TMS vs. LMS: Unraveling the Differences

When it comes to managing aviation qualification training, finding the right solution is crucial. The aviation and aerospace industry demands compliance, high standards, improved efficiency, effectiveness, and significant financial and operational impact. But what sets apart a Training Management System (TMS) from a Learning Management System (LMS)? And which one will best meet your aviation qualification training requirements?

Aviation and Aerospace qualification training requires a solution that will guarantee compliance, meeting of high standards, improvement in efficiency, and an increase in effectiveness. In addition, it should have a significant positive financial and operational impact on your organization. 
Finding the right system for managing aviation and aerospace qualification training can be difficult. Traditional learning management systems, spreadsheets, crew management, and other non-dedicated systems are inadequate to handle Aviation and Aerospace training management, which is a task of high complexity and importance.  
Below you will find what are the differences and highlights of the main capabilities needed for qualification training management that a TMS such as Fox embodies compared with a typical LMS.

Table of Contents

TMS vs LMS Part 1 – Resource Management

Managing and scheduling aviation training resources requires a highly configurable solution that will allow you to define your unique resources, classify them by type, and help to detail all their information for the required scheduling. Airlines struggle to organize many resources by fleet, type, and characterizing their properties to provide the best matching resources for training. 
Fox offers advanced features that provide you with the option to configure an unlimited number of resources, both physical (such as simulators, classrooms, and others) as well as human (such as instructors and evaluators), and helps you organize them accordingly in resource repositories, supporting the distribution of permissions and responsibilities among multiple resource managers‍. In addition, it helps you define metadata properties to characterize each resource uniquely to provide the best matching resource for the training required. 
A typical LMS is limited to preconfigured resource types without any option to uniquely configure resources with their specific definitions and properties. In addition, it is not able to provide resource repository management to organize and manage resources appropriately for your unique organizational scheduling and training needs.   

TMS vs LMS Part 2 – Resource Requirements

An accurate definition of resource requirements ensures proper allocation of resources and increases resource utilization. Aviation organizations need a system that helps define training resource requirements such as simulators with a specific type, FFS level, variant, and other properties, classrooms with specific seat capacity, projectors, computers, and more. In addition, instructors and evaluators can be needed with valid qualifications of a particular type. This is a challenge and not all systems are up to the task. 
Fox TMS provides you with extensive capabilities to define multiple resource requirements for each training activity. It can set specific configurations for devices and physical resources as well as for instructor and evaluator qualification requirements. You can define which are mandatory and which are optional for a particular resource. In addition, it gives you the ability to set alternative resource requirements. 
Fox allows you to create advanced resource allocation settings such as specific allocation start and end times within a training event’s timeframe. This improves the use of resources and provides resource managers with an accurate status of resource utilization. 
Most learning management systems allow setting a requirement for one human resource and one physical resource without considering specific requirements, if they are mandatory or optional, and do not have the ability to allocate alternative resources if a desired resource is not available. Also, an LMS does not support the definition of specific resource allocation start and end times. 

TMS vs LMS Part 3 – Course Scheduling and Resource Allocation

Aviation organizations need a modern, automated way to create many instances of a course including scheduling and allocating resources. Many organizations need to manually create courses from scratch; manually configure holidays and non-working days; check resource availability, qualification validity, and more, making the process long and cumbersome. 
Fox TMS provides you with the automated creation of multiple courses. With a few clicks, Fox will create multiple instances of the same course and generate their schedules, in accordance with the schedulers’ preferences for distributing the courses over a defined timeframe.  
When creating a new course, Fox will automatically place the course training events in accordance with preconfigured preferences. During this process, the system will automatically consider holidays and other non-working days and shift events as needed.  
In addition, Fox provides schedulers with automated wizards for allocating resources. These wizards consider the resource requirement specifications, availability of resources, qualification status, scheduling rules, and additional preferences, ensuring the course schedule is valid.  
Most learning management systems only allow creating one course at a time or have limited options for adding multiple courses simultaneously. Not all LMS can configure course templates. Schedulers must manually adjust the course schedule according to applicable holidays. In addition, an LMS does not have any resource allocation automation capability. Some will consider resource availability, but will not consider scheduling rules, instructor qualification status, or other preferences.  

