Which Learning Management System?
Part 2: Requirements

Blog Post: LMS Systems

There are over 600 Learning Management System products (LMSs) on the market (you may also know them as VLEs or Learning Platforms just to add even more confusion). In this series of blogs, I’ll be taking you through the process of finding the right one for you. I’ll look at seeking recommendations, defining your requirements and researching LMSs.

Part 2: Defining Your Learning Management System Requirements

If you already have a good sense of what an LMS can do, then that’s a great start. If you aren’t sure then the first thing to do is find out! I have worked with a client who expected LMSs to file their accounts and do the dishes and another who was excited to find out that they could run reports, so set some expectations before you start looking.

To help our clients understand what is possible, we have put together a checklist to give them an indication of functionality you may find in an LMS (download it here). Remember though, not all LMSs will have these functions, so it’s about finding the one that fits within your budget, business, plans, and has all the things that you want and need. To do that, I would recommend taking these steps:


Establish how many users you will have and how often they will access the LMS (i.e. all at once or staggered over time). This is important for the type of pricing plan you are looking for. The main two you will see are:

  1. Actual Users: Number of users loaded on the LMS – it doesn’t matter if they are using it or not. If you reach the total and want to add new users, you will need to remove users first. This tends to be a better plan if you a large percentage of your users are regularly accessing the system.
  2. Active Users: Number of users who access the system within a given month. You can have as many users loaded to the LMS as you like, but you are limited in the number who sign in each month. The plan works better if you have a large number of users who only access the LMS occasionally.

You will also see concurrent plans. This is like “Active” but for users who are currently on the system at the same time. Pretty good if you have users across the world accessing at different times!


Think about if you have a preference for an out-of-the-box solution or something a little bit more bespoke.

  1. Out-of-the-box: Good for quick and cheap deployment and will typically be managed by the LMS supplier so you don’t have to worry about updates and maintenance. Often there are no set up fees but you will be limited to the available functionality. This could be a good solution if you have fairly standard requirements and want to get up and running quickly.
  2. Bespoke: If you need something a little bit different with a custom look and feel or integrations, then you may need to consider a more bespoke system. There will likely be higher start-up costs but often long-term costs are the same, or even cheaper, than an out-of-the-box solution. This could be a good solution if you have a big implementation budget and/or your requirements are unique.

There is an in-between option too, but we’ll talk about that another time!


Define your requirements:

  • Now you know your users and general solution set a budget to include initial set up, annual licensing, administration and maintenance. If you aren’t sure, doing a cost-benefit analysis would be a good idea to help you establish a budget. Alternatively, speak to an expert or do some research to get a baseline figure.
  • List your essential functionality requirements– the things you absolutely must have and are non-negotiable. When you are doing this, consider any future development plans to avoid having to change systems – it’s not fun! If you aren’t sure what your requirements are, then speak to an expert or do a bit of research to establish what you do and do not need.
  • Now list the nice-to-have features – things you don’t need, but you’d like.

If you have any questions about this process, please get in touch and take advantage of our free consultation service. 


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Lekshmi loves listening to music and spending time with her family and friends when away from work. She enjoys dancing and is a pretty good cook!



Amber is a talented graphic designer and an expert on accessibility. She can put her skills to anything creative, working with the Adobe suite to make courses, materials and collateral look attractive and professional.
Amber is involved with the local Autism Strategy and creating the local autism resource website. In her free time, Amber trains her rescue dog, Scout and she also enjoys learning Spanish and coding.

Dr. Mark Spokes

Mark brings over a decade of experience in academic leadership within international higher education, specialising in digital teaching and learning. 

Mark is a qualified psychotherapist and expedition leader. He is often found on a mountain or in a forest. 

Linda Kalnina

Linda has nearly a decade of experience working in education and has postgraduate qualifications in creative industries. She leads the creative design team throughout the design process, from creation of concept to completion of course designs and animations.

Linda loves outdoor adventures and has led expeditions across Europe. She enjoys yoga and dog walks, or just keeping cosy with good coffee and good music.

Phil Spokes

Phil is responsible for the smooth running of the business and ensuring the team and our partners are all kept happy.

Phil has 12 years of training and project management experience and specialises in digital learning design, development and delivery. As the company director, he is responsible for ensuring that our values are upheld, and the team have everything they need to provide an unbeatable service.

Phil enjoys travelling, road trips, dog walks in the woods and is a long-time season ticket holder at Northampton Town FC. He also enjoys volunteering with schools and is a STEM Ambassador and the Enterprise Advisor for Billing Brook School.


