:viewpositionframeworks)

Default role comparison

Here you can see a comparison of the default capabilities for each role:

Course CreatorEditing TrainerTrainerStaff ManagerLearner

Create and manage courses

Create and manage courses

View courses

View records of staff in their team

View courses

Create and manage course activities

Create and manage course activities

View course activities

View and approve performance management (e.g. appraisals, 360 feedback, learning plans)

View course activities

-

Manage grades

View and add grades for course activities

Manage team members' personal and company goals

Complete course activities

-

Administer course settings backup/restore

Award course badges

Approve seminar attendance requests

View own grades

-

Administer course badges

View course activity logs

Mark program progress

-
-

View course activity logs

View course blocks

--
-

Add course blocks

---

Guest

The Guest role is useful when you do not wish to set up an account for someone or make your content publicly accessible, however, you do want to allow one or more people to view content. When guest access is enabled, then anyone who logs in as a guest can access any viewable content, but they will not be able to participate in anything. 

There are many use cases in which guest access could benefit your organisation. Here are three examples of how you could use guest access on your site.

Use case: Pre-onboarding

Guest access could be really useful for preboarding new staff. By using guest access you can allow new starters to see content on your training platform before they've been set up with a company email. You can then share resources with these users, or allow them to see the training environment that they'll have access to once they have officially started.

Use case: Sharing content with external users

Setting up guest access could be particularly useful if you're demoing content to potential new hires or external partners, maybe even as part of an audit. 

Use case: Selling courses

You can use guest access to make content publicly accessible in an otherwise restricted environment. It can be useful for hosting documents or other passive content in courses (Totara Learn) that a guest user can view but not interact with. If you sell training content, this might be especially useful for providing potential customers with a sample of training content that they could buy from your platform.

 Next steps

© Copyright 2022 Totara Learning Solutions. All rights reserved. Some content originally obtained via GPLv3 license and continues to be available under GPLv3. All other content is the sole copyright of Totara Learning Solutions. 



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