If you are choosing a learning management system then you have hundreds of options and the best LMS for training providers may differ from those suited to other types of company.
Regularly updated, here we offer a 2021 list of what we believe are the top LMS solutions for specialist training companies.
We have based our analysis on Cost of Ownership, Features and Functionalities, Development Pathway, and Future Proofing of your purchase.
There are reportedly over 1000 LMS on the market and we have selected just a few, but these are products we would seriously advise you as a training company or in-house training department to put on your shortlist. We have used and deployed many of these learning management systems on our own projects, as well as projects for our clients.
Elsewhere on our site, we provide shortlists and reviews addressing LMS options for large organisations, mid-sized companies and SMEs. We also signpost top elearning solutions for various industry sectors and countries across the globe.
If you wish for us to give you a view on the best LMS for your organisation, please get in touch.
Let’s get into the list – all great solutions, so not in any particular order:
Svelte LMS from Walkgrove
Svelte is the slender and elegant learning management system that’s easy to use and cost effective. In our Svelte LMS review we said “multitenancy and multilingual – no problem”.
Ideal for both niche and large training providers who need to reach a disparate, even global, workforce – Svelte features include:
- Easy enrolment of learners, with pre-registration, bulk uploads or self-enrolment, along with single sign-on (SSO) capabilities
- Configurable training reminders and email alerts
- Learner profile and course groups to create learning pathways
- Powerful and configurable reports and certifications.
Favourite feature: a series of neat configuration options for multiple languages, managed integrated multi-tenancy, e-commerce, personalisation and learner profiling.
7 Maisies Way
Telephone: +44 (0)1773 864640
Learn more at: https://www.walkgrove.co.uk/svelte/
This learning platform is all about delivering training for customers and clients – and it does this job extremely well!
Calling itself a Customer Learning Platform, Thought Industries is an excellent choice for training companies (or any organisation delivering training to their clients, franchises or channel partners), with strong emphasis on monetisation.
This platform is designed to deliver high-definition content, and core areas of strength are its flexibility, delivery of learning at the point of need, certificate management, reporting, and the marketing and sales of your elearning.
APIs and Webhooks enable Thought Industries to integrate seamlessly with CRM, HRS and a range of other systems.
33 Broad Street
Boston, MA 02109
What can we say about Moodle – the world’s most well-known and used learning platform? Moodle is a phenomenon. It’s an open source LMS, which can mean a low or even zero cost of ownership other than hosting and maintenance – and this makes for a compelling offer. We have seen examples of great Moodle instances from experts, but some truly awful Moodle instances when a DIY job has been done. To get a great instance, you will need expert in-house skills or a solid Moodle Partner.
There are many certified services providers to choose from, so we recommend choosing one who offer an impressive body of case studies and useful information on elearning and LMS for your particular sector and / or type of training need.
Moodle can offer great value and great functionality and is on many a list of the best LMS solutions overall – for business training as well as education. And rightly so. Many leading brands now use Moodle for their elearning.
The best way to ensure a smooth and robust implementation of a new platform is to work with a Moodle Partner to make sense of the huge numbers of blocks and keep up with the regular upgrades and the community’s ever changing developments.
Pricing is dependent upon the project, but Open Source can be very cost effective, and if you ever want to leave your provider, you can keep your LMS as-is, and bring in another developer to support your platform and continue in its ongoing maintenance and development.
Favourite feature… freedom from vendor lock-in as it’s an open source platform, plus the passionate community of developers worldwide, who drive continuous improvement in this LMS.
Learn more about Moodle, the world’s most popular LMS, at moodle.org
Enable by Virtual College
One of the most evolved LMS on the market in the UK. Virtual College has led the UK market aligning and configuring their LMS for the needs of Training Providers and Further Education, including Apprenticeships.
Within the Enable LMS, reporting is rock solid and competencies and e-portfolios are highly evolved, driven by Enable’s excellent assessment functionality. Enable is a good solution for blended learning delivery. Virtual College have a large library of content and strong content development skills. Virtual College offer first line learner support. This means any learners “having issues” are fully supported, and we see this as a crucial factor in delivering any new e-learning programme. This is learner support, not technical support! No obligation demos are available.
Virtual College have introduced VOOCs (Vocational Open On-line Courses exclusively trademarked by Virtual College) which are looking like a very innovative and exciting development pathway and another good reason to consider Virtual College.
Pricing is very competitive and both support and development are excellent.
Here you can see our review of Enable.
Favourite feature – first line learner support and the VOOC concept is just great.
Virtual College Limited
Phone: + 44 01943 885093
This is an excellent, well-rounded learning management system with applications for pretty much any type of training.
In our IMC LMS review, we summed it up as a “Complete Learning Suite for Online & On The Job Training”.
It includes a very handy Predictive Search feature, a dedicated module for On The Job Training which is designed to be as mobile-friendly as possible, gamification, digital signatures, content recommendations, social learning, advanced LMS reporting & analytics… The list goes on!
Feature-packed, yet without being overwhelming.
Headquartered in Germany, IMC have offices worldwide.
imc information multimedia
Tel. +49 681 94 76 0
US-based eThink are learning management system specialists who offer custom LMS services – including platform development, implementation, hosting and client support – based on the open-source Moodle and Totara.
eThink is a high-quality, consultative elearning solutions provider, and one of the world’s leading Totara and Moodle Partners.
Their experience in creating solutions for learning platform multi-tenancy, compliance management, learner analytics and ecommerce functionality makes them ideal LMS vendors to support training companies.
