Prior Learning Recognition & Competency Assessment
Putting your skills and knowledge to work
Employment of skilled immigrants and the increased need for career change are just two issues that make prior learning recognition and assessment of competency an increasingly important tool in the education system.
Assessment of prior learning and competency for particular skills and knowledge gives workers the opportunity to get credit for their accomplishments as they retrain or seek new credentials through Ontario’s public colleges. Both these tools help workers get back into the workforce quickly, in jobs they want and deserve.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition is a means of evaluating skills and knowledge acquired outside the classroom, through work experience, volunteering, life experience and many other avenues. The assessment results can be applied toward academic credit for those who are upgrading, retraining or pursuing education in Ontario’s colleges after being in the workforce.
Though there is no set PLAR standard in Ontario, many colleges develop their own prior learning process, which will help workers who are already knowledgeable in their fields avoid relearning what they already know. Assessments are often conducted through interviews, demonstrations and testing, as well as through evaluation of a PLAR portfolio, which is a collection of documents or items that show recognition for skills and knowledge.