TMS vs LMS Part 4 – Planning and Scheduling Optimization 

Many airlines lack planning and scheduling tools to help them create what-if scenarios, compare course scheduling plans, foresee bottlenecks, optimize cost, maximize throughput, avoid usage of external resources, and plan on required resources to support future training needs. These actions are important for creating an effective and smooth training operation. 
Fox TMS has a patented powerful scheduling optimization and automation engine for conducting long-term planning. This includes running what-if scenarios according to various preferences and settings. The Fox optimization and automation engine can schedule multiple courses of diverse types and allocate resources for these courses. Fox can analyze thousands of resource requirements and create a valid schedule for dozens of courses in a few minutes. 
The Plan Comparison tool ⚙ is a decision-support tool for comparing two alternative plans. The tool is configurable and integrates custom reports with the KPIs the operator requires to determine which plan is preferred.  
The ‘optimization pro add-on’ enhances the optimization process even further by considering cost factors. This includes the cost of resources and training. Fox will propose the most cost-effective plan.  
Learning management systems do not have the ability to create what-if scenarios, compare training scheduling plans, or generate automated scheduling. In addition, they do not have optimization tools and cost optimization management to consider course scheduling cost-effectiveness based on multiple factors.  

TMS vs LMS Part 5 – Daily Scheduling and Resource Management

If you are struggling with aviation training schedule changes, you must read this. Schedulers and resource managers are faced with many scheduling issues daily, such as unplanned maintenance, severe weather, staff absence, resource double bookings, and more. These issues require robust tools to efficiently deconflict, adjust, and maintain existing schedules and training operations.  
Solving daily issues is easy using Fox’s intuitive tools and wizards. Fox’s indicators, warnings, filters, and reports provide schedulers and resource managers with a clear view of courses and training events that require their attention. For example, the Resource Replacement tool helps to solve unexpected absences of instructors, while the Rescheduling wizard will automate the recovery of an entire course. In addition, Fox provides Gantt views with user-specific filtered views to give the best oversight of specific schedules. 

Fox’s scheduling rules engine assures that schedules meet all regulatory and organizational rules and requirements, such as rest time and others. In addition, Fox gives you the ability to increase the satisfaction levels of instructors and trainees through multiple scheduling configurations. 

Furthermore, the Fox notification center provides operators with the option to create email notifications to users about changes in their schedule. 

An LMS does not have dedicated warning indicators and consolidated views of scheduling-related issues across multiple courses. Users need to identify issues manually, and individually recover training events. In addition, an LMS does not have user-specific schedule Gantt views, scheduling rules management, satisfaction increase preferences, or the ability to create custom email notifications.

TMS vs LMS Part 6 – Qualification Management 1 

One of the highest priorities for aviation organizations is to keep pilots qualified. Tracking qualification statuses, related qualifications, and up-to-date training is difficult without a robust system that can help organizations prevent expirations and provide pilots with adequate training and maintain qualifications.  
Fox, helps to set and configure all your qualification standards and rules in detail, helping prevent expirations and keeping pilots qualified. You can define all qualification requirements and associate them with training activities, training objectives, courses, and conditional qualifications. You can specify a group of requirements and alternative requirements to acquire and maintain qualifications. In addition, qualification expiration and renewal rules can be set including planning periods such as early and grace time.  
Fox TMS provides you with qualification approval management, letting you set multiple workflows for reviewing and approving each qualification’s acquirement and renewal. You can define both automatic approvals and workflow-based approvals. 
In addition, managers can track the status of qualification in many ways through qualification dashboards and views that show real-time indications of qualification status and can be filtered by user-specific views. 
A typical LMS has extremely limited settings for qualification management, not being able to meet aviation organizational requirements. They do not provide acquirement and renewal methods, early and grace period management, or approval processes definition. Also, an LMS provides a very narrow view of qualification status giving only yes/no indicators. 

TMS vs LMS Part 7 – Qualification Management 2

Qualification historical records need to be instantly available for organizations. Aviation and Aerospace organizations have strict requirements for keeping historical records and need a system that will provide all qualification status changes for each pilot, show the date of changes, approval visibility, and provide all-inclusive qualification reports to be used for internal or external audit purposes.

Fox TMS provides comprehensive management of all qualification historical records, showing all changes made to a qualification, such as status, date changes, and approval information. In addition, Fox qualification views and reports help organizations combine qualification-related data including approval signatures. These reports can display information related to an individual or a group of people. 
The Fox notification center allows organizations to configure email notifications alerting of upcoming expirations and informing users of changes in qualification status. In addition, Fox’s APIs, web services, and Integration Center provide dedicated tools for synchronizing user qualification data. 

An LMS has extremely limited or non-existent qualification records capabilities, with some limited out-of-the-box reports. In addition, they do not provide qualification email notifications. Qualification synchronization tools are also limited. 

