Vault Training can assign an alternate, or substitute, Training Assignment to a Learner in place of a required, or primary, Training Assignment using Training Admin-defined Substitute Training Rule Sets. You can accomplish this by marking Training Requirements as substitutes, and then defining sets of rules for when they should be substituted.

Training Admins can use the Substitute Training feature to accommodate a wide variety of training needs. For example, you can define substitute Training Requirements and rules to provide training materials in a locale-specific language. You could also define rules which give Learners credit for multiple training documents with a single e-learning course, or substitute an instructor-led classroom training with an externally-offered training course. While these are simple examples, you can define large sets of substitute rules to accommodate the potentially complex training needs of your organization.

How Substitute Training Works

Understanding the difference between primary and substitute Training Requirements or Training Assignments is key to understanding the Substitute Training feature:

  • Primary: A primary Training Requirement is one that does not have the Is A Substitute Training Requirement field checkbox selected.
  • Substitute: A substitute Training Requirement is one that has the Is A Substitute Training Requirement field checkbox selected.
  • Substitution Rules: A group of Substitute Training Rule Sets that govern which Training Requirement to assign to a Learner. You can define one (1) or more Substitute Training Rule Sets on a substitute Training Requirement or a primary Training Requirement.

Substitute Training Objects

The following objects store substitution rules and their relationships to Training Assignments:

  • Substitute Training Rule Set: A set of rules for a Training Requirement. A primary Training Requirement can have only one (1) Substitute Training Rule Set record.
  • Substitute Training Rule: Individual substitution rules. Each Substitute Training Rule Set can have one (1) or more Substitute Training Rules.
  • Related Training Assignments: When Vault creates a substitute Training Assignment, this object links the substitute Training Assignment to the related primary Training Assignment.

About Substitution Rules

Substitution rules define the timeframe and conditions under which a substitute Training Requirement will fulfill one or more primary Training Requirements. These rules are defined in the Substitute Training Rule Set object layout section on either substitute or primary Training Requirements. Vault stores individual rules as Substitute Training Rule Set and Substitute Training Rule records.

When the Update Training Assignment job runs, it evaluates substitution rules for each primary Training Requirement it processes. If the rule is valid for the Learner, the substitute Training Assignment is assigned and, if not, Vault assigns the primary Training Assignment.

Substitute Assignments

When Vault creates a substitute Training Assignment, it also creates a primary Training Assignment in the Pending Substitute Completion lifecycle state. If multiple rules are valid, Vault uses the rule with the lowest Priority number to assign the Training Assignment.

Rule Rechecking

After Vault Training issues a Training Assignment for a Training Requirement, Vault rechecks rules each time the Training Assignment is opened by a Learner, to ensure that all substitution rules are still applicable. If the rules are found to be non-applicable, Vault Training assigns a new Training Assignment, following the currently-applicable substitution rules. This may result in Vault issuing a new substitute Training Assignment, or defaulting to the primary Training Assignment.

Substitution Rule Fields

Substitution rules include the following definition fields:

  • Duration: Defines the date range for which the substitution will occur. If the current date, based on the Vault’s timezone, is not within the date range, Vault considers the rule invalid and assigns the primary Training Requirement.
  • Substitutes: Indicates the primary Training Requirement or Training Requirements to substitute when the rule triggers. This field appears in substitute Training Requirement substitution rules.
  • Substituted by: Indicates the substitute Training Requirement or Training Requirements to substitute in place of the primary Training Requirement when the rule triggers. This field appears in primary Training Requirement substitution rules.
  • Conditions: Here you define conditional statements. This definition further sets the requirements for the substitution to trigger. You can use any field value on the associated Person, Learner Role, or Curriculum record as a condition. Conditions are linked using an AND operator, meaning that all conditions for a given rule must be met for the rule to evaluate as true. You can add up to five (5) conditions on each rule.

Example Substitution Rule

For example, consider the following substitution rule for the “Code of Conduct – Japanese” substitute Training Requirement:

From 01/01/2020 to 31/12/2020, this training requirement is a substitute for Code of Conduct if:

  • Learner Role > Facility equals Kanagawa-A, AND;
  • Person > Language equals Japanese

This substitution rule triggers only during the period between January 1st, 2020 and December 31st, 2020, and if the Learner’s Person record has a Language value of Japanese, and if one of their Learner Roles has a Facility value equals “Kanagawa-A”. If those criteria are met, the Training Assignment issued from the “Code of Conduct” Training Requirement by the nightly Vault Training job will be based on this substitute “Code of Conduct – Japanese” requirement, rather than the primary Training Requirement.

