Training management systems (TMS) are often confused with Learning Management Systems (LMS) nowadays when in fact, they are both different facets of overall Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

To use a Cornish Pastry analogy: The TMS dough provides the LMS mince and veggie filling structure, forming the Cornish Pastry aka the CPD offering. Without one or the other, a successful CPD strategy may just remain a pie in the training sky.

The hype these days in LMS solutions are geared towards apps, bots, automation, and gamification to attract, engage and inspire the SME learning audience. However, lacking in the TMS department (back-office hardware foundation) will result in LMS benefits slipping through incompatibility and disparity cracks.

So, where does it all go pear-shaped on the TMS side? Often, the lack of a proper system or an incompatible TMS not integrating with the LMS is the culprit.

However, prior to delving into the nitty gritty of integration and compatibility, let us first review the problematic issue at hand.


  • Compliance with the requirements of SETA’s, Department of Labor, BEE Code of Conduct, and strong health and safety practices is complex and time-consuming.
  • Compiling an accurate and comprehensive ATR and WSP is problematic and very labour-intensive
  • In many cases, companies negate compliance dates, spend money on training projects not meeting BEE criteria, and do not get SETA grants, and endure a whole lot of admin rigmarole with no ROI – zip, nada!!

Soooo……how much did you get back last year in grants? Do you know what happens to your SDL Money spent?

If the answer is “not sure” to any of these questions, you may need the eSDF online solution offering, aka a “digital skills development facilitator”. eSDF is the perfect tool to assist skills development facilitators to manage employee skills development training-related activities seamlessly.


Let’s assume the annual wage bill of x company is 50 million. This entails an SDL of 500k per annum to be paid.

From that, you may receive a 100k (20%) mandatory grant and an additional 247k (49.5%) discretionary grant.  

Yes sure, if only it was that easy, right?

A proper TMS process is based on 3 Pillars:

Sounds pretty doable correct?  Well, it isn’t happening in practice, is it?


The answer is quite simple: For any system to be successful, we require the five ‘’rights.”

“Right Information, Right Place, Right Time, Right Format, Right Person”.

If any of these are absent or lacking in efficiency, the system will implode on itself.


Now, before throwing the baby out with the bathwater and running up to the FM’s office to beg for more funding, let us delve into the causal issues leading to companies not receiving the maximum grants they are entitled to.

There are numerous stakeholders involved in training and skills development. For an SDF or Training Manager, these could be like herding cats….overwhelming to coordinate and impossible to keep track of.

On the one hand, one is dealing with employees to be trained and managers requesting learning interventions. That in itself is a mammoth feat to try and coordinate requests, approvals, and busy schedules of employees that need to attend the training sessions.

As on the flip side of the coin, are the training providers, ready with new shiny learning applications, often not accredited (which you won’t know if you don’t ask), or with hefty price tags.

Of course, last but not least, our friends at SETA that you have to keep happy and satisfied with adequate reports and documentation.


Why not review these all too common administrative TO DO LIST challenges #labourintensive #todoitems below? If you can relate to them in your organization, give eSDF a call.

CHALLENGE 1 – Employees not a breeze

  • Registering new employees and also non-employees (learnerships, interns)
  • Tracking and amend employment status employees who resigned, absconded, passed-away, FTC contracts expired
  • Changing occupational levels of employees who received a promotion, employees with new job titles, moved over to a different divisions or department
  • Updating records following a restructuring, such as people transferred to new divisions or other locations

CHALLENGE 2– Managing Management

  • Check training status of the request for approvals, and approved training, and the flow through to Planned Training by using the Training Status Exception Report
  • Update training requests from management, and record any changes, if required
  • Change training status of Planned Training to Scheduled Training by capturing starting date/s
  • Notification line managers that the specific person/s will be on training for the specified training period
  • For longer types of programs, share the training schedule with line managers, including notional hours and class-room based activities.

CHALLENGE 3 – Parenting the Providers

  • Registering new training providers and monitoring accreditation expiry dates and related validity
  • Staying on top of SLA starting and ending dates, obtain new SLA’s, change starting and ending dates
  • Checking usage of training courses presented by the training provider, review usage, and review / remove redundant training providers

CHALLENGE 4 – Credit or Exit

  • Registering new training courses and changing status and detail of training courses, as and when required
  • Verifying expiry dates of Accreditations, request new Accreditation certificates, and update load onto a database/system
  • Checking usage of training courses, review course library, and review / remove redundant courses

CHALLENGE 5 – After all is said and done

  • Change training status of Actual Training to Completed Training when you have reached the calendar ending date/s
  • Update training requests, and record any changes, if required
  • Notify line managers that the specific person/s completed the course, although you may not have the results as yet
  • Request Training Certificates from Training Providers, if not received as yet
  • Regularly check the usage of training courses, streamline and review the course library, and review / remove redundant courses (change the current listing to “De-listed”) Move to Training Course Process

Just looking at the above spells trouble….A LOT of paperwork trouble!!!!


eSDF aims to assist you in streamlining and digitizing the information gathering and reporting process. Added bench strength is also available via the training solutions experts from eStudy plus, backed for good measure, by the brilliance of the consultancy firm – BEE Analyst to provide you expert advice on BEE requirements.

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