Online Learning Standards for Training in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2020

These regulations were approved by the decision of the Board of Directors of the National eLearning Center No. (4/5/41) dated 21/12/1441 AH, based on the Mandates of the Center issued by the Council of Ministers No. (35) on 13/1/1439 AH


All rights reserved to the National eLearning Center 2020



Executive Summary:

These standards were developed based on the Council of Ministers Resolution No. (35), dated 13/1/1439 AH, to establish the National eLearning Center.  The third article of the regulation requires, the Center to develop regulations and quality standards for training institutions, taking into account the integration of the standards of the Education and Training Evaluation Commission.  These standards were built according to a study of the best-known international standards; beneficiaries’ opinions were surveyed, and workshops for online training officials were held, with standards judged by local and global experts in online learning and training.  The standards’ final version consists of two main parts. The first, institution standards, includes leadership, technology, training and support.  It consists of twenty-seven sub-standards.  The second part, program standards, consists of four standards: design, interaction, equity and accessibility, and assessment and evaluation.  It contains thirty-eight sub-standards.  The sub-standards are also divided into compulsory basic (licensing) and advanced (quality control).



This document is a guide to quality control standards in online training in institutions providing online training programs and services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  The degree of achievement of these standards is measured through the practices applied by entities in the Kingdom.  To achieve the principle of gradual development, the standards are divided into two levels, basic and advanced, based on the degree of importance and the need to measure the practice over the time period.    In light of this, licenses are granted to entities that wish to provide online training programs.  As the only legislative body approved in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to control the quality of online learning and online training practices, the National eLearning Center is responsible for updating these standards and regulations periodically in cooperation with relevant authorities in the kingdom.  The center also benefits from the best international practices and grants licenses that ensure the continuous achievement of standards for controlling the quality of online training in all its types and styles.  It also undertakes control and measurement work to achieve quality using the mechanisms, models and tools that the center builds for this purpose; some of these may require giving the National eLearning Center access to any information or performance indicators required by the institutions that provide online training programs and services.


  1. Standards (for institutions):




Leading the quality of online training in each department to the board of directors of the training institutions responsible for its governance in order to achieve the strategic and operational goals aligned with the mission and vision of that entity.

Compulsory Basic (licensing)

Advanced (quality control)


Publishing an online training strategy approved by a competent authority and consistent with the institution’s plan.




Committing to achieving academic integrity within the online training environment and preventing fraud and identity theft.



Ensuring that the electronic content presented in the program is up-to-date and that it does not violate national laws and policies.



Adhering to the principles of intellectual property rights and copyrights.



Considering concurrent online attendance through virtual classes as equivalent to regular attendance.



Providing a mechanism to measure the level of satisfaction of the online training beneficiaries.



Managing resources in a responsible manner that is consistent with the budget regulations and accounting principles.




Ensuring resources and their support are adequate and sustainable over time, in accordance with the institution’s strategic plan, vision, and mission.







Providing high-quality online training systems, including admission and registration systems and any other training tools or software.

Compulsory Basic (licensing)

Advanced (quality control)


Providing the necessary technical infrastructure to implement the online training programs.



Ensuring the privacy of the beneficiaries’ data through clearly formulated policies and procedures.



Providing a single sign-on (SSO) for online learning systems.




Providing identity verification systems.



Providing learning management systems (LMSs), virtual classes, and electronic tests.



Providing data analysis systems and the ability to track trainee-peer, trainee-content, and trainee-coach interactions.




Ensuring the systems support various types of devices with different operating systems and screen sizes, including smartphones and tablets.



Providing online training system applications for smartphones.




Providing an ongoing electronic alert system to notify the trainee of the required tasks.



Ensuring the systems provide a search feature for various types of e-content.



Ensuring the systems provide access to people with disabilities.






Training and Support

Practices related to developing trainees and trainers to help them achieve their tasks in the field of online training.

Compulsory Basic (licensing)

Advanced (quality control)


Providing an orientation program to equip the trainee with technology and training skills in online training environments.



Giving the trainer adequate training related to technology usage, e-content development, and online teaching skills.



Providing a portal that includes manuals, support, and training in all delivery models for trainees and trainers.



Providing clear instructions on technical support for the trainee and trainer, and how to access it.



