Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition FAQs

  1. What is Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)?

    Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is the process of recognizing and giving credit for skills, knowledge or competencies that have been acquired experientially, that is, through work experience, unrecognized education or training, self studies, volunteer activities and hobbies. Through PLAR, this learning is assessed and given recognition by the granting of credits towards a college program.

  2. What is Transfer Credit?

    You may apply for Transfer Credit if you have earned academic credit at another recognized educational institution which is equivalent to the learning requirements for a specific course which is taught at Seneca. Official transcripts must accompany your application.

  3. Are all courses open to Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition?

    Not all courses are open to PLAR. You need to check with the program coordinator to find out if the course can be challenged.

  4. How will you assess my prior experiential learning?

    You will be asked to demonstrate your learning using one or more of the following methods: tests, demonstrations, interviews, portfolios, etc. The type of assessment depends on the course's content and outcomes.

  5. How many credits can I get through PLAR?

    It is possible to achieve a maximum of 75 percent of the College credits required for graduation from a College program through a combination of PLAR, Transfer Credits and Exemptions. This depends of the nature and extent of your learning and how well it matches College course requirements.

  6. Am I eligible for PLAR?

    To be eligible, you must have reached either 19 years of age or have earned a Secondary School Graduation Diploma. Some programs may have additional requirements.

  7. Do I have to be registered in a course to be eligible for PLAR?

    No. Your learning may be assessed before you are registered at the college.

  8. If I am already registered in the course do I still have to pay for PLAR?

    Yes. The PLAR fee is separate from regular tuition fees. When you register for PLAR, the course you are challenging will be added to your transcript.

  9. If I am already registered in the course, should I attend my classes?

    It depends. Since you are not guaranteed a passing grade in any course you are challenging, they may wish to continue to attend. You may drop this course, however, if your challenge is not successful, you would need to re-enrol in this course at a later date for a credit in course.

  10. Will PLAR influence my Grade Point Average (GPA)?

    Yes. Since grades are assigned in most cases, the grade achieved will affect your GPA. Unsuccessful challenges are not recorded on your transcript, and will not affect your GPA.

  11. If I am unsuccessful, will the PLAR fee be refunded?

    No. The fee for PLAR is to cover some of the costs of the evaluation and is not refundable.

For more information, please see Seneca's Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Policy.