Completing Substitute Training Assignments

When a Learner completes a substitute Training Assignment, the related primary Training Assignment is moved to the Completed state and the Completion Source field is set to Substitute. If there are open Quizzes or Training Content Status records for the primary Training Assignment, they are moved to the Cancelled state.

Substitute Training Use Cases

Before you begin creating substitute Training Requirements and substitution rules, you should determine your use cases and training needs. Your use cases may be as simple as the examples below, or more complex combinations.

Example: Locale-Specific Training Materials

You can use Substitute Training to provide training with specialized materials for specific locales or facilities. For example, suppose you are a Training Admin for an international organization who has created a Training Requirement for “Code of Conduct” training and the associated training materials are in English. However, this organization has facilities with employees that only read Chinese Simplified as well as facilities with employees that only read Japanese. Using the Substitute Training feature, you can create two additional “Code of Conduct” Training Requirements, one for Chinese Simplified and one for Japanese, and mark them as substitutes. You would then create substitution rules which define the applicable facility for each substitute and also link to the primary “Code of Conduct” Training Requirement.

With this configuration, when the nightly Update Training Assignments job runs, a Learner whose Learner Role and Curricula include the primary Training Requirement, but whose Person record has a Facility value within China or Japan, would receive a Training Assignment with the appropriate Chinese Simplified or Japanese versions of the training materials. When the Learner completes the substitute Training Assignment, the Learner automatically gets completion credit for the primary Training Requirement. If none of the substitution rules are triggered, the Learner receives the primary Training Requirement.

After those Training Assignments are issued, you may add additional substitution rules to this configuration, such as a rule to issue specialized “Code of Conduct – Contractor – Japanese” Training Assignments to Learners with a Learner Role value of “Contract Employee”. In such a case, Vault re-checks the substitution rules each time the Learner opens a Training Assignment, and, if the new substitution rule applies to them, Vault issues a new Training Assignment that complies with the updated substitution rules.

Example: Aggregated Requirements

Using Substitute Training, you can give credit for multiple primary Training Requirements with a single substitute Training Requirement. Suppose a training system includes an e-learning course which contains all the requisite SOP training material to fill ten (10) Vault Document Training Requirements.

You can create one substitute Training Requirement which includes the e-learning course as training material, and define a group substitution rule, pointing to all ten (10) of the existing primary SOP Training Requirements. When the nightly Vault Training job runs, the applicable Learners will receive a single Training Assignment for the e-learning, rather than many separate Training Assignments, one for each SOP.

Example: External Course Substitution

Substitute Training enables Training Admins to provide alternate methods of receiving required training. Suppose your organization requires CPR certifications for certain types of employees and holds annual CPR courses on-site with an employee instructor managed via a “CPR Certification” Classroom Training Requirement. This training is held in March, and is attended by all applicable employees hired in January, February, or March of that year.

In the event that an applicable employee is hired outside of the normal cycle, you may want to allow that employee to acquire the CPR certification using a third-party off-site training course, managed via an External Training Requirement “CPR Certification – Off-Site”. In such a case, you can mark the External Training Requirement as a substitute, and define a substitution rule tied to the date of assignment, substituting any “CPR Certification” Classroom Training Assignment assigned outside of January, February, or March, with the External Training Assignment “CPR Certification – Off-Site”.

Creating Substitute Training Requirements

You can create substitute Training Requirements using the same process as other Training Requirements with the addition of having the Is A Substitute Training Requirement checkbox selected.

A substitute Training Requirement is a lightweight Training Requirement used only for substitute purposes. Note that substitute Training Requirements differ from primary Training Requirements in the following ways:

  • You cannot directly add a substitute Training Requirement to a Curriculum. You must instead add the primary Training Requirement.
  • While recurrence is respected for primary Training Requirements with substitution rules, substitute Training Requirements cannot have values in recurrence-related fields.
  • The Direct Assignment feature bypasses substitution rules. You can use Direct Assignment for either primary or substitute Training Requirements.
  • Substitute Training Assignments do not have related Assignment Details records.