TMS vs LMS Part 8 – Grading and Performance Evaluation 1

Grading and evaluation of specific training objectives and performance standards are critical to accurately assess trainee proficiency. Aviation and Aerospace organizations ✈ require a dynamic system that can adapt, recommend, and validate training objectives in real-time, helping instructors to evaluate the most relevant training scenarios for their trainees.  
With Fox TMS you can create all the evaluation forms you need. You can create structured forms to reflect tasks and objectives crews need to be evaluated on meeting specific training standards. You can create as many form templates as needed, each configured with a separate set of fields. 
Also, Fox provides you with built-in and user-definable safety nets to ensure your completed forms are valid and meet your standards. Instructors and evaluators can adjust the form on the fly by adding new form sections and duplicating existing sections to capture repeat performance records. 
In addition, user-definable field dependencies will adapt your form in real-time as you progress in the evaluation process. You can automatically enable and disable fields according to your trainee’s progress. Multiple forms can be associated with a training event, allowing your instructors to select the right scenario for their trainees. 
If an LMS offers a grading form, that form will be extremely limited and will not meet aviation requirements and training methodologies. They will not have safety net capabilities, dynamic form adaptability, field dependencies, or allow instructors and evaluators to select a form from multiple relevant forms in a training event.   

TMS vs LMS Part 9 – Grading and Performance Evaluation 2

Aviation and Aerospace organizations require a flexible and accurate system that helps them grade their trainees using tailored organization-specific grading definitions as well as providing access to training online and offline. 
Fox TMS allows you to tailor all grading definitions based on your organization in the most specific way, helping you define grading rules, scales, grade weights, and grading dependencies to ensure your form is properly graded. 
The Fox Mobile Grading App provides instructors and evaluators with grading forms while offline during flights or in remote locations. This is in addition to the ability to use the forms on your PCs and laptops. The Fox Mobile Grading App can be used on iPads, iPhones, Android tablets, and Android phones. 
An LMS does not have the possibility to create grading rules or provide any offline support. Most LMS does not offer a dedicated grading app. 

TMS vs LMS Part 10 – Immersive Aviation Training

New aviation immersive training options promote higher engagement through interactive training and increase the efficacy of trainee skills with leading-edge VR capabilities. Aviation and airspace organizations need a system that provides seamlessly integrated performance evaluations providing the most accurate evaluation of trainees. 
Fox TMS efficiently manages all types of training activities, including ground, flight, and simulators, and incorporates VR and AR device management. By using Fox’s web services and CMi5 and xAPI integration capabilities, Fox can easily interface with VR/AR platforms. This allows students to train on a headset in their possession and automates the recording of performance results captured during the VR-based training session. Fox offers a complete view of performance, as the solution seamlessly integrates evaluation and performance records from all sources including tests, courseware, attendance, SIM evaluations, and VR devices into each trainee’s personal file.  
LMS have extremely limited Immersive training capabilities that seamlessly translate into performance within each trainee’s personal file.  

TMS vs LMS Part 11 – Online Learning Activities

Aviation and aerospace organizations need a system that provides a holistic management of training and learning, tracks and analyzes trainee achievements, create professional development paths for various positions and levels, and helps manage content in a central location, eliminating duplication and allowing reusability.  
Fox TMS ensures that training and online learning is managed from start to finish in one single place, providing a holistic view of training and learning. You can manage and house all your learning content in one or multiple content repositories; reuse and share content across courses and learning activities; follow up on trainee achievements and seamlessly analyze trainee learning through dashboards and reports. In addition, you can define professional development paths for many positions and build personalized training plans. 
Fox supports advanced courseware standards such as SCORM, xAPI, CMi5, and AICC. In addition, it has a fully integrated LRS. 
Most LMS lack the ability to manage the entire syllabus in one single place as it cannot manage simulator training, grading, analytics, and other training-related tasks as one. Not all LMS offer multiple content repositories, and not all LMS support all advanced courseware standards. In addition, most LMS require interfacing with an external LRS. 

TMS vs LMS Part 12 – Test Management 

Flight, Maintenance, and Cabin Crew require a robust test engine to help automate knowledge assessment, grading, and analysis. This requires a system that can provide test and question reusability; provides the ability for tests to comply with regulation and enables deep analysis after tests have been completed for training improvement.  
With Fox, you can create exams and tests using diverse types of questions, randomization settings, time limits, proctoring, and delivery options. You can add media, such as diagrams, images, and others, providing trainees with graphic information for test questions. Flight, Maintenance, and Cabin Crew can always create tests that comply with regulations and generate an advanced analysis of the test results for continuous improvement. 
LMS does not provide regulatory compliance management, proctoring, or other needs required by aviation organizations. Not all LMS have a built-in test engine. If they have some test functionality, it is not fully and seamlessly integrated into the course.