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 2018 list of what we believe are the leading LMS options for specialist training companies.
We have based our analysis on Cost of Ownership, Features and Functionalities, Development Pathway and Future Proofing 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 elearning solutions for differing industry sectors.
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:
Pathway Cloud LMS from WillowDNA
A highly experienced e-learning company in Bristol, South West England, WillowDNA have worked with a number of major brands across the UK, mainland Europe, USA and worldwide. They offer the complete range of online learning solutions, including their Pathway Cloud LMS as well as bespoke content and consultancy services.
WillowDNA’s impressive e-learning case studies include a number of training providers, such as DPG, Pitman Training, Improve International, BPP and Rock and a Hard Place, and partnership with the brought a Gold Award at the Learning Awards 2016. WillowDNA have also worked across diverse industries, such as Healthcare, Telecoms and Food & Beverages, supporting major brands like Pepsico, Telefonica O2 and Unilever.
Willow Learning Ltd
Bristol & Bath Science Park
+44 (0)117 370 7735
Browse www.willowdna.com/pathway-cloud-lms for more on their LMS for training providers and other types of organisation.
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 to Further Education and training providers needs including Apprenticeships. 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 the latest version of Enable.
Favourite feature – first line learner support and the VOOC concept is just great.
Virtual College Limited
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
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, but one of the most interesting new specialist providers is Titus Learning – a Moodle Partner who are building an impressive body of case studies and information.
Moodle can offer great value and great functionality. The best solution 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.
Moodle Partner for the UK and Hong Kong:
Titus Learning Ltd
West Yorkshire BD18 3LA
+44 (0)1133 200 346
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
Nimble by elearning 247
Nimble LMS (and the free nimbleAuthor) is a skills orientated LMS, which is engaging and effective to use. With a strong focus on the learner this “lite and elegant” solution includes a very good authoring tool: nimbleAuthor. nimbleAuthor comes with templates and royalty free images to accelerate content development. Elearning 247 offer a number of off the shelf courses as well.
elearning 247 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…. nimbleAuthor is free and supports collaborative content development
Bond’s Mill Estate
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
Can We Help You?
If you need advice on choosing the right LMS please get in touch with us here at Learning Light.