What are learning plans?
  • 05 Jul 2023
  • 3 minutes to read

What are learning plans?

Article summary

Learning plans allow quick and targeted access to relevant learning, which might be conducted face-to-face or within the Totara system. Learning plans enable staff to see at a glance their progress against specific learning events and the whole plan.

Active learning plan.

If you have multitenancy enabled and tenant isolation turned on then learning plans will not be available.

Creating learning plans and templates

You can use learning plans to ensure that all of your learners have targeted learning based on their goals and training needs, delivered in a structured way based on templates. For each template, you can decide whether learners' plans can contain courses, programs, competencies or objectives. You can view existing templates and create new templates by going to Site administration > Learning Plans > Manage Templates

You can also select different workflow settings for each template - for example, if you want learners to be in control of their learning, you can create a template with a user-driven workflow, allowing them to identify training, goals and competencies that matter to them.

You may want to consider providing new learners with learning plans to provide them with structure and help them to keep track of their essential training. Additionally, you can use learning plans to help learners to identify the steps they need to take to prepare themselves for a new role, or to progress within your organisation.

When you are ready to create a user's learning plan, you can do this from their user profile page. For each learner, you can create a tailored learning plan based on one of your templates.

If you have set up evidence types on your site, learners can upload evidence for any of their assigned courses or competencies. Once learners have completed associated courses or provided valid evidence, their manager can mark components of the learning plan as complete.


When creating a learning plan template you can decide which components can be added to the learning plan. Depending on exactly what you want the learning plan to be used for, you may use different combinations of these components.


If you enable courses on your learning plan template then learners and managers will be able to assign specific courses to plans. This is useful if you have a wide range of courses available for users to mix and match for different training requirements or career paths.

Note that you will need to ensure that your courses' enrolment methods allow learners to access each course through the learning plan.


In addition to directly assigning training through learning plans, you may also want users to assign competencies based on skills and knowledge related to the plan. Users can be marked as competent in a number of ways. These competencies may have linked learning for learners to complete in order to be marked as competent.

This is particularly useful if you are also using Totara Perform, which offers extended competencies functionality.

Learning objectives

You can also include additional learning objectives to a learning plan, for training targets that either relate to the assigned courses and programs, or actions to be taken outside of your Totara site.

Objectives differ from goals in that they are directly linked to training. Goals, on the other hand, might be more general and subjective, such as 'to improve my communication skills', objectives outline specific tasks. For example, one learner's objectives could be:

  • Complete my health and safety training within the next three months
  • Undertake Agile project management training this year


In addition to assigning individual courses to learning plans, you may also want to assign any programs that have been created on your site. This is useful if you have created programs of learning for specific roles or career paths, as you can allow learners or managers to add these preconfigured sets of courses, rather than needing to find and add specific courses.

The Totara Academy has a whole course dedicated to using Learning plans in Totara Learn. Here you can learn more on how to use learning plans, see best practice, and give it a go yourself.

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