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The Ultimate Guide to Member Training: Unlock High Engagement and Growth for your Association

Associations come in all shapes and sizes. They can be anything from professional or sports organizations, to nonprofits. But, no matter what your association type is, they all have the same thing in common — bringing together like-minded people who want the necessary knowledge and skills to grow and succeed. 

In this ultimate guide to member training, we’ll explore the key principles and strategies to create effective and engaging training programs that unlock the full potential of your members.

What is member training?

Member training refers to the process of training members of a particular group. This training is designed to enhance their skills, knowledge, and expertise related to their roles or interests within the organization. Member training programs are common in various sectors and can cover a wide range of topics, such as skilling, role-based training, compliance, and diversity training.

Different types of associations and the training they need 

Professional associations

These are generally a group that seeks to further a particular profession and the interest of people and organizations engaged in that profession such as healthcare, accounting, law, sales, HR and finance. These organizations will often be involved in career development training for members. These include accrediting degrees, defining and examining the skills and competencies necessary to practice, and granting professional certifications to indicate that a person is qualified in the subject area.

Sports organizations

This is a group of people formed for the purpose of playing and promoting sports, like clubs and societies. They’ll focus on training and development which involves in-player and coaching development, compliance and safety, diversity & inclusion, and sports science.

Non-profit associations

Non-profit associations can cover a range of causes, but will generally be organized and operated for a collective, public or social benefit, like charitable, religious and church, private foundations and political organizations. These associations will focus on quality, skills and compliance training. These courses will cover helping others, how to maintain a certain standard of quality, ensuring members have the skills necessary for their roles, and adhere to specific regulations and legal requirements.

Benefits of member training


Actively embracing education to curb member churn is crucial. Training equips your members with the tools and support they need to see value in your organization, and when they see value they’re successful, and stay with you for the long-term.


Crucially this type of training educates your members on the laws or regulations they need to know. These laws are predominantly in place to maintain the safety of the organization, those they work with and the dignity of the person. Compliance training help to prevent poor conduct and ensure proper governance in your organization. This helps to minimize risk, maintain your reputation and provides a better environment for your people to work in.

Member engagement

It’s essential to keep your members engaged and active within your organization and training programs will do this. By offering training that matters to your members, you’ll keep them as actives participants, leading to higher retention rates.

Increased membership and revenue generation

Training events, workshops, and certification programs can be a significant source of revenue for associations. On top of that, offering learning courses can be a serious driver to attracting potential members, leading to an increase in the membership fees you collect.

Enhanced reputation and knowledge

Associations that invest in the professional development of their members enhance their own reputation as leading authorities in their respective fields. Especially if they offer tailored training that’s relevant to the learner.

Training also facilitates the dissemination of knowledge, ensuring that the best practices and industry standards are upheld by your members at all times.

Industry advancement and advocacy 

By training your members, your association will contribute to the overall advancement of the industry or profession, fostering innovation and excellence.

While, well-trained members can become advocates for your association, promoting your important initiatives and contributing to growth and influence in your industry.

Challenges of delivering member training


Keeping members engaged in training programs can be a significant challenge. Many will have busy schedules and competing priorities, making it difficult for them to commit time and attention to learning. This is especially true if they work on a voluntary basis. Boring learning content or outdated delivery methods can further hinder engagement.

Counteract this through personalized and interactive learning. If you’re using a learning management system (LMS), consider one with social learning capabilities, gamification features and personalized completion certificates that your members can be proud of.


Developing and delivering high-quality learning can be expensive, especially for smaller associations or nonprofits with limited budgets. Finding cost-effective ways to provide effective training can be a significant challenge.

Associations can easily scale up their training efforts without incurring significant costs. Replacing traditional classroom-based training with online learning, delivered through an LMS, can significantly reduce costs related to materials, travel, and facilities. This cost savings can be redirected into improving the overall member experience.

Tracking and Evaluation

Monitoring members’ progress and assessing the effectiveness of online learning programs doesn’t have to be complex. You’ll need to implement tools and processes that facilitate tracking and evaluation, so you know what’s working well and where to make improvements.

With the right LMS, you can arm your organization with the data you need to track and measure your learner’s training performance, and critically, tie your learning insights back to your association’s impact.

Strategies for delivering effective member training

Overall, effective member training requires a person-centric approach, clear learning objectives, engaging content, and an appropriate delivery method. By investing in training your members, you can improve member satisfaction, reduce training costs, and ensure your members have the correct knowledge and training.

Identify your member’s needs

Before starting a training program, it’s important to understand your member’s needs, or what they need mandatory learning in. Talk to your members and find out what knowledge or skills they need. This will help you tailor your training program to their specific needs.

Define learning objectives

Establishing precise and focused learning objectives is crucial in member training to align with your association’s objectives. Clearly define the specific skills, knowledge, or behaviors you aim for your members to acquire or enhance through the training program. This ensures a targeted approach that addresses their needs effectively while driving desired outcomes for your organization.

Develop training content

Once you have defined your learning objectives, develop training content that is relevant, engaging, and effective. Depending on the learning objectives and member needs, you can create online tutorials, workshops, videos, or other types of content.

Choose the right format

There are many different ways to deliver training, including videos, webinars, online learning modules, and in-person workshops. Choose the format that best suits your member’s needs and preferences.

Create a training plan

Create a training plan that outlines the learning objectives, content, delivery method, timeline, and assessment criteria. Make sure the training plan is tailored to your member’s needs and goals.