Rachel is a former teacher with a wide range of talents. She specialises in learning design and development in Articulate 360. She was our first employee so knows the business inside out and will be able to help with anything you need!

Rachel is at her happiest when spending time with family, reading her kindle, singing badly to loud music or drawing up pretty things on her iPad.


Claudino has 8 years of experience as a digital media designer and is an expert in Articulate Storyline. Heading up our development team, Claudino ensures all of our courses are interactive, accessible and functional. He is also a skilled designer and illustrator, so substance is always with style.
As a new dad, Claudino spends a lot of his spare time playing with his son. When not doing that, he enjoys cooking (he’s a major foodie) and playing video games.


Charlotte brings a background in media production and content creation. She is another versatile member of our team, able to apply her skills and experience to an array of tasks, including storyboarding and course development.

Charlotte enjoys watching horror films (despite being terrified half the time), scenic walks around National Parks, yoga and reading whatever she can get her hands on.


Matt has an extensive background in the service industry enabling him to work across all areas of our business. He works primarily with the development team on Storyline projects, but he also leads our audio/visual work, managing our voiceover roster and producing our AV assets.
Matt is an avid reader, who loves queuing up the next thing to enrich his mind. He is also a gamer with his own YouTube channel, where he reviews retro-inspired video-games, as well as being a keen runner and keep-fit enthusiast.


Kayleigh is formerly a physiotherapist with a background in digital media. This means she is extremely versatile and can also use her Learning Design, Articulate and Adobe skills to work across all areas of the business.

Kayleigh is an English Kiwi, who loves travel and adventure. When she isn’t out and about with her friends and family, she can be found chilling at home with her partner and her cat, Pickles, where she enjoys creating art, reading and baking.


With 20 years of creative experience, Gary brings a wealth of knowledge and skills in everything design, from print to video and 3D to web. As our motion graphics lead, he brings content to life through attractive and engaging videos and animations.

When he’s not busying himself at work, Gary enjoys long walks with his dog, running, snowboarding and watching an unhealthy amount of YouTube.


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Kyle homer

I spend most of my spare time listening to music and usually plan my weekends around watching live music! I am also a huge Arsenal fan and try to go to games as often as possible, if not I watch them whilst hiding behind the sofa.

I have just finished my MA in Modern History and can often be found with a dull-looking book in hand! When I get the opportunity I enjoy travelling and experiencing new cultures and especially food!

Hannah Webster

Hannah is responsible for social media and communications, and will likely be the first person you speak to if you get in touch with us.

Hannah has recently completed a degree in Business and Management at the University of Sussex. She manages our social media accounts and email inboxes, as well as helping out on development projects.

Outside of work, Hannah enjoys socialising with her friends and going out walking. You’ll find her happiest with a large cup of tea and a packet of biscuits.


Emily has always had a passion for animation and digital media. After getting her masters degree back in 2013, she’s spent seven years in the industry, collecting knowledge and honing her skills. 

Her time animating professionally has given her a wide range of knowledge in everything from 3D to stop motion!

When she’s not at work, she’ll be at home chilling out and watching a film with her partner, dog, and two cats. Weekends are reserved for pub trips and beer-making!


Zoe Barnes

Zoe is a PGCE-qualified English teacher, with experience of teaching in secondary schools both in the UK and internationally. During her teaching career, she particularly enjoyed delivering CPD sessions on good teaching and learning practices, and mentoring trainee and newly-qualified teachers. She now applies these skills to learning design and developing our courses.

Zoe loves to travel and see the world, and has lived in The Netherlands, New Zealand, and Portugal. She enjoys weekly Parkrun 5ks, and the occasional 10k race. She continues to create and share teaching resources with the online English teaching community.



Danielle loves spending time with her family and enjoys day trips to the beach, watching a new crime drama with a good cuppa and baking for her friends and family.

When time allows, Danielle also loves to explore a new country but believes there are too many great places to go back twice (unless it’s the Maldives!).



Emma loves exploring the UK and Europe in her campervan and having adventures with her dog Skip.

When she is not away, she can be found playing tennis (badly) or watching a good film.



Mia enjoys attending gigs and festivals, and snowboarding in her spare time.

When she’s looking for something more chilled, you’ll often find her mooching around a good charity shop.


vicky stafford

Vicky is happiest when spending time with her family, especially when exploring the outside!

She is also an avid theatre-goer (especially musicals!), loves a family film night on the sofa, and cosying up with a good book.

Vicky Profile


Hazel has always been fascinated with creating things in her free time, and you’ll find her working on a painting or creating something from clay.

While waiting for those to dry, she’s either watching her latest tv obsession, exploring the local area, or going to gigs and exhibitions.

Hazel Profile