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Setting Course Completion Criteria - Totara Pro Tip From The Kineo Support Team

I completed the course but the LMS is not showing that I completed it!


As an LMS administrator you will know that people can get particularly upset if the LMS does not record their compliance training. One of the most common reasons for this complaint is that the completion criteria were not set up correctly in Totara. Sometimes when setting up a course people forget that it is not enough to set up activity completion criteria, you must also set up course completion criteria.

In Totara the completion conditions determine when a learner can be marked as complete for an activity and then for the whole course, this may contain a number of activities. There is a three step process for setting up completion correctly:

  1. Set activity completion conditions
  2. Set course completion conditions
  3. Set up the course completion status block

Making sure you set up completions correctly will save you lots of support calls and unhappy users.

Decide on the right completion criteria

You’ve got a lot of flexibility in how to decide if a course or activity is completed. Part of being an Admin hero is getting to know these and choosing the right one for the situation. Below is a quick reminder of the main activity and course completion options.

For activities there are three options:

  1. 'Do not indicate activity completion' turns completion tracking off for this activity.
  2. 'User can manually mark the activity as completed' allows learners to mark themselves as complete by checking the box next to the activity on the course page.
  3. 'Show activity as complete when conditions are met' marks a learner complete when the conditions set here (specific to the type of activity you are viewing) are met. These include:
    • Require view: When enabled the learner must view the activity only to be marked as complete.

    • Require grade: When enabled the learner must get a grade for the activity.


For course completions there are ten options which are set out in detail on the Totara help site


  1. Overall Aggregation: Determines how the system will aggregate the completion conditions on the rest of the page.
  2. Course prerequisites: Allows you to select courses that must be completed before the learner can complete this course. Click ‘Add course prerequisite’ to select the prerequisite course(s).
  3. Manual Self completion: Allows a learner to mark themselves complete in the course.
  4. Manual completion by: Allows you to assign users with the selected role the ability to manually mark a learner as complete.
  5. Manual completion by, Aggregation Method: Defines whether all these roles need to manually complete the learner (All) or just one of the roles (Any). See Aggregation Method to learn more.
  6. Activities completed: Lists all the activities in the course that have completion conditions set. Select which activities will contribute to the definition of course completion, alongside any other conditions you have set, for this course.
  7. Activities completed Aggregation method: Defines whether the learner needs to complete all the activities (All) or just one of the selected activities (Any). See Aggregation Method to learn more.
  8. Date: When ‘Date’ is enabled the set date must have passed before a learner can be marked as complete.
  9. Duration after enrolment: When ‘Duration after enrolment’ is enabled a learner must be enrolled for the specified number of days before they are marked as complete.
  10. Grade: Allows you to set a passing grade condition for the course.

So you’ve got lots of ways to define when done means done for a course and the activities within a course. Make sure you:

  • Choose the right one for the learning objectives - do all activities, some things, passing grades, manual review? Work with the course designers to discuss what’s right for this course
  • Set up the activity and course completion rules activities based on your design decisions
  • Communicate them - this is the most important step. Make sure the course instructions let learners know clearly what defines as completed. They need to know the rules too!


City & Guilds Kineo Support Team


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Kineo is a global workplace learning company that helps your business improve performance through learning and technology. Kineo has a global network of offices with extensive experience in working with clients to design, develop, host and support Totara solutions. We can work to help you with simple, quick to market LMS implementations through to highly customised enterprise portals. One of the founding Partners, we have also been a key contributor to the code.

Kineo's global head office, based in the UK, has implemented over 200 Totara and Moodle solutions for clients including Tesco, Vodafone, Samsung and many Government and health clients.

Kineo US has developed and deployed highly customized solutions for a wide range of organizations including clients Kohls, DataFlux, and Capella University.

Kineo Pacific has extensive experience implementing Totara solutions for many clients including ALDI, Toll Group, Computershare, KiwiBank, NZ Tourism, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and other Government and Health organisations.

Kineo South Africa provides a full range of e-learning services including content development, consultancy and custom Totara implementations. 

Kineo Latam ha desarrollado e implementado soluciones altamente personalizadas para un amplio rango de empresas como Golcorp, Bridgestone y Gobierno de Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Para más información, póngase en contacto con​ [email protected]

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