Admin Roles & Permissions



Applies to: Starter, Pro, Plus, & Enterprise Plans

In Absorb LMS, there are a number of pre-built admin roles available to assign to new admin users, each of which come with their own specific set of permissions. There is also the ability to create custom admin roles, which can allow much greater flexibility when it comes to an admin's permissions and determining what they can access. This guide will outline the pre-built admin roles provided in the LMS, detailing what each role permits. It will then detail the options you have when creating a custom role, and outline what we refer to as "permission dependencies". Admin roles work in tandem with User Management, with the former determining WHAT an admin can manage and the latter determining WHO they can manage. Our Admin User Management guide can be found here.

Pre-Built Admin Roles


There are currently four basic default admin roles available in Absorb LMS. These roles are identified by the lock icon next to the role name.  In descending order of responsibility, these roles are:
  • System Admin: A system admin is the highest administrative position within the LMS and can manage everything, including system settings (changes that affect the entire LMS portal).
  • Admin: An admin has most of the similar permissions as the system admin, but will not be able to change system settings. 
  • Instructor: An instructor can access the admin interface but can only access and manage a very limited selection of reports related to adjusting attendance and grades for ILC sessions.
  • Reporter: The reporter role only allows the user to view reports, and will not allow them to make any changes to these reports or other content within the LMS. A reporter can create their own custom reports using filters and save these reports, as well as being able to export any report as an Excel, or CSV file.

Please note: If you have configured your LMS to include additional services such as the Business Intelligence Service from Absorb or services from, you may also see some additional built in roles such (e.g. Salesforce Enrollment Admin).  These additional built-in roles will only be available once you have configured your system to include these services. 

These pre-built roles can easily be duplicated and modified to create any custom roles.  Just select the role and then select duplicate.  

Please note: The System Admin has some built in permissions that do not appear in the permissions list and that will not be available to other System Admins who may be given a System Admin role that has been duplicated.


Custom Roles - Permissions Explained

Beyond the admin roles outlined above, the option to create custom admin roles is also available, and can be highly useful for filling a niche where the pre-built roles just don't cut it. Custom roles can be  created by selecting the ADD ROLE option in the right hand context menu of the Roles report or can be created by editing a duplicated role as noted above. There are a wide variety of permissions available and custom roles can be built by selecting particular sets of permissions.




 The VIEW and MODIFY permissions are most prevalent here:

  • View: This enables users to view reports without any access to edit the data in those reports
  • Modify: This enables users full access to add, delete and edit records in the respective reports
These two permissions recur frequently throughout the permissions categories. There are currently seven permissions categories, ordered as follows:
  • Courses: This set of permissions determines an admin's access to each course type in the Courses report, as well as the Enrollments, Venues, Resources, Categories, and Competencies reports. Instructor Led Courses (ILCs) have a much wider range of permissions available, with customizable access to each tab in the course and session setup.
  • Users: This set of permissions determines an admin's access to the Users report, as well as the Roles, Departments, Groups, and Enrollment Keys reports. An admin's ability to access and manage other administrators can also be established with the ADMINISTRATORS permission under the Users area. PRIVATE FIELDS will determines whether an admin can see certain custom fields that have been marked as private by the system administrator(s).
  • Mercury: This set of permissions determines access to News and Billboards (if Mercury has been configured for your portal)
  • Manage: This set of permissions relates to the management of portal-wide settings, including the Message Templates, Tags, Files, Translations, and FAQs reports
  • eCommerce: This set of permissions determines an admin's access to the Transactions and Coupons reports in order to manage eCommerce transactions (if eCommerce has been configured for your portal)
  • Reports: This set of permissions determines view access to each individual report in the Reports section of the LMS. *Please see Role Dependencies below for extra information on configuring access to these reports.
  • Special: At the moment, this category is only relevant to the Multiple Client Admin role which will be available in the future, and does not currently have any available permissions

Role Dependencies

While you can create custom roles with your desired sets of permissions, it should be noted that some permissions will be dependent on others in order to be fully realized. Careful thought (as well as some follow-up testing) should be given to your custom roles to ensure you have accounted for all necessary permissions. A few considerations:

  • In order to MODIFY anything in the LMS, you must also be able to VIEW it
  • Several reports rely on basic view access for users or certain course types. For example, enabling access to the COURSE ACTIVITY report will get you as far as navigating to the report itself. To see any records on this report you would also need to enable view access for online courses. The same goes for something like view access for users when granting access to the LEARNER ACTIVITY report.

Special Instructor Permissions

In the Pre-Built Admin Roles section above, an Instructor role was mentioned. As explained, this role allows a user to manage ALL ILC Sessions within the LMS. However, there is also the option to have an Instructor role that enables a user to manage only the ILC Sessions for which they are a designated instructor. To achieve this sort of restricted access, you simply need to enable the INSTRUCTOR toggle, rather than enabling the ADMIN toggle. This toggle comes with a specific pre-built set of permissions so it is not necessary to select a role.


A user with these setting in place will have access to the same reports in the admin interface as the pre-built Instructor role but will only see the sessions they are an instructor for, rather than every ILC Session in the LMS.

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