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) 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.

Please note: During this time PLAR is currently not available for all English and Math courses with written tests through the assessment centre until further notice.


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


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.


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

The 2020 Academic Year runs from September 2020 to August 2021. The current PLAR Application Fee for the 2020 - 2021 Academic year is $115.20

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.


Your Program Coordinator will have a discussion with you about your prior learning experience to determine your eligibility for PLAR. It is advisable to complete the PLAR Self-Assessment Form prior to any discussion with your Program Coordinator.

The PLAR Self-Assessment Form will 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.

Contact PLAR@georgebrown.ca to request a PLAR Self-Assessment Form template.


416-415-5000, Ext. 7527