Guest Post: How Does Your Department Track Training?

From Ilya Plotkin, Program Administrator, TRAIN

Training is key to ensuring that a workforce is prepared in case of emergency or activation. This is particularly true for professions where practice and experience are vital, such as firefighting, law enforcement, and other emergency responders. Each emergency has its nuances and it is difficult to track training and also to identify gaps in training without a system capable of doing so.

      Today, many organizations employ learning management systems (LMS) to manage and track employee training. The LMS can serve web-based and classroom-based training centers, allow the tracking and reporting of training, and can provide a means of centralized information. There are a variety of LMS options available, from built-to-order systems, to pre-built systems, to free platforms.

      The LMS with which I work is TRAIN (, a LMS that is free to all users and course providers. TRAIN, a community of 22 states and 2 national organizations, is geared specifically toward public health and safety professionals. The TRAIN Community utilizes economies of scale and sharing to avoid “reinventing the wheel” and ensure the preparedness of their workforces. Of the approximately 315,000 users on TRAIN, 31,515 identify their primary job role as “Emergency Responder.”

      Most importantly, TRAIN allows organizations, health departments, and fire and police departments to become Course Providers and post both classroom-based and web-based courses either to a limited audience or to a wider audience. Any organization can utilize the system to track attendance and progress of a single training or a set of trainings.

      This brings me to the question that we would like to ask: how does your department or academy currently track training? Is training tracked via a LMS, on paper, or via a database system such as Access or Excel? What experiences have you had with a LMS or online system in the past that may lead you to either promote or avoid them today? We would like to hear your responses…

Contact: Ilya Plotkin
TRAIN Program Administrator
Public Health Foundation
Phone: 202-218-4426
Fax: 202-218-4409