Due Dates for Substitute Training Requirements

If you want to have fine control over the due dates of substitute training requirements, you can select from the following options, and your choices can differ for each substitute:

  • Substitute Due Date based on: This field determines how Vault calculates the Due Date value for the substitute training assignment. Select from the following:
    • Primary Training Assignment Due Date (Earliest if multiple): Vault uses the primary training assignment’s Due Date value as the due date for the substitute training assignment.
    • Substitute Training Requirement Duration: Vault calculates a due date for the substitute training assignment based on the substitute training requirement’s duration. This is the default behavior, even if the Substitute Due Date based on field is blank.
  • Substitute Due Date Override: This field determines which Due Date value Vault applies when a Learner receives a substitute training assignment which fulfills multiple primary training requirements. Select from the following:
    • Keep Existing Due Date: Vault uses the existing training assignment’s Due Date value. This is the default behavior, even if the Substitute Due Date Override field is blank.
    • Use Earliest Due Date: Vault compares the new assignment’s Due Date value, based on your Substitute Due Date based on value, against the existing training assignment and uses the earliest Due Date value.
    • Use Last Due Date: Vault compares the new assignment’s Due Date value, based on your Substitute Due Date based on value, against existing training assignment and uses the latest Due Date value.

Allow Learner Choice

Selecting the Allow Learner Choice? field on the primary Training Requirement allows Learners to choose between a primary Training Assignment and any of its currently valid substitutes. This option may appear in either the main Training Requirement details section or while defining Substitute Training Rules, depending on your Training Requirement object page layout.

When this option is enabled, Vault does not create the substitute training assignment when the nightly training job creates assignments. Instead, the substitute training assignment is created when a Learner chooses it. When the Learner clicks into a choice-enabled assignment, Vault displays the available choices in either a pop-up dialog or a task page, depending on whether they have accessed the assignment from their My Tasks view or the Learner Homepage.

Defining Substitution Rules for Training Requirements

To define substitution rules for a Training Requirement:

  1. Navigate to Business Admin > Training Requirements or to a custom tab, and click into a Training Requirement record.
  2. In the Substitute Training Rule Sets section of the object page layout, click Edit. Note that an Admin must add the Substitute Training Rule Sets section in the Training Requirement object page layout to make this section available.
  3. Click +Rule.
  4. If you are defining rules in a substitute Training Requirement, select Single or Group. Single allows you to target one (1) primary Training Requirement with the rule, while Group allows you to target multiple primary Training Requirements.
  5. Optional: Edit the rule label by clicking the pencil icon.
  6. Define rule definition field values.
  7. Optional: Add Conditions for the rule.
  8. Optional: Click +Rule to define additional rules for the Training Requirement.
  9. Click Save.
  10. If necessary, reorder the rule priority by clicking Reorder and dragging the rules to the desired positions. Note that you can only reorder rules in primary Training Requirements.

Once the Training Requirement is in a training-eligible lifecycle state, the defined substitution rules will trigger when their conditions are met.

Deleting Substitution Rules

To delete a substitution rule, click Edit in the Substitute Training Rule Set section and click the X in the rule box. Vault updates rule priority values when you delete a rule on a primary Training Requirement, while deleting a substitute rule on a substitute Training Requirement does not update priority values.

Viewing Substitution Rules

Vault does not check whether the user has access to objects and fields defined in substitution rules. As long as the user has Read access to the Substitute Training Rule Set and Substitute Training Rule objects, Vault displays all rule data.

Substitution Rule Conditions

This definition further sets the requirements for the substitution to trigger. You can use any field value on the associated Person, Learner Role, or Curriculum record as a condition. Conditions are linked using an AND operator, meaning that all conditions for a given rule must be met for the rule to evaluate as true. You can add up to five (5) conditions on each rule. Conditions function like filters applied to the substitute rule, similar to report or record filters.

If a Learner Role or Curriculum is used in a condition, Vault checks whether the Learner has the Learner Role or Curriculum in the training matrix. Vault does not, however, check the lifecycle state of the Learner Role or Curriculum, or whether they are tied to a Training Requirement.

The equals and is blank operators return true if any of the records returned match the condition, while the does not equal operator returns true if none of the records returned match the condition.

For example, assume a Learner has Learner Roles with Facility values of “Kanagawa-A”, “Osaka”, and “Kawasaki”. If the condition is “Learner Role > Facility equals Kanagawa-A”, the condition returns true since “Kanagawa-A” is included in the set of results. If the condition is “Learner Role > Facility does not equal Kanagawa-A”, the condition returns false since the Learner has a Learner Role with a Facility value of “Kanagawa-A”.

Substitute Training & Training Requirement Impact Assessments

A primary or substitute Training Requirement that contains substitution rules is subject to Training Requirement Impact Assessments (TRIAs). In Vaults using Substitute Training, an Admin should add the In Use Training Rule Sets section to the Training Requirement Impact Assessment object page layout.

