Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process of evaluating work experience by a qualified specialist and expert in the relevant field. Prospective students who wish to apply for PLAR are asked to contact the University for information and assistance in developing a portfolio for evaluation.

PLAR methodology includes work experience, independent reading, volunteer work, or other relevant activities. It is based on documentation that provides authenticated evidence of learning and students must demonstrate learning at a level of achievement equivalent to students who have successfully completed the specific course for which credit is being requested.

PLAR is available for all specialty and elective courses and PLAR credits are only granted on the basis that applicants meet all of the learning objectives of a course. Partial credits are not granted.

Students must be admitted to the University prior to applying for any PLAR credits.

At the admission stage, an applicant should indicate the courses for which she or he intends to request credits on the basis of prior learning and experience. A separate PLAR request form will be forwarded to a successful applicant for each course for which she or he has indicated an intention to request PLAR credits. The completed form must be accompanied by a dossier of evidence supporting the request. The same evidence can be used to support a number of requests as long as it is clearly explained how it relates to the specific learning objectives of each course.

Acceptable evidence can include:

  • Professional non-credit courses for which a certificate has been awarded.
  • Professional certification or accreditation.
  • Teaching or training practice.
  • Work or professional experience.
  • Documented research.
  • Papers or reports for which the applicant can be confirmed as an author.
  • Copies of presentations made at professional or academic conferences.

Students who have completed the 25 modules in the Online Return to Work Coordinator Program previously offered by NIDMAR or the 25 modules in the Disability Management Practitioner Certificate Program within 3 years or who have current CDMP or CRTWC Certification should refer to admission under the Professional Designation Pathway in the Academic Calendar.

All other PLAR credit requests will be charged the PLAR credit fees.

A minimum period of 12 weeks is required to process a PLAR request. PLAR will be assessed by an instructor or faculty member who is an expert in the subject area.