Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition

(This page is part of the official Academic Calendar)

Credit obtained through a Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) process, acknowledges learning that may have taken place in a venue other than a traditional post-secondary classroom. Students considering engaging in a PLAR process are strongly encouraged to contact the Assessment and Articulation Services Coordinator for more detailed information.

PLAR applicants must complete an RPL application form, and must provide the College Assessors with any and all transcripts, course outlines/descriptions, or other documentation necessary to support their PLAR application. RDC uses a “Course Credit” model of granting PLAR credit. Therefore, any credit awards using this process will be based on the applicant meeting the requisite course outcomes and/or demonstrated competencies specific to current College course curricula. RDC does not grant PLAR credit on a program level, nor will the College grant unspecified PLAR credit.

If a PLAR process is approved, assessment may take the form of:

  • A portfolio; written summary of learning gained from informal learning experiences
  • Letters of attestation from employers and/or associates that support claim of competency
  • Photos and/or videos that demonstrate skills/competence or products of learning
  • References from relevant professionals who support claims of skill mastery within the appropriate context
  • Annotated summary of group projects with clear delineation of individual skills mastered
  • Performance/assessment reports from current employers
  • Essays, projects, assignments or other course appropriate evaluation strategies
  • Standardized tests: Paper & pencil or computerized tests may be used to assess theoretical or applied knowledge relevant to the College curricula being reviewed for credit
  • Skills assessments: Such an assessment will be a demonstration of skills within a prescribed environment, i.e. laboratory or practicum setting, for the express purpose of assessing an individual's ability to meet the learning outcomes of a RDC course or program, and obtain relevant College credit
  • Review of Employer-Based Training: Review of private or public sector-sponsored training programs
  • Other strategies as determined by the Assessors, that enable a comparison of learning outcomes/competencies and specific course curricula.

If credit is granted via this process, the information will appear on the College transcript as "PL", with the appropriate credit weight attached, but no grade is assigned.

Many universities will not recognize a grade of "PL" on an official transcript, students should check with the receiving institution before initiating a PLAR process.