What’s the difference between a VLE and an LMS?

Find out what the different learning systems are and what they’re used for.

What's the difference between a VLE and an LMS?


Okay, acronym overload! Let's start with the basics.  

VLE stands for virtual learning environment, which is any type of software where tutors and learners can create, upload and share resources. Most VLEs also have tracking and communication features too. VLEs are super popular with colleges, universities and training providers as they make learning content really engaging and available online 24/7. 

LMS stands for learning management system and it does exactly what it says on the tin. An LMS is an all-in-one system used by organisations of all sizes to create, manage, deliver and track all types of training.  


No matter what organisation you run, you probably have some kind of onboarding process for new staff. An LMS is perfect for managing this. All your forms, health and safety training and company policies can be stored online, and new staff can work through it at their own pace online. This saves time and money on face-to-face induction and paper documents. 

Staff training

All staff need to undergo training – and this is exactly what an LMS is designed for. Training resources, activities and assessments can be assigned to staff who can log in and complete work online. Training can be delivered, monitored, assessed and reported on by managers, who can also offer feedback and support to help staff progress.  


Apprentices work both on and off the job, so an LMS is ideal for managing apprenticeships. Learners can complete work wherever they are, and managers can see how they're getting on at the touch of a button. With an LMS, the apprentice, tutor, employer and assessor can collaborate and communicate online which increases engagement, reduces completion times and improves grades.  

Professional development

An LMS can be used to manage continuing professional development (CPD) too. Some LMSs will even have a separate platform for staff to record their CPD throughout their career – helping them learn new skills and climb the career ladder faster.  

Your all-in-one learning software 

OneFile's all-one-learning software is an LMS designed for all types of vocational training – from plumbing apprenticeships to CPD.  

OneFile makes training easy. You can deliver, manage and monitor every aspect of the learning journey at the touch of a button. OneFile has a built-in assessment eportfolio, reporting suite, learning environment and CPD tracker. In fact, OneFile is the only learning software in the world with a fully integrated VLE and eportfolio. AND you can use OneFile wherever you are – online, offline, anytime, anywhere, on any device.  

To find out more about OneFile's all-in-one learning software, download our brochure.

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This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.