Demystifying AICC Compliance: The Key To Effective eLearning

Let’s start with a little history lesson. AICC stands for Aviation Industry Computer-Based Training Committee. Yes, you read that right – the aviation industry! Back in the early 1980s, the airline industry faced a big problem – how to provide standardized training for pilots across different airlines without requiring them to physically attend training sessions. The solution? Computer-based training (CBT).

But there was one small problem: each airline had its own unique learning management system (LMS) that couldn’t communicate with other systems. That’s when the Aviation Industry CBT Committee decided to create a common standard for LMS communication – and thus, AICC was born.

Complying With AICC

Nowadays, complying with AICC isn’t just relevant for airlines; it applies to all organizations that use eLearning as part of their employee training programs. So what does being “AICC compliant” actually mean?

At its core, compliance means making sure your eLearning courses can communicate data successfully with any learning management system supporting the same standards defined by AICC. This includes tracking which users completed which courses or modules and what their test scores were.

To achieve this level of compliance though, you need a solid understanding of how SCORM tracking works, whether in cloud-based SaaS platforms or an on-premises LMS server deployed behind your company firewall.

AICC And Learning Management Systems

While SCORM is more well-known than its predecessor (you may have heard about xAPI too), many older software products still rely on using raw text formats to import eLearning content into tin-can databases defining grouping structures like Activities & Attachments defined by IEEE LTSC ADL Working Group along categories such as Actor, Verb, Object, etc.

Most modern-day LMS now support sharable Content Object Reference Models (SCORM) and AICC communication formats so they can host a wide range of courses across different LMS platforms, keeping track of their progress using the same set of standards.

Advantages Of AICC

One big advantage that comes with adopting AICC-compliant eLearning content is what’s commonly known as “flexible deployments.” What this means is that you can use your learning management system to deliver training in various ways, such as synchronous (webinars), asynchronous self-paced online modules, or blended combinations covering pre-course material before attending weekend workshops, etc. 

Another key advantage is security. When data from an eLearning course travels back and forth between an individual’s computer and your centralized LMS servers, you want to make sure it’s secure! This continues to be a critical feature when deploying web-based software systems on cloud & multi-tenant architecture today.

Flexible Deployments

Not all learners are created equal, nor do they learn in the same way or at the same pace. That’s where flexible deployment comes into play with live instructor-led classroom learning held alongside interactive modules accessible via mobile devices. This enables every individual to be catered to individually, depending on arrangements mirroring their personal schedules, versus following rigid programs explicitly defined for everybody else!


As cyber threats continue rising, especially due to remote working models, tight data protection policies such as encryption should guarantee learner anonymity while mitigating possible privacy breaches. These could happen both through local browser cache history or intentional malware injections brought by third-party extensions installed inadvertently into browsing applications like Google Chrome/Firefox (i.e., Adware/Spyware).

When leveraging SaaS-based Learning Management Systems located outside company firewalls – any customer confidential information stored creates potential exposure attack surface within software-as-a-service delivery models deployed globally over public internet network infrastructure.

Disadvantages Of AICC

While there are certainly some clear benefits to adopting AICC-compliant eLearning content, there are also some drawbacks that you’ll want to consider before deciding if this is the right approach for your organization.

One potential disadvantage is a lack of support from LMS providers and development tools. Since SCORM tends to be more commonly used in today’s systems, not all Learning Management System platforms on cloud-based SaaS offerings support older communication formats like AICC.

Another possible downside of using AICC is its complicated data structure. Using structured templates within Authoring Tools may present challenges, especially for non-technical learning specialists who need to build course content at scale across many topics or modules.


AICC standards have come a long way since their origins, serving the aviation industry’s training needs during the 1980s! While they’re certainly not without their challenges, adopting an AICC-compliant eLearning strategy has several key benefits when enabled by modern-day Learning Management Systems, including security compliance and flexible deployment options. Careful consideration must always be given, though, when weighing the pros and cons. However, with widespread adoption ahead among major regulatory authorities claiming standardization, particularly around bio-medical and safety-critical applications, investing in alignment with such requirements may very well pay off in the long run!

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