Frequently Asked Questions

What is PLAR?

Through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) you have the opportunity to receive credit for what you already know and can do. Faculty assess the skills and knowledge acquired through experiential learning against learning outcomes of UFV courses or programs.What kind of experiential learning does PLAR address?

What kind of experiential learning does PLAR address?

  • Industry or workplace training
  • Independent study or non-credit courses
  • Travel and residency or teaching in foreign countries
  • Volunteer and community activity
  • Military training and service

How does the PLAR process work?

In our PLAR process, you work with an advisor and an assessor to:

  • Set expectations about what PLAR can do for you and how your prior learning can be proven
  • Identify courses to PLAR
  • Receive approval from UFV faculty to pursue PLAR
  • Gather evidence on your past experiences and accomplishments
  • Prove your learning through a variety of means including practical demonstrations, interviews, portfolio development and formal testing

What type of credit can I receive through PLAR?

Either a grade (when possible) or Credit (CR)/No Credit (NCR) will be recorded on transcripts.

What is the difference between transfer credit and PLAR credit?

Transfer credit is based on successful completion of studies at a post-secondary institution. In order to grant transfer credit, UFV evaluates the academic standards of Canadian or international post secondary institutions and their learning outcomes of courses and programs. Please refer to the Office of the Registrar for further information. To determine whether a course or program may be transferable to UFV courses and programs please refer to the BC Transfer Guide.

Under PLAR, an individual’s learning is assessed as opposed to an institution’s course or program learning outcomes.

How much credit can I receive?

Programs have residency requirements and credits awarded through PLAR do not necessarily count towards residency.  Check with your program advisor whether PLAR credit could meet residency requirements taking into account your academic history.

What is the cost?

You will normally pay 75% of the cost of a UFV credit course.

How long does PLAR take?

It depends on your learning and the course you are pursuing for PLAR. The assessment method will determine the length of the process. For example, preparing for a challenge exam will require less time than developing a portfolio.

Why should I pursue PLAR?

  • Gain academic credits
  • Save time and money
  • Identify personal strengths and goals
  • Attain occupational licensing or certification
  • Identify training gaps

When should I pursue PLAR?

You should plan your PLAR one semester in advance to pursuing it. Beginning the PLAR process in the earlier stages of your credential will help you plan your academic program more effectively.

Who can I talk to about the PLAR process?

To make the PLAR process as smooth as possible, it is important you seek the help of the Educational Advisors in Student Services, your program advisor or UFV's PLAR Coordinator. We will help you make choices as you plan your academic program and help you access resources at UFV, including resources for prior learning assessment and recognition.

Can I get additional resources to help me through the PLAR process?

Students can access PLAR reference material through our resource section, your faculty and the UFV Library.

Who will assesses my prior learning?

The UFV faculty member who has relevant expertise in the area of your prior learning will assess your PLAR.

What departments and programs at UFV participate in PLAR?

Many departments and academic programs across campus have already conducted PLAR assessments. Please take time to review the published course outlines for UFV courses in order to see which PLAR options are available within departments/faculties you would like PLAR credit.

How do I know that portfolio development would be a good option for me?

People returning to learning and current UFV students bring a variety of prior learning with them into the university. Adult learners tend to misjudge the quality and underestimate the quantity of their prior learning. Therefore, it is reasonable to claim that almost every incoming UFV student can benefit from developing a portfolio.

Can I use portfolio PLAR with two or more faculties or courses?

Portfolio PLAR is designed to allow for multiple faculties and courses to be represented.



Creating a portfolio helped me to better understand myself, my frame of reference as well as further my career.

  • – Dorothy
  •    Child and Youth Care
Read More

I have used parts of my portfolio to demonstrate competencies for job interviews and to explain the benefits of portfolio development to members of my team and organization.

  • – Peter
  •    Adult Education (ADED)
Read More

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