Find out how Avilar helped one training company to start offering online courses to their law enforcement students, as well as tracking training, and automating the reporting process to the state.
Corporations, nonprofits, educational institutions, and training businesses around the world routinely use learning management systems (LMS) to deliver and track training. For many training companies, the management of students’ certifications is also a key LMS feature. Teachers, nurses, and law enforcement professionals, for example, are among those who need to maintain licenses or certifications on a regular, recurring schedule – and numerous small businesses specialize in offering the required training courses and tests.
When one training company, the Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy (CCJA), wanted to offer online courses to their law enforcement students, they looked for an LMS that could support them in tracking training. They also wanted to reduce the administrative burden of reporting course completions, as required, to the state of Virginia. Here’s their story.
Background: State Criminal Justice Service Agencies
Among many other missions, state governments are charged with carrying out programs and initiatives to manage the effectiveness of the state’s criminal justice system. As part of that mandate, a state’s criminal justice agency oversees the licensing for security-related professions such as private investigators, locksmiths, and people that teach and deliver personal protection services.
To become licensed, professionals must attend a class and pass a test. Then, to renew the license, many need to retake the course and re-pass a test every two to four years, depending on the profession. For professions requiring the use of firearms, licensees must not only pass a written test; they must also demonstrate proficiency with their weapon at a state-approved firing range.
Each of the training businesses serving these professionals is responsible for reporting participant results to the state, as part of the licensing and renewal process.
Initially, most classes were offered as in-person training events. As technologies and regulations evolved, many states authorized online completion of some training components, particularly the coursework and testing for recurring renewals. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated online learning growth in this and other industries.
CCJA Challenge: Offer Online Courses and Automate Reporting
The Commonwealth Criminal Justice Academy (CCJA), a tactical and medical training firm in northern Virginia, approached Avilar when they wanted to start offering courses online and tracking training and certifications for their students. As part of the expansion, CCJA wanted to offer students the ability to print their own completion certificates.
CCJA also identified an opportunity to reduce the administrative burden of generating additional paperwork that was being mailed to the Commonwealth and to students. Completing a form for each student and sending the paperwork to the state was an administrative hassle – one that was open to human error when completing the forms, not to mention the direct expense in staff labor and postage. They wished to fully automate the process of reporting course completions to the state and to students.
Impactful Solution: Automated Reporting from a Flexible, Customized LMS
The Avilar team worked with CCJA to implement Avilar’s WebMentor LMS™, so CCJA could manage course delivery, track student certifications, and offer online course delivery for the first time. For CCJA, we also configured the LMS to create a course completion form that could be easily downloaded as a PDF file and emailed to students, for their records.
To streamline the process of sending student results to the state, the Avilar team created a custom integration of the LMS to the state’s criminal justice service system through an application programing interface (API). The API allows the LMS to send student information directly to the state’s computerized recordkeeping servers. The move eliminated the paperwork around reporting — saving the company time, maximizing accuracy, and minimizing the effort required for this important information handoff.
Business Results: Expanded Market, Reduced Administrative Burden
By adding online course delivery, CCJA now serves a broader geographic population of students than they could reach with in-person classes alone. As important, they eliminated most of the paperwork required to comply with state licensing certification requirements, freeing the company to focus on optimizing and growing the business.
Avilar Reflections: Meeting a Need Through Collaboration and Customization
It is a pleasure to work with CCJA – and with numerous other law enforcement training companies in Virginia. By word of mouth, other companies in the market have learned that we can easily integrate with the state’s reporting system. For all of them, many “mom and pop” businesses for whom Avilar is the first LMS, we deliver the course, grade the tests, mark them as complete, and transmit the completion data to the state.
In fact, for courses related to firearms proficiency, we do more. Professionals licensed to use a handgun, shotgun, or long gun in Virginia face a two-step licensing and renewal process. Students take both an online course and go to a firing range to demonstrate their ability to fire and maintain the weapon. So, when a student finishes the online course, that completion is captured by the WebMentor LMS, but not yet reported to the state. Then, after the firing range instructor observes the student’s proficiency with the weapon, they log into the LMS and mark the student’s range work as complete. Only then is the final completion status reported to the state.
Our team prides itself on solving our customers’ problems. We’re not a one-size-fits-all solution, like so many of our competitors who don’t have the flexibility to customize their LMS implementations. Instead, we love to listen, engage, and come up with solutions that work. The CCJA story is just one example.
If you have an LMS challenge or puzzle, you’re not alone. Read our 5 Reasons to Invest in an LMS resource to get a sense of what an LMS can do when it comes to tracking training for your employees or students. Or contact us to find out whether Avilar’s WebMentor LMS™ could help!
10 Favorite LMS Features
Does Your LMS Need a Make-Over? Keeping Up with the Modern Learner
On-Premise or Cloud LMS: How to Make the Best Choice
Here Are 7 Top Picks for Your LMS Features Checklist