Deliver training

Decide on your delivery method, but make sure the training is engaging, interactive, and accessible. Encourage member participation and provide opportunities for feedback and questions.

Assess the learning outcomes and effectiveness of the training program. Use analytics and reporting tools to track user engagement, performance, and feedback. Use the results to improve the training program and optimize future training efforts.

Get feedback

Finally, don’t forget to ask for feedback from your members. Use surveys and other feedback mechanisms to find out what’s working and what’s not, and use that feedback to improve your learning program over time.

Measuring the impact of member training

Assessment and evaluation

It’s crucial to conduct pre and post-learning assessments to measure changes in knowledge and skills. If you’re using an LMS to deliver your learning, try creating quizzes, tests, or practical assignments to evaluate member performance before and after training.

Surveys and feedback

Remember that you can’t improve your learning without gathering feedback from members about their experience. Ask for their opinions on the content, delivery methods, and overall satisfaction. Use surveys to identify areas for improvement.


Use reports to track your metrics for success. Below are just some metrics you can use to demonstrate the impact of your member training:

Completion Rates

Track the percentage of members who successfully complete the training programs. Low completion rates may indicate a lack of engagement or effectiveness in the training.

Member retention

Examine the impact of training on member retention rates. High-quality training can contribute to a sense of value and community within the association.

Member satisfaction

Measure member satisfaction with the training programs through surveys or feedback. High satisfaction rates can be indicative of the program’s impact.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Compare the cost of delivering training programs to the benefits gained by the association and members. Calculate the return on investment (ROI) to determine if the training is cost-effective.


If the training program offers certifications or badges, track how many members successfully earn these credentials. This can indicate the value of the training to members.

What to look for in a learning solution

LearnUpon’s LMS for member training enables your team to deliver engaging learning experiences that accredit and develop your members and grow your association.


Ensure your members have the training and skills they need to be qualified and perform in their role and excel in their profession. Why not automate accreditation and certification so you’re not manually managing who is certified and who isn’t?

It’s a good idea to find an LMS that automates tasks like this. Get yourself an LMS that allows you to easily manage learners through automated user management.

Continuous development and self learning capabilities

Keep your members coming back for more by offering continuous value-add training that helps them grow and develop in their role. Some LMS’s offer a feature called Catalogs – these will often be recommended based on the training already completed and gives your learners the opportunity to self-serve their own learning needs with on-demand content. Catalogs will help to continuously engage your members with on-demand, value add learning.


Protect your members, your association, and the people you serve with training that ensures everyone is working to the same compliance standards.


Just imagine that your learning admin tasks took half the time they do now. Think of how much free time you’d have to tackle other tasks (or take a well needed coffee break!). Well an LMS should do just that through integrations

By having a solution that integrates with the software you’re already using (like a HR system, CRM or webinar tool), you can automate actions such as user creation and access, data synchronization, enrolments, and much more. It’s even better if the LMS has a RESTful API, as you’ll be able to push and pull data directly in and out of your LMS. This can then be used to create and add users to groups, enroll them in courses, and send data back to third party systems.


With the right learning solution, you can arm your association with the data needed to track and measure learning performance, and critically, tie your learning insights back to organization impact.


You may need to sell your training to your members – the right learning solution can make this easily done. LMSs that include an e-commerce capability make it easy for customers to browse, preview, and purchase training materials or course catalogs. You could also take it a step further and make learning a membership benefit by offering exclusive discounts on courses based on membership type.

Branding and white-labeling

A consistent theme and design will help create a seamless learning experience and enhance member engagement. Having your own consistent visual identity will make it recognizably yours, and ideally, an environment they know and trust.

White-labeling takes this a step further and essentially, it makes the LMS completely your own. It enables you to customize URLs, remove any references to the LMS provider, as well as any visual indicators that the platform was outsourced.

Multiple audience training

Managing training content at scale should be a fundamental element of any learning solution. That’s where learning portals come in. Think of them as “mini” learning management systems, where you have one top-level portal from which you can control each of your sub-level portals. When a learner is added to a portal, you can then tailor the course content within that portal to meet their specific training needs.

Interactive learning

Connect with your members through Instructor-Training (ILT). If the LMS supports your webinar tool, you can create a blended learning experience by delivering the best aspects of in-person teaching with technology-based online learning methods. It’s crucial to have an LMS that integrates with the most popular webinar tools available, such as Zoom or MS Teams.

Try a learner experience using gamification so you’re keeping your learners engaged.

You’ll encourage your members to hit their goals and place a spotlight on the best performing learners using gamification or create some friendly competition with leaderboards. And, a learning solution that seamlessly engages learners through social learning enhances the learning experience and drives continuous engagement.

By facilitating communication through an LMS forum, it creates a space where learners can support and learn from each other. It also acts as a repository for learners to search for and find additional training information. It’s an excellent tool for fostering your company’s learning culture.


Member training is a journey of growth, both for the individuals involved and the organization as a whole. By understanding your members, setting clear objectives, designing engaging programs, incorporating technology, providing ongoing support, and celebrating achievements, you can create a vibrant learning community.

Remember, the key lies in fostering a culture of continuous learning and collaboration. As you invest in your members, you invest in a brighter and more successful future for your organization. Find out more on how LearnUpon LMS enables your team to deliver engaging learning experiences that grow your association and impact your bottom line.

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