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Case Study
National Rugby League

A holistic learning management experience for Australia’s national rugby league

Reinvigorating the learning centre of Australia’s second largest professional sporting association

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The National Rugby League (NRL) is the world’s premier rugby league competition run by the Australian Rugby League Commission. It is the second biggest professional sporting association in Australia and is the dominant sport in the states of New South Wales and Queensland.


With sixteen teams in Australia and New Zealand, the NRL is synonymous with Australia’s sports culture and is the best-attended rugby league in the world. It was founded in 1998 as a merger of two competing leagues, but its roots reach right back to 1908.

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A learning management solution with limited functionality


The NRL needed to reinvigorate its NRL Learning Centre, which provided training for coaches, referees, trainers and volunteers.


The Learning Centre also offered accreditation programmes for aspiring NRL referees, and

LeagueSafe: an online safety awareness course for parents and volunteers at children’s games, which was designed to help create a healthy and safe rugby league environment for young players.


At the heart of the LMS was an outdated Content Management System (CMS) which at the back end did not give users much autonomy over their content or integrate effectively with the league’s membership database.


Modernising the Learning Centre System

There were several challenges for the NRL with their current suite of technology, and they were using multiple systems for differing purposes, many of which were not performing well.


The LMS included a coach reaccreditation programme which was poorly organised and did not effectively address many different skill levels. It also included a referee training programme that had a high dropout rate, which indicated a poor user experience.


In addition to the LMS they were using for the NRL Learning Centre, the league also needed to use a third party system to manage all of their certifications, and it was proving very difficult to track and report on these internally.

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A fully-integrated NRL Learning Centre portal

Our solution was the implementation of a new LMS to combine the functions of the two previous systems it was using. The new system enables users by giving them greater control over content, certification management, and syncing with the membership database


The system consists of an interactive e-learning programme using imc’s Chatbot framework, with options for all experience levels. The programme contains scenario-based learning modules that account for different personality types and the challenges they present at games.


The Coach Reaccreditation and Referee Training programmes are now also using imc technology to provide an entertaining and informative journey to users. The new system provides students with the opportunity to learn through a variety of real-world scenarios that best fit their interests (for example, age-appropriate training for children or teenagers). Each learner has access to video examples of real-life, correct and incorrect performances.


As part of the redevelopment, we reinvigorated the referee-accreditation programme with real game footage and used an authoritative subject matter expert (SME), Kasey Badger, to attract referees from all walks of life.


A rejuvenated approach

This project successfully helped to rejuvenate the learning approach for our client, and the LMS solution was delivered both on time and within budget.


Not only did NRL meet its original objectives, but post-implementation, there was an uplift of the participation rates for online learning and positive feedback from users of the upgraded NRL LeagueSafe courses.

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A fully-integrated LMS portal
Increased participation rates & positive learners feedback
Role-based & individualised training
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“imc Australia has been instrumental in helping us to modernise NRL Learning Centre to a whole new level. The new system improves the users experience and increases the courses participation tremendously. ”
National Rugby League