Administrative Procedure 205: Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Secondary Schools
Ontario Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12 Policy and Program Requirements 2016; Policy and Program Memorandum (PPM) 129: Prior Learning, Assessment, and Recognition: Implementation in Ontario Schools; (PPM) 132: Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition for Mature Students: Implementation in Ontario Schools; PPM 133: Music Certificates Accepted for Credits; Secondary Curriculum Policy documents; Ontario Student Transcript (OST) Manual 2010; Ontario Student Record (OSR)
1.1 Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is the formal evaluation and credit-granting process whereby students may obtain credits for prior learning. Prior learning includes the knowledge and skills that students have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, outside Ontario secondary schools.
1.2 PLAR has four components: Challenge and Equivalency credits for regular Day School Students and Challenge and Equivalency credits for Mature Students.
1.3 The "challenge" process is the process whereby students' prior learning is assessed for the purpose of granting credit for a Grade 10, 11, or 12 course developed from a provincial curriculum policy document published in 1999 or later.
1.4 The PLAR equivalency process requires credentials from other jurisdictions which are assessed for the purpose of granting equivalent Ontario credits for grades 9-12.
1.5 For students who are transferring from home schooling, a non-inspected private school, or a school outside Ontario, principals will grant equivalency credits for placement purposes based on their evaluation of the students’ previous learning.
1.6 All credits granted through the PLAR process – that is, through either the challenge process or the equivalency process – must represent the same standards of achievement as credits granted to students who have taken the courses.
1.7 The Centre for Employment and Learning will conduct all PLAR assessments for mature students. Any school with a mature student wanting to participate in PLAR will contact CEL administration to initiate the assessment process. CEL administration will communicate recommendations from the assessment back to the school principal.
2.0 Procedure PLAR Challenge
2.1 PLAR for regular Day School Students will be implemented through the procedures and practices outlined in the Guide for Granting Challenge Credits and Guide for Granting Equivalent Credits.
2.2 For regular day school students, a maximum of 4 credits may be granted through the challenge process for Grade 10, 11, and 12 courses.
2.3 Students may apply to challenge for credit only those Grade 10, 11, and 12 courses developed from a provincial curriculum policy document that are offered in an Avon Maitland DSB school. A maximum of four credits may be earned through the challenge process, with no more than two in a single discipline.
2.4 Students who are unsuccessful in a PLAR challenge may apply to challenge the credit a second time if additional reasonable evidence of additional learning can be presented.
2.5 Principals may make arrangements with other boards to provide opportunities for eligible students to challenge for credit for courses that are not offered by the board. The Avon Maitland District School Board is not obliged to provide opportunities for students to challenge for credit courses that are not actually taught in schools operated by the board. Contact the Program Department for advice on this process.
2.6 The PLAR challenge process excludes:
- All Grade 9 courses
- Transfer courses, Locally Developed courses, Cooperative Education courses
- French as a Second Language courses if the student has earned one or more credits in Français (meaning that credits were taught as FFL, French First Language)
- Courses the student has previously failed
- Courses the student has previously passed
- Courses that overlap significantly with credits the student has already earned
- Courses in any subject if a credit has already been granted at a later grade (e.g. a grade 10 course cannot be challenged in a subject where a grade 11 credit has been earned)
2.7 Students may use certificates or other records of accomplishment earned outside Ontario classrooms as reasonable evidence of eligibility to challenge for credit in a related course within the Ontario curriculum if they wish to earn credit for the course without taking the course.
3.0 Evaluation of PLAR Challenge
3.1 Assessment and evaluation must be based on all the strands in a course and on all categories of knowledge and skills and the descriptions of achievement levels given in the achievement chart that appears in the curriculum policy document for the discipline. A student's level of achievement will be recorded as a percentage grade on the OST in the same way as achievement in other courses.
3.2 Assessment and evaluation strategies for the challenge process must include formal tests (70 percent of the final mark) and a variety of other assessment strategies appropriate for the particular course (30 percent of the final mark). The formal tests must have a balance between written work and practical demonstration that is appropriate for the subject/discipline.
3.3 A student will be permitted to challenge for credit for a specific course a second time after a reasonable interval if the student can provide reasonable evidence to the principal that he or she is likely to be successful after having benefited from additional study and experience during the interval.
4.0 Record Keeping for PLAR Challenge
4.1 "PLAR Challenge for Credit: Cumulative Tracking Record" form is maintained and included in the student's OSR. This form is intended to track the number of credits earned and the disciplines in which credits have been earned through the challenge process, as well as failures and withdrawals.
4.2 The following entries must be made on the student's OST:
- For challenges for credit for Grade 10 courses: Only passing percentage grades will be entered on the OST. If the student subsequently takes the Grade 10 course, only the higher percentage grade will be recorded on the OST. No notation will be entered on the student's OST if the student withdraws from or receives a failing grade in the challenge process.
- For challenges for credit for Grade 11 and 12 courses: Passing and failing percentage grades will be entered on the student's OST. No notation will be entered on the OST if the student withdraws from the challenge process.
PLAR Equivalency: Music Certificates Accepted for Credits
Principals in Ontario secondary schools have the authority to award a maximum of two secondary school credits towards the Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) for music programs taken outside the school. See Ontario Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12 Policy and Program Requirements 2011, Appendix 4, for a list of music certificates recognized as equivalent to grades 11 and 12 music.
5.0 Recording PLAR Equivalency Credits on the Ontario Student Transcript (OST)
On the Ontario Student Transcript (OST) the total number of equivalent credits should be recorded in the “credits” column. The number of equivalent credits that meet compulsory credit requirements should be recorded in the “compulsory” column. Equivalency credits are recorded differently depending on the grade.
|9 and 10
|11 and 12
Grade 9 and 10
Grade 11 and 12
PLAR Guideline Documents (For AMDSB Staff: The following companion documents are available on the Core - AP Forms)
- Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Guideline for Granting Equivalency Credits
- Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Guideline for Challenge Credits
- Mature Students (MPLAR) - Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Guideline for Granting Equivalency and Challenge Credits
Revised November 2022