Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

  • Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process that gives you the opportunity to obtain academic credit for a George Brown College course or courses in a certificate (or other program) by demonstrating that you have acquired necessary skills and knowledge through life experiences. These experiences may include work, training, independent study, volunteering, travel, hobbies and family experiences. PLAR is not equal to a course exemption.
  • PLAR is done on a course-by-course basis. If you want to pursue PLAR for a course, you can request an assessment of your knowledge. Your learning may be assessed by one or both of the following methods:
    • Testing through written or orals exams, interviews or case studies
    • Review of a portfolio of your work that demonstrates your skills
  • Your learning will be evaluated and you will receive a grade for your assessment. This grade will appear on your transcript and will be included in any grade point average (GPA) calculations (if applicable).
  • To apply for PLAR, you must have a secondary school diploma or be at least 19 years old.
  • To request PLAR, follow these steps:
    1. Obtain the course outline from the department co-ordinator. The co-ordinator will tell you if the course is eligible for PLAR. (Some courses do not qualify for PLAR.)
    2. If the course is eligible, use the course outline to complete the PLAR self-assessment Word form. This tool will help you and the department co-ordinator to determine whether you meet the course learning outcomes through your prior learning. If you are confident that you can meet these outcomes after completing the self-assessment form, contact the department co-ordinator to book an appointment.
    3. Complete an Application for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition PDF form. Alternatively, you can provide a letter/email that includes your student ID number; your date of birth; your full legal name and address; your home and business phone numbers; your main email address; the relevant details (course code, course name and class section course reference number [CRN]) of the course from which you wish to be exempted; and your signature.
    4. Bring your completed PLAR self-assessment form and application form to your appointment. You are also encouraged to bring a copy of your current resumé with you. (Note: You can also submit your request (and supporting documents) by mail, email or by delivering it to the department office in person. Department addresses and locations can be found in the Continuing Education Contacts list. (Note: Requests to the School of Makeup and Esthetics must be made in person.)
    5. If the department co-ordinator confirms that you are eligible for PLAR, the co-ordinator will sign your application form. Take your signed application form to a Student Service Centre to pay the administrative fee (payments must be made in person). Payments will not be processed without a signed application form. (Note: PLAR fees are non-refundable. The employee discount cannot be applied to PLAR.)
    6. Return your signed application form and receipt of payment to the department co-ordinator. The co-ordinator will advise you on how to complete your PLAR assessment (such as through a portfolio or challenge exam) and will establish a timeline for completion.
  • If your credit is granted, you will receive a grade for the course based on your portfolio and/or challenge exam.
  • For more information, visit the PLAR website or contact the PLAR office at