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Credit for Learning From Work or Life Experience

(PLAR) Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

What is PLAR?

PLAR is a process that allows individuals to identify, document, have assessed and gain recognition for prior learning. The learning may be formal, informal, or experiential. Examples of where you can acquire learning:

  • On-the-job training
  • Non-credit courses / independent study
  • Military service
  • Community and family activities
  • Hobbies and volunteer activities

The Benefits of PLAR

How the recognition or prior experiences can benefit your educational journey:

  • Reduce time spent earning a credential
  • Build self-confidence and improve motivation for learning to have skills recognized
  • Demonstrate what you already know and are able to do
  • Clarify employment and educational goals
  • Validate learning from work or life experiences
  • Gain academic credits, occupational certification

How is PLAR Assessed?

If you have been accepted into a program at Humber, and confirmed your acceptance through, you can begin applying for exemption from a course(s) through the PLAR process. By participating in the PLAR process, you will be expected to showcase gained skills and knowledge by submitting either a Learning Portfolio or writing a Challenge Exam.

PLAR For English Courses

Based on prior learning gained through previous employment experiences, some mature students may qualify for an exemption from their second required English communications course (e.g. WRIT 200, WRIT 208, WRIT 220, etc.).

To qualify for a PLAR, students are required to show evidence of mastering the essentials of workplace writing forms by submitting a portfolio of documents produced within professional contexts. The portfolio should contain at least four of the five following items and total at least 2000 words:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. Assortment of workplace communications
  4. Proposal
  5. Formal research report

To apply, students should follow the steps below.


Obtain the current course outline(s) from the Faculty responsible for delivering the course.

Review the course outline to determine if your knowledge and skills match the course learning outcomes.


Consult with the program coordinator for clarification and to help you with matching your experience and learning to the course learning outcomes.

Prepare Documentation
If your program coordinator requests a portfolio submission, collect documents that support the application for PLAR. These might include a: resume, a description of experiences and learning that relate to the course being challenged, work samples, or letters of verification.

If your coordinator requests that you sit for a challenge exam, please follow the steps below and the faculty will arrange your exam once you have submitted your application and payment to the Office of the Registrar.


Submit the application form and supporting documents to If you are unable to email your portfolio, please contact us at the email above to discuss alternative submission.

The $84.00 PLAR fee for each course will be posted to your account. Fee payments must be made through online banking. Please refer to for payment options.

The form and supporting documents are submitted to the course assessor who may contact students to arrange for additional demonstration of learning (personal interview, test or demonstration).

To request forms in an alternate format contact us.

Have Questions?

Check frequently asked questions for fast answers or book an appointment with an advisor.