Learn how your work & volunteer experience can be worth credit for post-secondary studies in Alberta
Get Credit for Experience
Work or volunteer experience may be worth credit towards your post-secondary education. A PLAR assessment can potentially save time and money on your program of study.
What is PLAR?
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) gives you post-secondary credit for what you already know about your post-secondary program of study. The PLAR process:
Identifies how your practical experience matches learning outcomes in your post-secondary program
Assesses how closely your skills and knowledge match those learning outcomes
Recognizes how your experience meets or exceeds learning outcomes through post-secondary credit
Recommends areas where you would benefit from additional learning
How the PLAR Process Works
Alberta post-secondary institutions offer PLAR services in different ways. Confirm your institution’s process, timelines and fees before getting started.
1. Ask your institution about evaluating your prior learning
Find out how your knowledge, skills and abilities can earn you credits towards your program of study. Confirm the process, timelines, cost, who to contact and potential program funding implications.
2. Apply and get accepted into your post-secondary program
3. Start the PLAR process
Your institution’s PLAR contact will help you identify your learning outcomes. You’ll then match your knowledge, skills and abilities to those outcomes.
4. Prepare your evidence of previous learning for assessment
This can include preparing for an interview, collecting evidence to build a portfolio, taking a written test or demonstrating a set of skills (such as preparing case studies).
5. A PLAR Assessor reviews your evidence
PLAR credit is only awarded if you’ve proven that your previous learning meets or exceeds course or program learning outcomes – and not by how long you held a job.
6. Receive your assessment results from your institution
Your results may also include formal or informal feedback from your PLAR Assessor or your institution’s PLAR contact.
7. Plan your next steps
This could include researching if appeal options are available, taking courses in areas needing further study, on-the-job activities to help you keep building your skills – or celebrating your success!
Taking Classes During the PLAR Process
Before you sign up for classes, talk to your PLAR advisor, as some institutions will encourage you not to sign up for classes until your assessment is complete. If you're able to start your program during the PLAR process, your advisor can help you choose classes that are not eligible for transfer credit through PLAR.