If you have just one or two learners to add to your learning platform then the quickest way is to use the 'Manage learner details' application so you might find this useful: How to manage new learners.
If you’ve got a lot of people that you want to add, for example when you first have access to the platform, then it’s well worth the effort to create an import spreadsheet and then import the whole lot in one go.
So, from the Manage people and places menu, pick Import learner details
You’ll see two options:
- Universal - this import follows a fixed structure, with us telling you exactly what information you need to put into your file, and in what order and format. If all the information is entered correctly, the import tool will take all that data and put it straight into the platform. No need for any extra steps or configuration, it works just like that!
- Standard - this import is slightly different in that we don't tell you what information or data is required. It’s unfixed, so you’ll need to set it up and configure it to your requirements. This import is useful if you have a file with your learner details that doesn’t quite fit for the universal import, as not every file will look the same or contain the same information. It’s very much dependent on the organisation.
With both import options, you’ll need your file that you want to upload to be a CSV file. A CSV file is a comma separated values file, and this basically means that each piece of data in the file is separated by a comma, rather than a column. It’s not something that’s too important to know the ins and outs of for your import purposes, you just need to make sure that your file type indicates it’s a CSV.
The Universal learner import is great for getting all your learners on the platform in one go, without having to do any additional configuring, so select Universal.
The way it works is a simple 2-step process where you choose a file to upload and then select Submit:
So, the key thing to get right is the file that you are uploading, and you’ll notice that we give you plenty of help to get it right first time:
Let’s have a look at the expected structure in more detail below:
- User Name - this is the unique name that the learner will user at the log in screen
- User Type (Dashboard) - this needs to be a known dashboard within your platform, it’s what determines the tools that the learner sees when they log in. If you’re not sure which value to use then open up the Manage learner details application to look for yourself, Show the User Details Editor, scroll down and see what options are displayed in the Dashboard dropdown:
- First Name - the learner’s given first name
- Last Name - the learner’s given surname
- Email - they’ll need this if they ever forget their password!
- Password - something that will let them login, changeme is a good one
- Org1 - this is important as it is the location where they work and is key to reporting. If you’re not sure which value to use then open up the Manage learner details application to look for yourself, Show the Learner Details Editor, scroll down and see what options are displayed in the four organisation dropdowns
Also have a look at the Manage company structure application and look at the location editor (it might be called something else but it’s the one on the far right!)
- Date of Birth - it’s not mandatory to include this but if you do it’ll be imported
- Country Code - GB will do just fine
- Language Code - en will do just fine
- Job Code – this works alongside the Job Description field which is coming up next. If you’re not sure which value to use then open up the Manage learner roles application, have a look at the list and pick one from the Code column
- Job Description – this works alongside the Job Code field which we’ve just covered. If you’re not sure which value to use then open up the Manage job types application, have a look at the list and pick one from the Description column:
- Company Start Date – is the date they joined the company, make sure it looks like this 02/08/1998 (and not in any other date format)
- Company Leave Date – is the date they left the company, make sure it looks like this 25/08/2020 (and not in any other date format). The leaving date is important because it will also set this person as inactive (and will keep your reporting stats accurate!)
- Employment Type – this may be used for filtering in reports. If you’re not sure which value to use then open up the Manage learner details application to look for yourself, Show the User Details Editor, scroll down and see what options are displayed in the Employment Type dropdown:
- Old User Name – this is a very handy feature that lets you change an existing username to be a new username. You might have previously created a learner with a temporary username just to get them up and running whilst they wait for their payroll number to be issued for example.
- Tmp Exclude – this is a simple 1 or a 0. If you set it as 1 then this person will be excluded from reporting:
So, we’ve covered what data is needed, we now just need to bring it all together in one place and the easiest way to do that is with an Excel spreadsheet (or your open source spreadsheet application of choice). This is the file you will choose to upload/import.
A really important thing to note is that the column names have to be exactly as we show them in the expected structure – including the capitalisation and the spaces in between the words.
If you find that you’ve created the template using MS Excel and you’ve inadvertently added an extra column or two, then this will affect how the Universal import works and you’ll see an error message like this:
When your file has successfully imported you’ll see this message:
So, that’s it for the Universal learner import! Don’t forget to check your error logs!
What about the Standard learner import option?
You’ll remember we also mentioned a Standard option when it comes to importing learner details. You’ll only use this option if we have already created an automated user import facility for you as a paid for managed service.
The advantage of using the Standard learner import is that it’s not as fixed as the Universal one, in that it will still work and import your learner details with whatever information you or your HR system has on your workforce. It’s all about taking the information you can provide on your learners, mapping the data, and making sure the Standard import puts the right data in the right place in the system.
Firstly, go back to the dashboard and head to USP only and then User import settings
You’ll see a series of rows that either refer to a description of ‘column’ data in your CSV file, or ‘type’ rows which contain options for how you want the importer to be set up. We’ll work through the different rows and what they all mean.
You’ll want to have your CSV file open, either in another window or using a split screen, so that you can begin to fill out and map the import tool with which column number reflects what type of information. For example, if the username column in your file is column 1 (or A), then you’ll type 1 into the ‘Username column’ row.
A word of warning - you can’t have more than one way of setting up a standard importer on a given platform - once set up in a particular way, that will be the configuration for all the files across the organisation. So, when you’re matching the column numbers in your file onto the learning platform, all future files must also have the same column numbers match up with the Standard importer. This is especially needed if you’ve chosen to have an automated import service.
