What is evidence?
  • 15 Dec 2022
  • 4 minutes to read

What is evidence?

Article Summary

In Totara you can create evidence to associate with various features, such as learning plans (Totara Learn). You might use an evidence item for the upload of an externally obtained certificate, or to upload photo evidence, for example a photo demonstrating the user of appropriate safety equipment. You might also upload video evidence of a technique being implemented correctly. 

Evidence bank

The evidence items attributed to each user can be found in their evidence bank. Within the evidence bank you can search or filter for specific items of evidence.

You can also see a list of evidence attributed to that user with details on the name of the evidence, the evidence type it was created from, when it was created, and who created it. You can also see if the evidence is In use, which means that it is being used by a learning plan. If an evidence item is 'in use' then it cannot be edited. Otherwise evidence can be edited and deleted in the Action column by the evidence item's creator or any user with the Manage any evidence on others (totara/evidence:manageanyevidenceonothers) capability. As a Site Administrator you can assign various capabilities which allow users to manage or view evidence on others, any evidence on themselves, or their own evidence on themselves or others.

Additionally, from the evidence bank you can export a list of all evidence items for that particular user. 

When the evidence bank was first introduced, any imported evidence was assigned to the Legacy course/certification completion import system evidence type. As of Totara 14.13, all evidence imported prior to migration to the evidence bank was restored to its previous evidence type. After upgrading to Totara 14.13 the Legacy course/certification completion import evidence type should be empty.

Totara 14.13 also removed the separation of evidence in the Record of Learning and evidence bank, so any type can now be used when importing or manually creating evidence. By default the Record of Learning report is filtered to show evidence that was uploaded, while the evidence bank will show evidence items that have been manually created. Users are able to change or remove filters as required.

Accessing evidence

You can view your evidence bank by navigating to Develop > Evidence bank from the top navigation bar.

Note that if you're using Totara Learn without Totara Perform, the Evidence bank item will not appear in the menu. While you can still access the evidence bank via the user profile or record of learning, you may want to add a link to the evidence bank as a custom menu item.

You can also access your own evidence bank from the Record of learning in Totara Learn.

In the evidence bank you will see the evidence that has been attributed to you. Evidence is primarily added to the evidence bank, but may be added through learning plans or other methods. The table on this page shows the following information:



Displays the name given to the evidence item.

You can click the evidence name to see more information and view any associated files.


Displays the evidence type that the item is assigned to.

You can click the evidence type to see more information about it, such as its ID number, description and custom fields.

Creation date

Shows the time and date that the evidence item was created.



Displays the name of the user who created the evidence item.


In use

Indicates whether the evidence item is currently linked to a course or competency as a completion or Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) record.

You cannot delete an evidence item if it is currently in use.


Click the icons in this column to edit or delete the evidence item.

By default evidence items can be edited or deleted by the user, their manager, or a Site Administrator.

Viewing evidence in a report

Within Totara it is possible to create custom reports using the report builder. It's possible to create a report (i.e. user report) using the Evidence or Evidence types sources.

These reports can then be shared with users who wouldn't ordinarily have permission to see others' evidence. For example, a user viewing a report of all evidence in the system will be able to see other users' evidence items (unless explicit content restrictions are put in place by the report creator).

The other user's evidence item title appears as a link which leads to an error message saying if you don't have permission to view the evidence. Evidence viewing permissions don't automatically extend to reporting (in terms of visibility, i.e. being able to see that the evidence item exists). So if you're given access to a report containing evidence items without content restrictions, you'll be able to see the evidence items (no matter what the visibility settings are on those evidence items). However, regardless of what you can see in the report you will only be able to access and manage evidence from the report if you have permissions on those evidence items. 

Next steps

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