What is Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)?

This section explains how you can earn academic credit for learning you’ve done before through work, school and/or life experiences.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

Prior learning assessment & recognition (PLAR) is a process that gives you the opportunity to obtain academic credit for one or more courses in a certificate, diploma or degree. You will need to demonstrate that you have acquired the necessary skills and knowledge through life experiences. This may include work, training, independent study, volunteering, travel, hobbies and family experiences.

Who Can Apply For PLAR?

PLAR candidates must be 19 years old or have an OSSD.

How Does PLAR Work?

PLAR is done on a course by course basis. If a course covers material you already know, you can ask for an assessment of your knowledge. This is called a “challenge.” For example, if you have done a lot of computer work, you might challenge a computer course. To assess your learning, you may be:

  • tested with written or oral exams, interviews, or case studies
  • assessed through a portfolio of your work that shows your skills.

Your learning will be evaluated as would happen in a classroom environment and your assessment will be graded. This grade will appear on your transcript (PLAR does not result in an exemption), and will count towards your Grade Point Average (GPA).

You can get up to 75% of your credits through PLAR and transfer credits, and the other 25% must come from classes taken at the College.

Receiving PLAR credit may affect a student’s course load, which in turn may impact tuition fees and eligibility for OSAP, scholarships, bursaries and other sponsorships. It is the candidate’s responsibility to check their status when applying for PLAR.

How to Apply for PLAR?

The 2023 Academic Year runs from September 2023 to August 2024. Deadlines to apply for PLAR:

  • Fall 2023: May 8, 2023
  • Winter 2024: October 2, 2023
  • Spring 2024: February 5, 2024

The processing time for applications and documents is up to six weeks. Please factor this into your planning and course registration.

Please check the list of Important Dates for the last day to add/drop courses for a refund or academic penalty. All results need to be in before these dates.

The current PLAR Application Fee for the 2023 - 2024 Academic Year is $115.20.

If you’d like to discuss PLAR options, contact the PLAR Office at plar@georgebrown.ca.

Step 1:

Complete the PLAR Self-Assessment Form to allow you to identify your skills, knowledge and abilities against the learning outcomes of the course, and assist you in making an informed decision about pursuing PLAR. You will need access to the course outline and learning outcomes in order to fill this document in. 

For co-op/externship/field practice courses please complete the Work-Integrated Learning PLAR Self-Assessment Form.

Step 2:

Complete the PLAR Application Form.

Step 3:

Contact your Program Coordinator to discuss your prior learning experience and determine your eligibility for PLAR.

The PLAR Office can also provide you with the contact details of who you must contact (usually the Program Coordinator), to submit your PLAR Application Form and determine your eligibility for PLAR.

Contact PLAR Office