Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Earn college credits for what you already know!

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLAR process work?

Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples, etc. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.

The maximum length of time from start to finish is eight weeks. You should apply as soon as possible so that you can complete in time to enrol in courses for the next semester.

Step 1: Research

Identify courses on our website for which you feel you may have gained the learning required for a challenge.

Outlines are available online. Match your learning to the outcomes on the course outline.

Step 2: Consult

Make an appointment to discuss your situation with the Program Coordinator - s/he will help you determine if a challenge is appropriate for you.

Step 3: Apply

Complete a PLAR application available from the Coordinator and pay the assessment fee at the Registration Office (fee is set by the Ministry of Education and Training).

The Program Coordinator or Chair of the Program Area in which the course is delivered must sign your form. The Registration Office will process your application and a copy will be sent to the Program Coordinator, who will contact you and arrange a date and time for your PLAR assessment.

Step 4: Challenge

Complete your assessment as arranged with the Program Coordinator.

Step 5: Get Your Results

When completed, your PLAR will be evaluated by a faculty expert who will assign a grade.

  1. If you have successfully challenged the course, the grade will be recorded on your transcript.
  2. If you have not successfully challenged the course, the grade will not be recorded on your transcript, but the Program Coordinator will contact you and instruct you to enrol in the challenged course to earn the credit.

Please Note:

  • Not all courses are open to Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Challenges.
  • Applicants may not apply to re-challenge a course within one year - and evidence of additional related work experience, since the initial PLAR, will be required.
  • Fees paid for PLAR are not refundable.
  • Credit earned through prior learning assessment shall be recorded on the transcript and shall not indicate that the credit(s) have been acquired through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition.