Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Prior learning assessment is a process whereby previous formal and experiential learning is recognized and credited. This concept acknowledges that individuals learn in many different ways. Through this process, a variety of measurement tools can be used to assist the student in identifying and demonstrating knowledge, skills/competencies, and attitudes acquired through formal and non-formal activities. This learning is measured against program learning outcomes to determine credits awarded and thus exempt a student from a particular course or part of a particular program. It is the learning from the experience and not the experience itself that is credited, to ensure quality standards are not compromised. A number of methods can be used to evaluate prior learning. These include:

  • Challenge Examination - usually the program final examination
  • Challenge Essay (Portfolio) - “Tell about me” - usually consists of a chronological record, life history paper or autobiography, statements of learning, individual challenge essays for each course or part of program challenged and the documentation that supports the claim of learning
  • Performance Evaluation/Simulation - Performance evaluation is used when the assessment of learning involves the measurement of one’s ability to perform certain tasks or competencies in a given area
  • Interview/Oral Examination - An interview or oral examination may be used to counsel or evaluate a student’s past learning.
  • Product Assessment - This method enables the student to provide samples of work or products that provide proof of experience, or verify that learning has occurred
  • Assessment of Non-Credit Courses/Programs - Work-based education and training, union, professional and government sponsored initiatives, and non-credit courses/programs are reviewed for their congruence with theory and skills taught in credit programs

The methods most commonly used for assessment in Continuing Nursing Studies are the Challenge Examination and Performance Evaluation/ Simulation.

Students who feel they may be able to receive credit for prior learning should contact Continuing Nursing Studies when making application for programs. Students will be assessed to determine relevant prior learning and appropriate methods of assessment.

A fee for challenge for credit will be determined based on the amount of the program able to be challenged.

Students who are not successful in evaluation of prior learning must pay tuition fees and complete the appropriate program.