We believe learning happens in many ways. You should receive credit where it's deserved.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

PLAR is a process of evaluating the knowledge and skills gained through experiential and/or non-formal learning for the purpose of obtaining academic credit.

How can I have acquired post-secondary level learning?

You can acquire post-secondary level learning through:

  • training
  • independent study
  • volunteer activities
  • military service
  • work experience
  • travel
  • hobbies

How many credits can I get through PLAR?

You can receive credit for up to 75% of a college program through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition, depending on the nature and extent of your learning and how well your learning matches the college course requirements (learning outcomes). You must be enrolled and complete a minimum of 25% of the program credit units at Fanshawe. NOTE: Degree programs are subject to PEQAB requirements.

Do I have to be registered at Fanshawe to apply for PLAR?

No. You may have your prior learning assessed before entering a college program. Courses with successful PLAR attempts will be recorded on a transcript.

How is PLAR assessed?

Challenge Evaluation Portfolio
  • Written exam
  • Oral exam
  • Project and/or presentation
  • Skill demonstration
  • Interview
  • Essay
  • Chronological and academic records
  • Life history paper
  • Goals paper
  • Educational plan
  • Learning outcomes or competency statements
  • Verification of learning (documentation)
  • Resumé

NOTE: Other modes of assessment may be used depending on the nature of the course.

How long does the PLAR process take?

At Fanshawe PLAR timelines are prescribed to support timely PLAR assessments. These timelines may vary based on factors including PLAR application dates, PLAR assessment submission dates, availability of faculty subject matter experts and/or access to appropriate testing facilities. In order to ensure appropriate lead time for assessments, applicants and students are strongly encouraged to apply for PLAR in the semester prior to the delivery of the course(s). 

Detailed timelines can be found on Fanhawe's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy.

How does PLAR affect my OSAP?

If your course load drops below that of a full-time student because of credits earned through PLAR, your eligibility for financial assistance through the Ontario Student Assistance Plan (OSAP) might be affected. PLAR candidates are encouraged to contact Financial Aid and Student Awards for questions about OSAP eligibility.

As an international student, can I apply for PLAR?

International students are encouraged to consider any impact to their current study permit and working eligibility, or impacts to their future post-graduate work permit eligibility, if their course load drops below that of a full-time student because of credits earned through transfer credit. Contact an Immigration Consultant at the International Centre to learn more.

How do I apply for PLAR?

  1. Contact an Admissions and Pathways Advisor in the Office of the Registrar, by phone at 519-452-4277 or email at advising@fanshawec.ca.
  2. The PLAR application fee is $105 per course. This fee applies to both the challenge evaluation and the portfolio assessment. The fee is non-refundable.
  3. If you fail to prove that you have met the learning outcomes, you do not get a refund. If you have paid for a challenge evaluation and then decide to take the course instead, you are not eligible for a refund. You should review the material before deciding to complete a challenge evaluation.

Where can I find a PLAR Learner Guide?

A PLAR Learner Guide is a resource for candidates and students to help them decide whether they should move forward with a PLAR application. Learner Guides are developed for specific courses and contain general PLAR information, as well as detailed course information relevant for applicants wishing to PLAR the specific course. 

Book an appointment with an Admissions and Pathways Advisor, or contact your Program Coordinator to inquire about PLAR and see if a Learner Guide is available for the course you wish to PLAR.