Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Challenge Examination, Workplace-based Assessment, Portfolio Assisted


Douglas College offers students who are enrolled in a program of study the opportunity for the assessment of learning that has been acquired through prior formal and informal learning experiences. When learning is assessed as equivalent to the outcomes defined for a course, program or graduate profile, then formal credit is awarded. Individual departments or programs are responsible for determining courses that may not be "open" for PLAR. Similarly, departments and/or programs are responsible for identifying appropriate processes for the assessment of prior learning. Students are not eligible to apply for PLAR credit for courses in which they are currently registered. PLAR at Douglas College is identified as:

Challenge Examination


A written, oral or performance test, as determined appropriate by the department/program, which may include a laboratory experience. 

Students must wait one year from the date of their last registration in a course before challenging it and must demonstrate that additional applicable learning has occurred since registering in the course.

Workplace-based Assessment


Assessment of a student's learning (knowledge, skills, abilities and/ or values) in a simulated or real setting. Learning is demonstrated in a naturalistic and comprehensive way, showing learning connections and levels of competence.

Portfolio Assisted Assessment


Assessment of a file or folder of information that systematically documents and provides evidence of an individual's learning experiences and accomplishments in relation to the outcomes for a course, program or graduate profile. Before applying for prior learning assessment, students will find it useful to complete an evidence development course to learn how to document or demonstrate their prior learning.

Students seeking credit for prior learning must make formal application to the Office of the Registrar, the PLAR Service or the relevant department or program by using the Request for Credit Form. Eligibility to proceed with PLAR is determined by the department/program coordinator, chair or designee. Fees for PLAR are based on the number of credits requested and not upon the number of credits awarded.

Normally, credits awarded through prior learning assessment are limited to 75 percent of the total credits required to meet the graduation requirements for the credential to which the credit is applied. Exceptions to this limit may be considered by departments or programs. Students are encouraged to consult with the PLAR Service and with the relevant department program.

Students who intend to transfer credit obtained through prior learning assessment must check with the appropriate receiving institution to ensure that the credit is acceptable for transfer purposes. Contact the PLAR Service at 604 527 5526 for more information.


Transfer Credit

Transfer credit may be obtained for credit courses completed at another recognized educational institution. Credit may be routinely granted by the Office of the Registrar, based on established articulation, or may be referred to the appropriate department/program for individual course assessment or articulation.