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    The LMS is Still the Regulatory Workhorse of the Life Science Industry

    Author : Scott Barnard
    Posted date : 5/21/2018

    Google the phrase ‘is the LMS dead?’ and you’ll be hit with almost 2,000,000 search results. 

    So the tried-and-true learning management system must clearly be on life support, right?


    It is true that the methodology of learning is changing. With a new generation of millennial learners and a growing array of technology mediums, the traditional use of the LMS is evolving.

    Note I said evolving--not expiring.

    Learning activities are increasingly moving toward the point of need and being delivered outside of the traditional LMS model. However, this can only be done for specific use cases and does not apply to all critical learning happenings in an organization. 

    This is particularly true in highly regulated industries such as medical device, pharmaceutical and healthcare.


    Five Reasons Why the LMS Helps Achieve Learning Goals

    Simply stated, the LMS gets the job done. Through simple, but smartly-designed functionality and deployment, this learning system consistently delivers the five critical outcomes that all regulated industries rely on:

    1. Compliance to Changing Regulation
    2. Compliance to Internal Policies & Procedures
    3. Audit Reporting
    4. Management Reporting
    5. Right Training, Right People, Right Time

    The LMS is critical to keeping the organization in compliance with changing regulatory requirements, as well as the frequency of changes to internal processes and procedures.  Both need to be accurately documented and prepared for immediate presentation during internal or external audits.

    To sustain regulatory compliance and ensure management can easily track who is--or is not--qualified in particular areas, a comprehensive role-based training program must be in place and continuously maintained.

    This burden cannot fall solely on the shoulders of the technical training team.

    The LMS is a critical tool to automate role-based training

    and continuously ensure the right people are getting

    the right training at the right time.


    The LMS remains the key conduit for training content and reporting on employee qualification.  That’s why it remains an essential tool to pharmaceutical, medical device, healthcare and the safety industries.  

    The LMS Model Works for Millennials

    Millennial-aged staff now represent the largest share of U.S. workers, with more than one-in-three employees belonging to that generation, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. These workers have grown up in the era of technology and are natural candidates for digital learning initiatives.

    For the learner in the Life Sciences arena, the LMS is the simple and direct solution for the overtaxed corporate education professional charged with managing the ever-changing bio science landscape.

    In addition, it keeps employees in compliance and up-to-date by:

    • Delivering learning experiences and managing enrollments (elearning)
    • Managing instructor-led training in an on-site or remote education
    • Documenting activity for regulatory compliance initiatives

    Ironically, while these functions comprise only about 20 percent of what most enterprise LMS platforms can do, they account for about 90 percent of what people actually use them for today. 

    Millennials want to clearly understand their job role expectations and also be able to assess the requirements of another position they may be interested in down the road.

    The LMS delivers this clarity of expectation with ease while allowing for exploration of additional knowledge to support growth and development. 

    The LMS Can Roll with the Times

    Today, there is an explosion of new and innovative tools entering the marketplace--video, AR/VR, interactive quizzes, social learning— which can be incorporated into learning technology to elevate the dynamic learning capabilities of the employee.

    Learn more about UL Create, our exclusive self-authoring elearning tool, to inspire digitalized employee learning.

    With increasing regulatory and consumer demand across the globe, the reliable and effective LMS, in a wider variety of incantations, will continue to offer mission-critical employee learning solutions, particularly in highly-regulated industries.

    The FDA’s Choice for Inspector Training

    Through our unique CRADA, the FDA uses UL’s ComplianceWire®

    learning platform and regulatory courses to train its investigators.


    The volume and specificity of regulatory training documentation is an arduous task for both multinational pharmaceutical powerhouses and small medical device start-ups.

    To understand why an LMS is critical in an FDA regulated industry, let’s look at how four key functions contribute to satisfying FDA requirements:

    1. A key component in the life sciences industry is the effort surrounding compliance with 21 CFR Part 11, which governs the use and control of electronic records and electronic signatures.
    2. The LMS must be validated to 21 CFR Part 11 to support any training records created, modified, maintained, archived, retrieved or transmitted under requirements outlined in FDA regulations.
    3. UL’s ComplianceWire® LMS was built from the ground-up to meet these stringent requirements and is the only LMS that offers an implementation approach.
    4. This ensures the platform is implemented effectively, with role-based training programs in place, and validated to 21 CFR Part 11 and EU Annex 11 within 30 days.

    UL’s QuickStart program revolutionizes how companies implement an LMS and effective learning programs.

    The power of UL PURE Learning’s Enterprise LMS

    Our "Adaptive User Experience (UX)" supports a tailored learning experience by audience and promotes an unmatched level of flexibility across all departments. It also provides universal competency programs delivered to the entire workforce, easily accommodating the technical skill programs of individual departments.

    As a result, each department can accomplish goals, while giving Talent Development and HR executives a single, powerful view into an individual's personal assessment, comparative profiles, level of potential and performance improvement over time.

    While compliance is a key functionality and a requirement that keeps the LMS alive and relevant, that’s not the only value of the LMS.

    A properly implemented and deployed LMS can boost organizational productivity and provide a competitive advantage in many areas.


    The LMS offers precise insight into corporate technical skills and competencies of employees. The ability to define, measure and grow your organization’s technical knowledge, skills and behaviors have a proven impact on the overreaching business performance of an organization.  

    While it may be popular to dismiss the intrinsic value of the LMS, UL’s copyrighted technology provides the reliable flexibility to add key technological nuances designed to ensure regulated industries attain and sustain compliance.

    Ultimately the goal is to achieve product quality and safety while boosting the organization’s bottom line.


    About UL PURE Learning

    For two decades, UL PURE Learning has helped organizations design successful and compliant training processes and programming, supported by our exclusive globally-recognized LMS technology.

    UL PURE Learning partners around the world are then empowered to enhance their employee learning journey by continuously improving the effectivity and robustness of their processes, programs and technology.


    Scott Barnard is the head of UL PURE Learning’s leadership team and oversees all product and service lines. With deep expertise in Life Sciences regulatory compliance, he has held management roles at UL since 2008. Scott earned BS degree in Applied Science and Psychology from Tulane University.

    To learn more about UL’s learning management products, or to speak with one of our Life Sciences industry specialists, call +1-609-627-5300.