Across most businesses, there is some sort of training that takes place. Whether this training is to keep employees abreast of the latest trends across the industry, or simply onboarding an employee with relevant HR information or organizational practices, it doesn’t matter. Each and every training that is completed to advance careers or to remain informed of changes should be documented by the relevant personnel to ensure there is no oversight.
In some industries, it is a requirement to keep training logs and turn those logs over throughout auditing process - while in other industries, it may not be required but instead is encouraged as industries become more specialized. For many reasons, it can be important to keep up with employee trainings, whether it be for promotions, raises, bonuses, or just ensuring that someone on the team has specialized knowledge that can be leveraged. In all of these cases, the adoption of a training database or even the creation of one can be very appealing. It also can be worth its weight in gold.
Industries that are highly regulated, like healthcare and pharmaceuticals, even energy and others that relate to the safety and health of individuals, are quick to adopt training databases. In some organizations this can look like a Google document or spreadsheet that is updated each time someone completes a training, earns a certification or license, or renews an existing certification. While these are highly cost effective, they can present other problems, such as who has access to the training database - particularly if it hold sensitive information about an employees status, or simply ensuring that it is kept up with in a timely manner. Using the information that is in the training database can also present a problem, unless there are highly adept employees that are skilled in building reports from the information available within the system. This is typically why companies will turn to a system that is built outside the organization.
Purchasing a training database from a software company can be very advantageous, with the only downside being that is costs a little extra money than the obvious free solutions. However, the benefits are that the information is more readily available through the use of robust reports that are built out to analyze information quickly and concisely. Additionally, alerts and automatic notifications are typically available, although check with each provider, this will allow a more hands off approach to managing certifications and trainings - when an employee is due for a certain training or reaching an expiration, it is no longer a manual process to send out a confirmation email and instead this will happen automatically. Certain training databases also have an employee self-service portal which allows employees to submit their certifications for approval as opposed to working through HR staff or managers that compile information for the training database.
Ultimately, Training Databases are storage systems comprised of information regarding training, certifications, and licensures for companies as a way to stay up-to-date on training information. These information systems can be useful in many different settings and in various ways, it is likely that every company employs some sort of database that may not formally be known as a training database. If nothing like this exists at your work, it might be time to do some investigating to put together a formal place to keep track of this type of information. It’s implications are farther reaching than you may expect, especially in industries that are regulated, but even in those that are not.