What is a Student Management System (SMS)?

Posted by Bruno Cozzi on 01/03/2019

What is a Student Management System (SMS)?

When friends and family ask me what my business does I tell them “we develop and market online student management systems”. Over the years since we started in 2004 I’ve learned to anticipate the inevitable question “what’s a Student Management System?” Here’s how I’ve learned to reply without getting into the technical details about: the VET Sector, AQF, AVETMISS, VSL and CRICOS.

When you were in year 10 you took it for granted that on Monday morning at 9:00 AM, Mrs Saunders would be taking you for Maths in class room 3C. You’d be doing basic algebra (uggh!). At the start of class you’d hand in your homework from the previous lesson. You’d have been warned that next week you’ll be completing your end-of-term-assignment and that would determine what you’d have to do in the final term leading up to the exam – never mind, only 3 hours to lunch!

If you were like me, you would have assumed that somehow everyone knew that class room 3C was reserved for your class at 9:00AM for 1 hour, and of course Mrs Saunders automatically knew that she would be teaching us basic algebra in class room 3C. Of course she knew exactly when we would have to hand in assignments and take exams. It never occurred to us that she would have to somehow know and remember all these details for the other 25 classes she teaches every week.

Looking back as an adult now it seems obvious there must have been some kind of grand design, making sure all those teachers turned up to the right class rooms at the right times, to teach those particular students the right subjects, hand back the right homework. Someone had to know which rooms to prepare for each class, how many lunches and snacks to order, how many books to hand out at the start of the year, what certificates to award.

Copy of Copy of L&D plus free integration with any of your key Business Systems

There had to be a way for kids to be booked into the right classes, someone had to pay (your parents, the government or both), and perhaps most importantly the school had to somehow report your results on a report card, and to a national body who would be designing your final school certificate, TEE or whatever final exam you took.

In the old days, that would all have been planned and tracked on a set of spread sheets and ledgers that you would probably never have seen. These days schools, colleges, universities, and registered training organisations (RTOs) would use a software program called a Student Management System (SMS) to handle the complexities of:

  • enrolling or booking students,
  • handling payments, funding claims and invoices,
  • scheduling courses,
  • organising: class rooms / trainers / meals / books,
  • managing assignments,
  • marking attendance,
  • scheduling and marking exams,
  • notifying teachers, students and parents,
  • identifying requirements for extra study,
  • complying with state and national reporting requirements,
  • issuing and registering certificates,
  • providing student resources / time tables / tools to provide anonymous feedback and complaints,
  • registering and following areas for ongoing improvement
  • recording results,
  • issuing certificates and letters

Bluegem is a web based Student Management System (SMS), also called a Training Management System (TMS), or a Learning Management System (LMS), or an RTO System. These terms have roughly the same meaning though the industries involved tend to have a preference. For example schools and colleges deal predominantly with students in academic programs would tend to use the term Student Management System (SMS), while registered training organisations (RTOs) who offer industry based training would tend to use the term Training Management System (TMS), or RTO system.

Online learning is almost exclusively managed by a Learning Management System (LMS), but medium to large corporations also tend to use the term LMS as it applies to employee learning and development. So it is quite appropriate to refer to Bluegem as all 3.

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How does Bluegem deliver TMS, SMS, and LMS solutions?

Whether you refer to it as a Student Management System, a Training Management System, RTO System, or a Learning Management System, Bluegem TMS provides a rich set of features designed specifically for training and learning organisations. It provides secure web access via a set of web user portals for Administrators, Trainers, Contract Trainers, Managers, Companies, Groups, and Individuals.

Our enterprise edition, designed for corporate and Enterprise RTOs provides: ERP, CRM and financial reporting systems integration. All RTOs can benefit from an impressive suite of built-in business management tools designed specifically for training organisations. For those training providers needing to integrate online learning with established training programs, Bluegem TMS includes a full SCORM 2004 LMS built-in.


  • Course and category search and browse facilities
  • Online registration and course bookings that captures AVETMISS compliant data
  • Online credit card payments as well as all commonly used traditional payment methods
  • Training plans and reports
  • Issues, complaints and appeals management
  • Electronic document management - resource Library
  • Scheduling and resource planning


  • AQF,  AVETMISS 8 compliant in all Australian states.
  • Course cataloging and scheduling
  • Flexible program mapping to accredited training courses
  • Short course, Non Accredited, and Events management
  • Enrolments and payments management
  • Resulting, Assessments, and Assignment management
  • Certification and awards (including QR Code creation and verification process)
  • MYOB Integration
  • Xero Integration
  • USI Integration
  • Training.gov.au Integration
  • eLearning and Blended course management
  • Built-in SCORM compliant LMS
  • Delivery modes: Face-to-face, Distance, Online, Blended, Virtual Classroom
  • Resource Library and Electronic Document management (EDM).
  • Customer Relations Management (CRM)
  • Web pages and portals can be branded and configured
  • Partner Portals
  • Trainer and Assessor capabilities and competencies
  • Alerts, notifications and reminders - email and SMS

TOPICS Compliance eLearning Solutions Training Management Systems

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