Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

In order to gain credits you must:

  • Review the program of study and identify which course(s) you have prior experience with.
  • Review the learning outcomes found in your program guide and/or course outline.
  • Complete the PLAR Self-Assessment form and once approved, register for PLAR and pay the required fee.
  • Successfully demonstrate that the learning outcomes have been met.
    1. You must be a registered Durham College student to apply for PLAR. 
    1. Obtain the current course outline for the course to be challenged. If you cannot locate this information, please contact the PLAR office. 
    1. Complete the PLAR Self-Assessment Form. 
    1. Use the PLAR Self-Assessment Form to evaluate and document whether your knowledge and skills substantially match the learning outcomes in the current course outline. 
    1. After completing the PLAR Self-Assessment form, students will contact the appropriate school and submit their completed PLAR Self-Assessment Form (the program coordinator/program designate may ask for clarifying information prior to determining applicant eligibility for PLAR). 
        • Submit your forms to the appropriate school by email with the subject line: PLAR Application for Review 
    1. Program coordinators or designates will review the completed self-assessment form within five (5) business days of receipt. During this review, program coordinators or designates may ask clarifying questions about an applicant’s skills, knowledge and/or work experience.
    1. Program coordinators or designates will sign and return the Self-Assessment Form to the applicant, indicating approval or denial of the applicant’s eligibility for PLAR. 

    If the Program Coordinator has designated your PLAR Self-Assessment Form as ELIGIBLE (APPROVED), please officially apply for PLAR.


    1. To officially apply for PLAR, you must submit the following via email to
        1. PLAR Application Form
        2. Non-refundable fee
            • For payment options, please refer to the “Payment Details” section of the PLAR application form
        3. Signed copy of the PLAR Self-Assessment Form. This form must be signed by the Program Coordinator/Program Designate Name 
    2. The PLAR Office will notify the appropriate school office of the registered PLAR candidate.
    3. The school office will arrange for the release of the challenge assessment to the student.

      The PLAR process can be used to earn up to 75% of the course credits required in a given certificate or diploma program. The remaining course credits must be taken under the direct supervision of Durham College faculty.

      Credits gained through PLAR will be assigned a grade and are transcribed in the same manner as credits earned through coursework at the College. PLAR assessments that receive a passing or higher grade impact your Grade Point Average (GPA).

      Students must demonstrate knowledge of course learning outcomes with an assessment method that includes one or more of the following:

      • Written test/examination.
      • An assignment or essay.
      • Submission of a portfolio.
      • An oral/videotaped presentation.
      • Observation/demonstration of skills.
      • A presentation board.

      Assessment methods are determined by subject matter experts.

      Not all subjects are eligible for PLAR. Subject eligibility for PLAR is noted in the course outline.

      Yes. If there is insufficient evidence that the course learning outcomes have been met, the PLAR application will be deemed unsuccessful. You will not receive a failing grade for an unsuccessful assessment.

      The PLAR process can only be initiated once per course.

      Payments can be made from your banking institution by adding 'Durham College' or 'Durham College - Tuition' as a payee and using your nine-digit student number as your account number. You may also make your payment through the MyCampus payment portal (under Helpful Links – Paying Your Fees – click Credit Card payment). 

      For assistance, please contact Enrolment Services via email, to or by phone, 905.721.3000.