When Vault creates a TRIA, the user is able to view the substitute rules defined on the affected Training Requirements. If the affected Training Requirement is a substitute, the Issue Training Assignments? and Require Updated Quiz? fields cannot be updated within the TRIA as these fields are not applicable to substitute training requirements.

Editing Substitute Rules in Training-Eligible Records

The Substitute Training Rule Set section of the Training Requirement record displays an informational alert when you click Edit on the record. Vault displays the alert only if the Training Requirement has at least one open Training Assignment, and it displays the maximum number of open Training Assignments that could be impacted by a change. Clicking the number takes you to a record list view filtered to the impacted Training Assignment records.

Once you make a change to substitutes, the next time a Learner clicks on this Training Assignment, they will see any updated substitute rules reflected on the affected assignment.

Best Practices for Substitute Training

Follow the guidelines in this section to ensure that Substitute Training functions as expected.

Training Requirement Availability

Substitute Training Requirements must be in an available (available_state__v) lifecycle state before they become available for triggering. If a rule is applicable to a Learner, but the substitute Training Requirement is not in the available state (available_state__v), then Vault will not evaluate and apply rules for the Learner.

If, after assignment, the substitute Training Requirement state later changes to a Retired state or Inactive state, the substitute Training Assignment is canceled when the Learner accesses the substitute Training Assignment. The Learner will see the a task-canceled page while the primary Training Assignment’s state is changed to Assigned, with the appropriate training workflow task available.

Training Document Availability

If a substitute Training Requirement is of type Vault Document, the documents must be training eligible, in either the Issued or Effective lifecycle state. If the documents are not in an eligible state, Vault will not evaluate and apply rules.

If the substitute Training Requirement’s document goes from Issued or Effective to Superseded or Obsolete, Vault cancels the substitute Training Assignment when the Learner opens it, and changes the state of the primary Training Assignment to Assigned, with the appropriate training workflow task available.

About Classroom Training Substitution Behavior

If a primary Training Assignment is a Classroom Training Assignment with a substitute Training Assignment opened for it, Vault prevents the associated Class Roster record from referencing that primary Classroom Training Assignment, since it will be completed by the substitute Training Assignment.

In cases where a primary Classroom Training Assignment has a Part of Class value of Yes, but a substitute rule changes and causes the primary Training Assignment to no longer be applicable, Vault evaluates the substitution rules and changes the primary Training Assignment to the Assigned lifecycle state or creates and assigns a new substitute Training Assignment. In such a case, the Learner may have two (2) classroom Training Assignments assigned as the initial Training Assignment is not automatically modified. See the Classroom Training best practices documentation for more information on this type of scenario.


  • By default, each Training Requirement is limited to 20 substitution or prerequisite rules. Contact Vault Product Support to change this limit.
  • When importing training assignments, you cannot create Related Training Assignment (related_training_assignment__v) object records manually if the creation source is not import__v for both Training Assignment references.
  • A Training Requirement cannot be converted to a substitute or converted to a primary if there are any existing Training Assignments that reference the Training Requirement.
  • Training Requirement Impact Assessments: Substitution rules cannot be edited directly within a Training Requirement Impact Assessment record, only on the Training Requirement records.
  • When a Vault is cloned, conditions in substitute rules must be manually created in the target Vault; the Training Rule Set and Training Rule object records, which store the substitute rules, are not cloned. This is because the conditions may reference fields or field values that exist in the source Vault, but may not exist in the target Vault.
  • The field rule_conditions_internal__v on the Training Rule object cannot be modified.
  • Navigating away from a page while editing an unsaved substitution rule does not result in a warning. Ensure that you have saved your rule before navigating away from the page.
  • The Is A Substitute Training Requirement field must have the Show as checkbox option enabled.

To view substitution rules, Training Admins require a permission set which includes the Read permission on the Training Rule Set and Training Rule objects. To create and edit substitution rules, Training Admins require a permission set which includes Read, Create, Edit, and Delete permissions on the Training Rule Set and Training Rule objects.

Person Object Permissions

In order for Vault to successfully evaluate substitute rules for a training assignment, Learners must be minimally permitted to view their own Person record, as well as the User field within the record. This can be achieved by granting Read access to the Person object, as well as Person object field permissions for the User field within their assigned permission set.

If your Vault uses Dynamic Access Control, there must be a matching or custom sharing rule permitting the Learner Read access to their Person object record.

If your Vault’s Person object lifecycle includes Atomic Security configuration for fields, Learners must be granted Read access to the User field.