Managing licences - Any tips?

Sep 21, 2020

I have been creating e-learning modules for clients now for a couple of years. I have always worked on a single fee model whereby I charge for development and then provide clients with the published file (i.e. SCORM) for them to upload on their own LMS. 

Recently I have had some clients ask about licence fees and am looking into this as an alternative. However, having never done this, I am worried about the practicalities of it. When I hand the file over the the client I'm essentially handing over all control and relying on them to stick within the limitations of the licence (or pay if they go over it.) The obvious solution would be to take on the hosting, but this is not something that I, or my clients want to do.

Has anyone found a good solution to this? Or should I just stick with my original pricing model? (I am in the UK by the way.)



4 Replies
Judy Nollet

Hi, Jo,

Am I understanding this correctly: The client wants you to provide specific courses for them, but they only want to pay a license fee (e.g., per user) instead of paying one fee for the research, instructional design, and development you have to do to create the courses? 

That might make sense from their perspective. My guess is that they assume this will cost them less money or, at least, they'd be able to pay out in more gradual increments. 

However, it sure doesn't seem to be a good idea for you. As you noted, you can't track the usage of courses on their LMS. And it would be a big expense (and headache) for you to host them on your own LMS. Yet, hosting them yourself—and being able to license the same courses to other clients, too—seems like the only possible way you might come out ahead.

Bottom line: Keep your current pricing model. 

One more note: It sounds like you only provide them with the SCORM package, which is a good way to ensure they hire you for any updates. If they decide they also want the source file, be sure to add a surcharge to your fee to make up for the potential loss of future revenue. 

Judy Nollet

Hi again, Jo,

I've only done "work for hire" instructional design, writing, and development. In other words, the client ends up with the copyrights, and they get to load and manage the courses in their LMS. I typically work with my clients' SMEs and content, so that type of contract makes the most sense. 

I've seen a few Forum posts asking about how to sell courses online; you could search for those to see if there are any answers that are helpful to you. But that's simply not something I'm interested in. Partly because I've heard too many LMS horror stories. And partly because I think it'd be hard to get noticed amidst all the other online courses, especially since there are so many good ones that come from big companies with name recognition and marketing budgets. 

Best wishes for success in whatever you do!

- Judy

Alex del Solar

Hello Jo,

Have you taken a look to scormNEXT? It is a cloud solution for distributing SCORM contents remotely to external LMS under a licensing model. You can control how many licences are delivered to each client and your original contents will be safe on the cloud.

You can get more info here:

Best regards