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How can I trigger automated retakes or re-certification?
How can I trigger automated retakes or re-certification?

Once you enable certification dates in your topics or pathways, you can also enable automated re-certification.

Lou Monsour avatar
Written by Lou Monsour
Updated over a week ago

Each topic and pathway in Tribal Habits can have a Certified Date assigned to it. If enabled, a certified date is assigned to each enrolment when it is completed.

  • For example: If a topic had a Certified Date setting of 'Completion date + 365 days', then when a learner completed that topic, they would be automatically assigned both a Completion Date (today) and a Certified Date (today + 365 days).

The certified date represents the period for which the learner is 'certified' in that topic or pathway. When an individual enrolment reaches its assigned certified date (so in the example above, after 365 days had passed), either:

  • The enrolment can 'expire' and the learner is no longer certified


  • You can enable 'recertification' which will automatically trigger a retake enrolment for the learner to complete the enrolment again (and once again attain a new certified date when they complete the retake, and so on into the future).

So re-certification is a process that triggers an automated 'retake knowledge' enrolment when an individual enrolment reaches it certified date.

Re-certification is commonly utilised by organisations that require employees to complete certain training (often compliance-related training) periodically. This might be safety training every 12 months or privacy training every 3 years and so on.

Recertification Example

Let's say you have a topic that has a Certified Date setting of 365 days after completion and a 14 day re-certification period. The re-certification period means that the re-certification process will start 14 days before the future Certified Date - this gives the learner 14 days to complete the training again before their certification expires.

In this example, the timeline for learners in this topic would be:

  1. A learner is enrolled in the topic.

  2. The learner completes the topic on, for example, February 1st 2021.

  3. The learner's certified date is the date of completing the topic + 365 days, making it February 1st 2022.

  4. Fourteen days before the learner's certified date, a 'retake knowledge' enrolment is triggered for them (i.e. January 14th 2022, in this case).

  5. The learner is then assigned a new 'current' enrolment, which triggers any notifications and due date settings in that topic.

  6. Their previous enrolment is retained and marked as 'lapsed' (with all the old training history retained). See this article for information about current and lapsed enrolment statuses.

  7. The learner completes the topic again and is assigned a new certified date (the date of completion + 365 days)...and the process repeats again.

So how do I enable 're-certification'?

To enable 're-certification', follow these steps.

  1. Access the relevant topic or pathway in the Admin area.

  2. On the Settings tab for that topic or pathway, in the Certification panel click 'Edit Certification'.

  3. First, set a 'Certified Date' setting. This is the period which the learner will be certified for upon completion of the topic or pathway. This can be set as either:

    1. Date of enrolment + x days. This is the recommended setting for most situations, as it ensures learners stay on a set re-certification cycle regardless of how long it takes them to complete the training.

    2. Date of completion + x days. An alternative setting. Note that if the learner takes a long time to complete the training, this can extend the certification period beyond what might have been originally intended.

    3. Specific date. An alternative setting which applies a fixed certified date regardless of the date of enrolment or completion. Use this option with caution is it will apply the same certified date to every single enrolment.

  4. Second, activate Re-Certification by selecting 'Yes' in that row and entering how many days before the certified date the the learner should be required to re-complete their training. Typically, your re-certification days would be similar to the initial due date, giving the learner the same period of time to complete the training.

  5. Third, select the desired Next Certification. There are two options.

    1. Retake this knowledge (which is the default setting). The learner will retake the same topic or pathway again. If the topic has been updated to a more recent version, then the learner will complete the latest version. If this is a pathway, then they will need to retake all mandatory topics in the pathway.

    2. Enrol in other knowledge. In this option, the learner will be 'moved' to a different topic or pathway. You can learn more about using 'Next Certification' in this support article, but here are two common examples.

      1. For example, you may have copied last year's topic and updated it in a completely new topic. This allows the re-certification process to move the learner to this new topic (or pathway) rather than recomplete the previous version.

      2. For example, the initial topic may have been a 'full' version of the training, but on re-certification you may only need the learner to complete a 'refresher' version of the training. So you might enrol them in the full topic to start and set Next Certification to the refresher topic to transfer them to that topic on the retake.

  6. Click 'Save'.

TIP: Certified dates are applied only at the time of completion!

When a learner completes knowledge which has a certified date setting, the certified date is calculated at that time of completion. If you change or enable certified dates settings after learners have already completed training, then nothing happens to the enrolments that are already completed.

If you wish to apply or update certified dates to already completed enrolments, you will need to use the Bulk Action to change certified dates manually or use a CSV import (using the -UPDATE code).

What triggers the re-certification process?

Re-certification will only trigger for learners who meet three conditions.

TIP: If you feel like re-certification should have occurred and is not occurring, then this list is a good place to start troubleshooting.

  1. First, the learner must have completed the original topic or pathway.

    1. A learner cannot โ€˜reโ€™ certify in something they never certified in originally!

  2. Second, the learner must have a certified date for that enrolment. Check the specific enrolment and ensure the Certified Date is populated.

    1. Remember: Activating a certified date setting AFTER an enrolment is completed will not apply any certified date to those already completed enrolments. So you may need to update old enrolments if certified settings are changed.

