Training Programming Updates

September 28, 2020

There are several important items that trainers, compliance staff, and learners and managers should be aware. 

Possible Outage Times

From Monday, September 28, 2020 at 5:00 PM until Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at 1:00 AM, Single Sign-On and Identity Management Services, used for logging on to websites with your NetID, may be briefly unavailable during planned maintenance. Affected services may include Ability LMS and other auxiliary systems such as Zoom, Click, and MediaSpace training videos.

Zoom Security

MSU’s new policy requires password for webinars or use of the waiting room feature ( You can modify your zoom settings so that users who are on your account or signed in with MSU NetID can bypass the Waiting Room. See information on upcoming Virtual Course type below.

New Report Columns

When creating report filters, compliance officers now have access to view additional report columns such as supervisor, job title, and department. For more information see: Report Filtering Options.

Planned System Enhancements

Virtual Course Type

To meet the intent of the new Zoom policies to keep zoom links secure from unwanted visitors, a new course type is being added to Ability LMS. For Zoom events, trainers will create their calendar event with a Virtual Course.

Student Activation/Inactivation

ORRS continues to review the best schedule and criteria for adding new students, updating their major code (and associated auto-assigned tracks) and de-activating their accounts.

Within a month, the following formula will be in place for activating student Ability accounts: 

  • any student who is currently enrolled, or was enrolled in any of the past 3 semesters, or is enrolled in a future semester. As always, updating your student records in SIS ensures their training system record will be updated shortly after. 

Range of Solutions. Because students are accepted into academic programs every day rather than all at once, auto-assigned training will lead to students in the same program with different start dates and email notifications. In the past, we've delayed adding new students until late in the summer to help academic units maintain a cohort schedule. We also realize some programs want training completed prior to orientation or campus visits. We try to accommodate academic unit special requests as time allows.

Auxiliary System Connections

Two new systems will soon be pulling Ability data into their web interfaces: e*Value system for training related to CHM, COM, CVM and Grad Plan for RCR related records. These feeds will be from the ORRS tables in data warehouse every 24 hours. The live StuInfo feed for RVSM compliance continues again this fall. Info on all system feeds, visit System Interfaces & Schedules.

System Look-up Speed

You may have noticed a long wait time while running reports or loading your People list in Ability. We are continuing to work with the vendor to investigate and troubleshoot this issue. We apologize for the inconvenience.

New SIS Connections

The new SIS may also offer additional ways to improve our student feed. Beginning in early November, ORRS will begin its effort to replace our current SIS feed with the new SIS system's structure. We will keep you updated on any issues that might impact access to Ability.

How To: Alternate history vs. Waiver of requirement

There are often exceptions to for a training requirement. It is important to document as accurately as possible. Records may be audited by federal agencies, memories fade, and a central location for notes saves time. Read more on these topics - This includes best practices for adding notes to the audit field.

New Courses/Programs

  • COVID-19 courses for four specific audiences
  • Hazards of Plants and Insects During Field Work  
  • IACUC Tutorial redesign
  • IPF Monthly Toolbox Talk
  • Managing Hot Work
  • Non-Traditional Species

Next Up:

  • Biosafety - Redesign will likely include short introduction to concepts followed by separate audience-specific options.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Fundamentals – Expected rollout in October.
  • Respirator training - Splitting this program into online course to cover the basics prior to attending the in-person fit test.

Related Training Info & Resource

You may find the following of interest if you are developing or delivering training.