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?

  • 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

How can I dentify potential PLAR courses?

The first step is to identify academic programs you intend to complete in the short term as well as long term. You can see required courses and often program preferred electives by viewing individual program through the Program Index. While your skills, knowledge and abilities may reflect different courses than your program requires or accepts, in order to be most efficient in your PLAR, keep your focus on program requirements to create an intial list of potential PLAR courses. You can then do an intial self-assessment of  your PLAR potential to gage whether you could meet learning outcomes of individual courses by reviewing course outlines. To see more information on intial PLAR steps please see the Student PLAR Steps.

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.

Is there a way to get "general" PLAR credit that can be used in more than one program?

Students primarily PLAR individual courses that are accepted or required in their program of study.  The BA in Adult Education offers program PLAR for students in the BA ADED program. Students complete a 3 credit upper level course where they create an academic credit portfolio in one semester. The following semester they submit the portfolio for assessment and can receive up to 45 PLAR credits towards their BA in ADED. That kind of PLAR credit is listed on a student's transcript as department specific credit that is not course specific. For example: ADED 1xx 16 credits (CR) and ADED 2xx 12 credits (CR). As students do not receive a letter grade for program PLAR credits there is no effect on students' GPA.

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 (the number of courses that must be completed at UFV) and credits awarded through PLAR do not necessarily count towards residency. 

What is the cost?

You will normally pay 75% of the cost of a UFV credit course. Students in the Program PLAR process, in the Adult Education department,  pay a flat fee of 75% of 12 credits regardless of how much program PLAR credit they receive.

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 or your program advisor. 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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