Prior Learning and Recognition

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition is for those who have acquired significant knowledge and skills outside the formal university classroom.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a program that awards credit for learning you have acquired through your professional and personal life, skills training, and volunteer experiences. No matter where your knowledge may come from, the University of Regina PLAR program allows you to apply your vast amount of knowledge toward University of Regina degrees, certificates or diplomas.

PLAR credit will be assessed and awarded for undergraduate-level, university credit programs only. For information about graduate programs, please contact the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research.

PLAR credit will not be assessed toward Career & Professional Development non-credit programs.

Credit Will Not Be Awarded for Experience Alone.

Students must clearly demonstrate an ability to critically reflect on knowledge gained through experience. It is not a way for students to avoid taking a class. PLAR is for earning credit where credit is due and to avoid duplicating knowledge students already have.

Assessment methods vary depending on the Faculty and subject matter and help reduce your frustrations by placing you in the correct level. After all, if an advanced performer were placed in a beginner course, he/she would likely feel frustrated at the repetition of instruction basics. The assessment process helps you determine what you already know and can do and can identify gaps in your learning.


  1. Determine eligibility - talk to Faculty Advisor
  2. Make appointment with PLAR Mentor (Contact Prior Learning and Assessment)
  3. Create a portfolio
  4. Submit portfolio for assessment (and pay assessment fee)

How to Create a Compelling Portfolio

It is best to view this interactive presentation in Full Screen Mode.

PLAR Presentation on Prezi

For Prior Learning Assessors

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition is a valuable support for our adult learners. Recognizing prior learning allows us to acknowledge the diversity of our students as well as to encourage non-traditional learners to participate in higher education.

As an assessor, you are responsible for ensuring students are awarded credit for their previous learning according to national and international best practices. Prior Learning Assessment at the University of Regina follows standards set out by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), which ensure that learning is assessed and awarded in a fair, rigorous, and transparent manner.

CAEL’s Ten Standards for Assessing Learning*

  1. Credit or its equivalent should be awarded only for learning, and not for experience.
  2. Assessment should be based on standards and criteria for the level of acceptable learning that are both agreed upon and made public.
  3. Assessment should be treated as an integral part of learning, not separate from it, and should be based on an understanding of learning processes.
  4. The determination of credit awards and competence levels must be made by appropriate subject matter and academic or credentialing experts.
  5. Credit or other credentialing should be appropriate to the context in which it is awarded and accepted.
  6. If awards are for credit, transcript entries should clearly describe what learning is being recognized and should be monitored to avoid giving credit twice for the same learning.
  7. Policies, procedures, and criteria applied to assessment, including provision for appeal, should be fully disclosed and prominently available to all parties involved in the assessment process.
  8. Fee charged for assessment should be based on the services performed in the process and not determined by the amount of credit awarded.
  9. All personnel involved in the assessment of learning should pursue and receive adequate training and continuing professional development for the functions they perform.
  10. Assessment programs should be regularly monitored, reviewed, evaluated, and revised as needed to reflect changes in the needs being served, the purposes being met, and the state of the assessment arts.

*Fiddler, Ml, C. Marineau, and U. Whitaker. 2006. Assessing learning: Standards, principles, and procedures (2nd ed.). Chicago: CAEL.