This article will cover the different ways that Enrollment Approval is handled within Absorb, and covers the following topics:

Enable Enrollment Approval for Courses

Courses hosted in Absorb LMS can be configured to require enrollment approval upon a learner's self-enrollment into the course. This can be configured in the AVAILABILITY tab when editing a course. With approval settings in place, the user in charge of approval will receive a notification requesting approval following a learner's enrollment in a course. Once an admin approves an enrollment, the learner will then be able to access the course. 


As displayed in the above image, there are five different settings for Approval:
  • NONE: Enrollment requires no approval
  • COURSE AUTHOR: The user set up as the course author for the course (set up at the bottom of this same AVAILABILITY tab) must approve enrollments
  • SUPERVISOR: The enrolling user's supervisor must approve their enrollment
  • ADMIN: The enrolling user's department admin(s) must approve their enrollment
  • OTHER: With this option you can manually select the admin who will be granting approval by entering their name(s).

You will then want to determine whether or not a Approval Request message is sent to notify the user responsible for approving that their is a pending approval request. You can toggle this message on under the Messages Tab.

Bypassing Approval

Given the intended nature of enrollment approval, it is only enforced when learners self-enroll in courses via the course catalog. Enrollment approval following other means of enrollment would be either be considered redundant or to contradict other functionality in the LMS. The following enrollment types will bypass a course's enrollment approval process:
  • Manual admin enrollment
  • Automatic enrollment
  • Enrollment key enrollment
  • E-commerce purchases
  • Course enrollment through a curriculum/course bundle


When a learner enrolls in a course that has approval settings in place, there are a number of different message templates available. The following approval templates are pre-built in the LMS (their default recipients are in brackets):
  • Approval Request: immediately sent to admin to solicit approval/denial of the enrollment
  • Approval Pending: immediately sent to learner to inform them of the process
  • Approval Denied: sent to the learner if the enrollment has been denied (approved requests will be established via the final enrollment message)
  • Session Approval Request: same as above but at the session level
  • Session Approval Pending: same as above but at the session level
*See below for more on ILC session approval

Our pre-built message templates are particularly useful for learners who may not be familiar with the approval process, and receiving these can help to avoid confusion on their end. For users in charge of approval, this is a great way of being automatically kept up to date with enrollments for your courses.

Approval for ILC Courses and ILC Sessions

The process of approval is a little bit different for ILC courses, as approval settings can exist both at the course level and the session level. While course approval can be found under the ENROLLMENT tab when editing a course, session approval can be found under the ENROLLMENT tab when editing a session. If an ILC course and its sessions have approval settings in place, in order to gain enrollment to a session you will need to:
  • Self-enroll into the course
  • Have your course enrollment approved
  • Self-enroll in a session belonging to that course
  • Have your session enrollment approved
This process is particularly useful for ILC courses and sessions because it allows each session to have its enrollments approved by different users, which can be very beneficial from an admin perspective. For instance, when various instructors are in charge of different sessions all belonging to the same ILC course, they can approve enrollments in their own sessions. (For more on this kind of instructor role, see our Admin Roles & Permissions Guide). When building your ILC courses, it is important to consider whether you would like approval at the course level and/or the session level. There are separate pairs of enrollment and approval messages that can be enabled for each in the course's MESSAGES tab.
How To Approve Enrollments
There are two ways in which a user can approve an enrollment:
  • Via the Approval Request email
  • Via the admin interface
1. To approve or deny an approval via an Approval Request email, you will need to select the relevant hyperlink which you will receive in the email. The following is an image of how those links will appear to you in the email:

2. Users in charge of approval can also grant approval via the admin interface. This could be a preferable option if you would like to avoid receiving large quantities of approval requests via email. This can be carried out from the COURSE APPROVALS or SESSION APPROVALS reports, where you can APPROVE or DENY an enrollment:

The Learner Experience

Any time a user attempts to enroll in a course, Absorb will allow them to do so, however a modal window will pop up after doing so. It will let the learner know that their Approval is pending registration. Once Approval is granted, they will receive an email notification that they have been enrolled in the Course provided this is enabled. 

If Session Approval is also required, they will see the below notification message indicating that their registration is pending approval. Once this too has been approved, they will receive another email notification that they have been enrolled in the Session.

Please note that email notifications have to either be enabled at the course level, or at the global level (within Setup > Message Templates) in order for learners to receive them. 

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