Essential information for your import:
You may be looking at this page thinking, wow that is a lot of information I need for my file and I don’t even know half of these details? That’s not a problem, you don’t need to fill out every single row. If you can then great! But we’ve made a list of the information we need to make sure your learners’ details are imported correctly:
- Username - this is probably the most important bit of information! We need to have a unique bit of information that allows the platform to identify who’s who. Without a unique username the import just won’t work.
- First name and surname - and in the right order too. You don’t want masses of people to be contacting you asking you why people keep calling them by their surnames in emails to find out that their names are backwards on the platform!
- Date of birth - not essential per say, but if you have any courses with age restrictions then having DOBs is very useful to know.
- Email - this forms a learner’s log in details, and is generally useful to have on the platform.
- Job code or description - another essential one! We need to know what each learner’s job is in order to assign them to a learning profile. Without knowing what their job is, the platform won’t be able to assign them a profile, which means they won’t have access to any courses.
- Org1 location - we also need to know where exactly each learner fits into the company structure. And this information needs to be the Org1 short name you filled out when setting up your company structure. You may find this guide useful: How to manage your company structure’
- User Type - this one isn’t essential, but it is really great if you do have it. If not, we can just derive this information from the job code or description you provided.
- Company start date - this is particularly important if you have courses that need to be completed within a certain time frame at the start of a person’s job.
Job code or job description?
You may have noticed that there are separate rows for ‘job code’ and ‘job description’. Now, if you have both bits of information to hand then that’s great, you can just fill them in as you would any other box. However, what if you only have one or the other?
Well, that’s okay too! The job code usually trumps the description, but with either the code or the description, the platform takes each bit of data for each person and looks to see if that code or description already exists in the database. If it does, it finds the ID for it and applies it to the person or group of people with that specific job code. But what if it’s a new job code or description?
If a job code is provided for a new job type, then this will allow the platform to then create a new job type for this code, and then assign it to the people with the new job. But for a new job type to be created, a description is needed for the reporting tools. And if a job description is not provided in the file, we need to get that information from somewhere else.
So, what you can do is simply enter the column number for job description (or code, whichever has been provided) in both the ‘Job code column’ AND ‘Job description column’.
Once this has been done in the import tool, it’ll be entered into the import error log to prompt you to then go into ‘Manage learner roles’ and assign this new job type to the relevant learning profile, so people with this new job have the learning they need.
After you’ve matched up your columns in your file with the data on the import set up page, you’ll reach the ‘type’ rows. These are filters that outline some additional configurations for your import:
- Org filter type - you have the option of telling us your Org1 name either with a name or an ID. This filter tends to be set as name (and has to match up with the Org1 short names already in the system, or the record will be aborted).
- Learning profile filter type - you can either tell us your user profile as a description or an ID. Using descriptions for the user profiles tends to be the norm, so you would set this filter as ‘description’ if that’s the case in your CSV file.
- User type filter type - this tends to be set to ID, which would tell us to go and locate the information in the database. But if you have been able to provide this information in your file, then you would set this filter as ‘name’.
- Job type filter type - this can either be set as ‘code’ or ‘description’ dependent on the information you’ve provided in your file. If you’ve provided both the job codes and the job descriptions, then set this filter as ‘code’.
- Course identifier key - linked to ‘Attach courses column’ and ‘Detach courses column’ (which are used to assign/remove courses from a flexible profile, by adding the course codes into the relevant rows). The importer needs to know where to look for the course codes, so choose aicc or alt.
- Date format – this is set as d/m/Y and this means use two digits for the day, two digits for the month, and four digits for the year. You cannot mix and match your date formats in your file, so make sure you’re using the same format throughout.
- Import type – this is especially important! You can either have an ‘active only’ import or a ‘batch’ import.
If leaving date information is not provided in your CSV file, then you must ensure that on every file import you include all your active learners. And so, your import type would be an ‘active only’ import as you’re basically telling the system that this file contains all your active learners, and anyone who isn’t in the file (but still has a record on the platform) is to be set as inactive. It’s worth double checking this part, ensuring that you’ve included ALL your active learners, as you may end up in a situation where a whole load of your learners are set as inactive!
And then we have batch importing. This is simply just the system processing the file from start to end. If a leaving date is included, great! But if it’s not, then it’s no big deal. Unlike the active only import, it will not set people as inactive if they’re not included on the file import.
- Force password change - if you’re creating a brand new record for a person or group of people, then make sure that this box is ticked. This will prompt the learner when they first log in to change their password from the default one set by the platform.
- Retain password - if you’re just updating the record of a person or group of people, then make sure that this box is also ticked. You don’t want the platform to change the passwords of all your learners after they’ve gone to the effort of choosing and remembering their own passwords!
And there we have it! Don’t forget to Save. You should now be able to set up your standard importer from any CSV file, bringing all your learners’ details onto the platform with just a few clicks. You will only need to set up and configure the standard importer once, so once it’s done, you only need to upload a CSV file in future imports.
The next guide in this section is ‘How to check the user import error logs’.
You might also find these useful to help you get up to speed with how the various applications all work together:
Just to help you out we’ve got this handy template below that you can use as your starting point! Just remember to export the files you create as CSV files: