Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

The PLAR initiative at Brandon University allows students who have gained university-level knowledge and skills through life and work experience to apply for academic credit.

PLAR is the process of determining whether an individual’s existing level of knowledge or expertise is equivalent to that gained through the successful completion of a university course, series of courses, or a program of study. A range of assessment techniques may be used in this process, including demonstrations, challenge exams and portfolio-assisted assessments. If equivalency of knowledge and skills can be demonstrated through evidence, then academic credit will be granted.

Brandon University has a PLAR Coordinator who will help you at all stages of the PLAR process, from general inquires to portfolio development and submission.

The Prior Learning Assessment Process for Students at Brandon University:

Step 1 – Initial Consultation with BU PLAR Coordinator

  • explanation of the BU PLAR process and policy
  • consult with BU Faculty to finalize the scope of the course and programs challenged through PLAR
  • complete the PLAR application Form and pay the PLAR Application Fee

Step 2 – Portfolio Development Assistance

Step 3 – Completion of Portfolio

  • complete Personal Statements for Prior Learning (Learning Narratives)
  • compile supporting evidence and documentation, and letters of support
  • organize and format finalized portfolio

Step 4 – Submission of Portfolio for Assessment

  • submit PLAR Portfolio to Faculty Assessor(s)
  • conduct other assessments methods (demonstrations and interviews) as arranged with Faculty Assessor(s)

Step 5 – Results of Portfolio Assessment

  • PLAR Applicant is notified by the University Registrar’s Office of PLAR assessment results

General Advice – Students / PLAR Applicants should know that:

  • assessing prior learning for Unallocated PLA credits may not be available for all academic programs at Brandon University.
  • presenting false information used for the purpose of prior learning assessment will result in the revocation of admission status and the forfeiture of all PLA credit awarded at Brandon University.
  • the elements of prior learning articulated for one demonstration of knowledge and skills cannot be used in any subsequent demonstration of prior learning.
  • BU PLA credits may not be transferable to other academic institutions. Applicants should consult the Admissions Office of their intended institution or program for clarification on the transferability of PLA credits.

For more information on PLAR, please contact:

Gary McNeely, PLAR Coordinator
University Registrar’s Office
Room 102-6, McKenzie Building
Phone: 204-727-7300

PLAR Guidelines and Policy