Ensuring that the trainee and trainer receive the appropriate technical and educational assistance needed throughout the program.



Enabling people with disabilities to have access to all online learning and training.




Providing technicians and administrators, and identifying their roles and responsibilities.



Providing a supervisory staff over the training environment.



  1. Standards (for programs):




Practices related to designing training e-courses or using ready-made courses licensed by training service providers.  The aim is to achieve competencies and goals that are linked to various course activities, including tests, discussion, research, submissions, and other requirements for measuring training objectives within the e-course, and for continuous evaluation and improvement.  This standard also includes all practices related to the resources linked to the training e-course materials and provided by the training institution or other open educational resources (OER).

Compulsory Basic (licensing)

Advanced (quality control)


Setting clear objectives for the e-content.



Following fixed standard designs and structure for all units and pages.



Adhering to Universal Design for Learning (UDL).




Chunking the e-content into reusable learning objects.



Adhering to WCAG 2.0 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) or the current version.




Ensuring design of the e-content is in compliance with the Experience API (xAPI) standards.




Providing e-content in various forms (text, audio, and visual materials) that meet the trainee’s needs.



Providing the design, media, and fonts used, with their various sizes, colors, and formats, in a way that facilitates reading and reduces fatigue.



Ensuring the quality of the educational and training media that are embedded and providing transcriptions.



Providing a downloadable copy of the entire e-content used within the training programs, which should be used in accordance with the intellectual property rights.




Providing an adequate percentage of the training e-course content as open educational resources (OER).



Displaying the e-content in an organized manner that facilitates accessibility.



Presenting the content in a variety of ways, supported by different activities.




Providing the trainee the ability to evaluate and comment on the e-content.






Practices related to active learning, the trainees’ participation, the trainee-trainer relationship, and the extent of their engagement with the educational and training activities within the course.

Compulsory Basic (licensing)

Advanced (quality control)


Providing adequate instructions on how to start using the e-course, overviewing the communication policy, and defining the main sections and starting point.



Providing a timetable for all steps expected of the trainee to implement during each e-unit and the required content and tools for each step.



Providing diversity in the use of synchronous and asynchronous online training.




Providing an ongoing mechanism to answer trainees’ questions and to offer feedback on the tasks accomplished.



Providing a self-assessment that enables the trainees to check their progress in training and to offer feedback.



Providing a technical mechanism to measure the interactions and engagement of the trainees during online training.





Equity and Accessibility

Practices related to accessibility and learning, the use of online learning programs, tools, and technologies by training institutions, and what is offered in terms of learning resources, knowledge exchange, interaction, and communication.

Compulsory Basic (licensing)

Advanced (quality control)


Determining the minimum level of knowledge, technical skills, and competencies required of trainees and trainers.



Ensuring that all trainees, with varying ability levels, have equitable access to the program.



Providing accessible technologies with an explanation of how to obtain them.



Presenting the content using multiple audiovisual methods.





Assessment and Evaluation

The practices that enable the trainees to monitor their performance and enable the trainer to measure it, analyze the trainees’ needs so they can adapt training methods to these needs, and measure progress through the training process with various evaluation and feedback methods.

Compulsory Basic (licensing)

Advanced (quality control)


Choosing tools for measuring training objectives to suit the activities and resources of the e-content.




Clarifying the evaluation policy for the e-courses.



Providing specific and descriptive standards related to the grading policy to assess the work and participation of the trainees.




Providing multiple assessment tools that are appropriate for the training activities being evaluated.




Providing multiple opportunities for trainees to measure their progress.



Conducting continuous internal evaluations based on national standards according to the program level.




Evaluating continuous improvement by measuring trainees’ achievement and satisfaction through reliable methods.




Evaluating trainers and employees continuously through clear policies and procedures to ensure the quality of training.




Evaluating and reviewing e-courses continuously to ensure their quality.




Conducting regular external evaluations by qualified bodies.




Providing stakeholders (in the program) with the results of the evaluations.




Providing a mechanism to measure beneficiaries’ (trainee, trainer) satisfaction with the online training.



Providing a mechanism to measure the effect of using online training on the program’s outcomes.




Providing a mechanism to measure the efficiency of spending that resulted from using online training programs.