  3. Third, the learner must be enabled for recertification. By default, learners are enabled for recertification, however there are two scenarios where recertification is prevented for an individual learner.

    1. Deactivated learners are not recertified!

    2. Individual learners can also be excluded from recertification process in specific topics and pathways too (see below for more on this).

And of course, the topic or pathway must have its re-certification setting enabled!

COMMON MISTAKE! Do not enable re-certification in a pathway AND in the topics in that pathway.

Since both pathways and topics have a re-certification option, you need to make a decision - will the pathway or the topics managed re-certification.

When you are enabling re-certification for a pathway, then it is important that you only enable re-certification in that pathway itself. DO NOT also enable re-certification in the topics which are in that pathway.

When a pathway re-certification occurs, it creates a retake enrolment in the pathway AND all the mandatory topics in that pathway. So there is no need to also have re-certification settings in those topics.

  • In fact, if you do enable re-certification in those topics too, then you might trigger 'double re-certification' issues! And we definitely don't want that!

COMMON QUESTION! So, when should I use a pathway or a topic for re-certification?

This is a great question. Lets consider a common scenario of a compliance pathway containing, say, 5 compliance topics. How could you manage re-certification?

Option 1 - Enable re-certification in the pathway only.

In this case, the pathway will manage re-certification. This means the certified date for the pathway will be set when the entire pathway is completed (so when the 5th and final topic in the pathway is complete). That date will then be used to trigger retake enrolments in all 5 topics at the same time.

Using a pathway to manage re-certification is good when:

  • All topics in the pathway require recertification.

  • All topics in the pathway have the same certification cycle (period of time).

  • When its OK (or preferred) to have learners complete the retake all topics in the pathway at the same time (e.g. you want all compliance training done in a specific month of the year).

Option 2 - Enable re-certification in the topics.

In this case, each topic will have its own re-certification settings enabled. They can all be different too - perhaps no recertification for some topics, 1 year for others and 5 years for some.

Using topics within the pathway to each manage re-certification is good when:

  • Not all topics need re-certification.

  • Each topic needs a different re-certification period.

  • You want to stagger re-certification across multiple topics (rather than have a pathway trigger re-certification in all topics straight away).

Do I have to use pathways for re-certification?

No. Just to summarise and clarify, you can do any of the following:

  • Enrol a learner into a single topic, set re-certification for that topic to retake in the same topic. So in this case, the learner is just enrolled in one topic and they repeat that same topic on each re-certification.

  • Enrol a learner into a single topic, set re-certification for that topic to retake in a different topic or pathway. So in this case, the learner is just enrolled in one topic but when its time to re-certify, they are moved to another topic or pathway.

  • Enrol a learner into a pathway containing many topics, set re-certification for that pathway to retake the same pathway. So in this case, the learner is enrolled in one pathway and they repeat the same pathway (and all its topics) on each re-certification.

  • Enrol a learner into a pathway containing many topics, set re-certification for that pathway to retake a different topic or pathway. So in this case, the learner is enrolled in one pathway but when its time to re-certify, they are moved to another pathway or topic.

  • Enrol a learner into a pathway containing many topics, and set re-certification individually for each topic (but not the pathway) either into the same topics or different topics (or pathways). So in this case, the learner is enrolled in one pathway with many topics but then re-certification is triggered individually for each topic based on its own settings.

What happens when re-certification is triggered?

A re-certification enrolment is the same as 'retake knowledge'.

  • The existing enrolment is marked as lapsed and its history and data is retained.

  • A new enrolment is created and marked as current.

  • Any existing due date, certified date and notifications will be triggered.

  • The learner will see the new enrolment on their dashboard, but will no longer be able to access the old enrolment (although it will remain as part of their training history).

TIP: It's important that learners are notified when re-certification occurs - else they will not know to return to your portal and complete the training. When re-certification occurs, and the retake enrolment is triggered, this will send the enrolment notification for that topic or pathway.

So its important the enrolment notification is enabled! If it is not enabled, then no notification will be sent upon re-certification.

What happens when re-certification is triggered for an individual topic within a pathway?

It depends on the Next Certification setting.

  • If the learner needs to re-certify in the same topic, then they will receive a re-take enrolment in that topic, the pathway will be set to 'Exploring' (not 'Completed') and the pathway will be moved back to the learner's training dashboard (so they can see it now has an incomplete topic in it).

  • If the learner needs to re-certify in a different topic, then they will be enrolled in the other topic and the pathway will be left as 'Completed'). Instead, the new topic will appear on the learner's training dashboard for completion.

How can I prevent re-certification for individual learners?

First, any learner who is deactivated is automatically removed from re-certification.

Second, you can remove learners from re-certification in two ways.

  • First, by viewing the 'Enrolments' tab of any topic or pathway. If re-certification is enabled, you will see a 'Recertify' column with Yes/No options for each learner. You can then select learners using the checkboxes in that table and use the bulk actions to Allow or Prevent recertification above the table.

  • Second, by using the Import CSV function and either the Enrolments or People + Enrolments imports. You can add a column to include (Yes) or exclude (No) individual enrolments from recertification.

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