Managed by experienced elearning experts, eThink’s LMS solutions provide dynamic and customizable platforms to meet complex organizational needs.
Call – US: +1 (877) 938-5328 / UK: +44 203 608 9366
Learn more about their LMS solutions for training companies on the eThink website.
This is a comprehensive LMS with lots of up to date features covering most of what you will need in any training organisation or department. Features include classroom alignment, lots of integration options and APIs. Docebo also has a content market place, which is useful. There is a 14 day free trial.
Pricing is transparent and pay as you go offers good value, future development pathways look good as well.
Favourite feature – easily integrates with other systems
Via Toledo 156
Italy Phone: +39 039 2323286
UK Phone: +44 121 288 1122
Established for over 17 years, iSpring have over 49,000 clients across the globe, including 148 companies from the Fortune 500. They have developed their impressive LMS – iSpring Learn – to empower teams, with particular focus on the areas of Employee Onboarding, Product Training and Staff Assessments.
Here you can read our review of the iSpring Learn LMS.
Favourite feature… the integrated authoring tool, which allows allows L&D professionals to start simply but then quickly to become sophisticated elearning aficionados.
815 N. Royal St. Suite 202
Alexandria, VA 22314
This is that rare LMS that is 100% aligned to training organisations and consequently is the Dutch market leader. aNewSpring provides one of the most comprehensive learning management systems on the market, supporting mobile delivery and integrated social learning. It has its own content creation and importing environment, and many more features, including adaptive learning pathways. Links well for trainers developing blended learning programmes. This product can be ready to go in a very short time. Memo Trainer is a nice addition as it keeps learners engaged and on-track.
Pricing is very competitive and transparent indeed as it has no set up costs and fully future proof. The product support looks excellent as well. There is free demo to let you create courses straight away.
Favourite feature….you can be up and running creating courses before you pay a penny and we love Memo Trainer!
Kallidus is the blue chip LMS in that mid-corporate training space and offers top of the range learner management and reporting features. Kallidus links well to blended learning and offers resources management, while ROI calculation is also provided. Kallidus’s learning administration functionality is excellent. Kallidus as a company has good content development capability as well. Demo’s are available and Kallidus has a great reputation for listening to its customers.
Kallidus has a defined development pathway, moving into SaaS and mobile, as well as talent management.
Pricing is offered with a great deal of flexibility provided in licencing and SaaS options.
Favourite feature….Kallidus App for iOS and Android is very neat
Phone: +44 1285 883900
The Nimble LMS from Nimble Elearning is a skills orientated learning management system that is engaging and effective to use. With a strong focus on the learner, this “lite and elegant” solution includes a very good authoring tool: Nimble Author. Nimble Author comes with templates and royalty free images to accelerate content development. Nimble Elearning offer a number of off the shelf courses as well.
Nimble Elearning are certainly innovative and appear to have a well thought through approach to learning. We are confident this will translate into continued product development.
Pricing: For value for money at the let’s get going end of the market – this is a good solution.
Favourite feature… Nimble Author is free and supports collaborative content development.
Bond’s Mill Estate
Phone: +44 (0)1453 823029
LearnUpon offers a simple and effective e-learning platform designed mainly as an LMS for training companies. It can handle SCORM and other content. It is probably the best LMS we know for simply uploading content and managing content. It is particularly strong at e-commerce, marketing and promotion, and as such is ideal for commercial training providers.
The development of LearnUpon to date has been impressive and the company has a robust development pathway, as well as market leading uptime and product support.
Pricing is very transparent and offers good value on a pay as you go model, with no contractual tie-ins.
Favourite feature – ability to clone customer portals in minutes
The friendly LMS as it brands itself, Litmos was the pioneer of the pay as you go LMS. Litmos offers a nice development environment to import or build courses, nothing fancy, but functional and easy (friendly) to use. Litmos is a long way down the Tin Can route and the platform can operate as an LRS (Learning Record Store) in recording Tin Can statements that are linked to the LMS.
Litmos is part of Callidus Cloud – a much larger organisation so future development will be we would assume, assured.
Pricing is clear and transparent and ideal for small and medium sized organisations.
Favourite feature…..LRS functionality….that’s future proofing
6200 Stoneridge Mall Road
Pleasanton, CA 94588
USA: +1 (925) 251 2220
UK: +44 (0) 207 849 6870
Day One Technologies
New addition to the list – and an interesting option for training providers seeking bespoke development of a white label learning platform for their clients. Day One have created training solutions for some of the biggest companies in the UK and Europe, with clients including the likes of Lloyds Business Banking, TSB and ghd.
If you’re a training company that wants to introduce an LMS that completely fits your own branding or that of your clients, then Day One’s white label elearning solutions could be ideal for creating an engaging, bespoke experience that fits in seamlessly with your existing offerings.
Unit 55, Batley Business and Technology Centre
Tel: +44 (0)1924 510 524
A good LMS is important for helping organisations to deliver the latest content to their learners 24/7, and is one of the top HR and training tools used by leading companies to manage and develop their staff. We hope this list of the best LMS for training providers will prove useful if you are choosing one.
Can We Help You?
If you need advice on choosing the right LMS please get in touch with us here at Learning Light.
Lead eLearning Consultant
Our lead elearning consultant David Patterson is an expert in training technologies such as learning management systems, and in elearning best practices.
He has helped many public and private sector organisations across the UK, Europe and worldwide to create and deliver engaging, effective elearning.
David is joint author of several research papers including the highly acclaimed Learning Light reports on the UK elearning market.