Plar Policy
Canada: National

Barker, Kathryn, for the Canadian Labour Force Development Board. (August 1995) Prior Learning Assessment: Issues and Opportunities for the Canadian Labour Force Development Board. Ottawa: CLFDB.

47 pages. Sections include: Introducing PLA; Background: What we know about PLA; PLA in Canada today; International Experience with PLA; Developing a National PLA Strategy for Canada; References; CAEL standards for assessing learning; Sample glossary of terms; Shedding light on the term Standards.

Barker, Kathryn. (1997) The Future and PLAR; the Future of PLAR (presentation) [On-line] Available [November 08, 1999]

Blower, Deborah. (November 1996) Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR): An Overview of PLAR Practices in Canada. Ottawa: Human Resources Development Canada.

The paper describes how PLAR activity is occurring on a national and provincial level and at both the secondary and post-secondary level, particularly in the college system. Examined in the paper are examples of best practices in PLA, professional development training models, workplace partnerships, advocacy groups, and PLAR programs to address the needs of aboriginal and minority learners. Two appendices are included -- one a chart of PLAR "happenings" in each Canadian province and territory, and the other a list of PLAR contact persons.

Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment. (No date) CAPLA: An Association for the Advancement of PLA in Canada. A National Organization with an International Perspective. Deseronto, Ont.: CAPLA. [6 pages]

Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment. (1999) A Slice of the Iceberg:  Cross-Canada Study on Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. CAPLA. 

 The Cross-Canada Study on PLAR was prepared by Sandra Arts (Fanshawe College), Deborah Blower (Red River College),  Roberta Burke (Mohawk College), Eleanor Conlin (Conestoga College),  Brent Howell (College of the North Atlantic), Carol Ebner Howorth (Douglas College), Ginette Lamarre (College Ahuntsic), and Joy Van Kleef (PLAR Consultant).  This study has been conducted by a partnership of six colleges, one college of general and professional education and an independent PLAR consultant.  Funded by Human Resources Development Canada, the study has undertaken an approach similar to a case study research to investigate PLAR activities at 7 institutions across Canada from 1993/94 to 1997/98.  The purpose of the Cross-Canada Study on PLAR is to elicit valid information on PLAR in Canada and to observe whether PLAR lowers the waterline on the "iceberg" by increasing recognition of informal learning.  It is hoped that the information provided will assist institutions, governments, adult learners and workplaces with their decision-making on the funding, development, delivery, use and evaluation of new and existing PLAR services.

Canadian Labour Force Development Board. (1996) Improving Training and Access to Employment Through Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. A Policy Paper With National Implementation Strategy and National PLAR Standards Recommended By the CLFDB. Ottawa: CLFDB.

Canadian Labour Force Development Board. (July 1996) PLAR National Implementation Strategy and Standards: A Policy Paper. Ottawa: CLFDB.

Explores the rationale for a national PLAR implementation strategy. This policy paper, developed by the CLFDB, is in three parts: first, a conceptual discussion of PLAR and its relationship to labour force development; second, a recommended national PLAR implementation strategy; and third, recommended national PLAR standards that reflect the values and assumptions of the labour market partners. The CLFDB, Canada's national training board, advises on the improvement of training and access to employment for the Canadian labour force. The CLFDB's work on PLAR was undertaken by a working group comprised of representatives from all the labour market partners with additional PLAR expertise and extensive constituent consultation. This policy paper is intended to serve as a catalyst for further development of PLAR in Canada.

Canadian Labour Force Development Board. (1995) Canadian Labour Force Development Board (CLFDB) Consultation Paper on Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. Ottawa: CLFDB.

Canadian Labour Force Development Board. Task Force on Transition into Employment. (1994) Putting the Pieces Together: Toward a Coherent Transition System for Canada's Labour Force: Report. Ottawa: CLFDB.

185 pages. The Canadian Labour Force Development Board (CLFDB) created the Task Force on Transition into Employment in February 1992 to deal with the policy and program issues surrounding the transition of unemployed people into paid employment. It includes both young people making the transition from school to work and adults re-entering the workforce or entering it for the first time. This report describes the development of a coherent Canadian model for transition into employment. It presents the conceptual framework used as the starting point for the model's development; describes the Canadian environment within which transitions occur and each constituency's views on how transitions work today; and examines in detail each of the elements that form a coherent transition system, including labour market information, income and other support, education, training, career and management counselling, prior learning and skills assessment, and labour market practices. French edition: Assembler les pièces du casse-tête: Pour un système cohérent de transition vers l'emploi au Canada.

Canadian Association for University Continuing Education/Ontario Council of University Life-Long Learning. Task Force on Prior Learning Assessment. (January 1995) Prior Learning Assessment: A Discussion Paper. CAUCE/OCULL.

Collins, Monica. (1995) Prior Learning Assessment Report for OCULL, 1995. Canadian Association for University Continuing Education/Ontario Council of University Life-Long Learning. Task Force on Prior Learning Assessment.

6 pages. In January 1995, the Task Force on Prior Learning Assessment submitted a discussion paper to the executive of CAUCE. The paper was shared with deans and directors of continuing education units across Canada at the February 1995 meeting, when all 13 recommendations were endorsed. This paper summarizes the 13 recommendations and also includes a summary update of PLA activity in Canadian universities, by province, as of October 1995. Descriptors: Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Adult students; Continuing education; Post-secondary education; College d'arts appliques et de technologie; Experience educative; Acces a l'education; Etudiant adulte; Education permanente; Enseignement postsecondaire.

La Commission canadienne de mise en valeur de la main-d'oeuvre. Groupe de travail sur la transition vers l'emploi. (1994) Assembler les pièces du casse-tête: Pour un système cohérent de transition vers l'emploi au Canada. Ottawa: La Commission canadienne de mise en valeur de la main-d'oeuvre. 

216 pages. Ce document est le rapport du Groupe de travail sur la transition vers l'emploi préparé pour la Commission canadienne de mise en valuer de la main-d'oeuvre. Il se penche sur les politiques et programmes qui ont des répercussions sur la transition vers un emploi rémunéré des personnes qui sont sans emploi ou qui ne font pas partie de la population active. Ce rapport présente un modèle cohérent de transition vers l'emploi et aborde diverses stratégies en matière d'information sur le marché du travail, de soutien du revenu, d'éducation, de formation, de développment de la carrière, d'évaluation des connaissances acquises, et de pratiques sur le marché du travail.

Confederation College. (1989) The Barriers Project: A Project of Confederation College; Supported by Industry Canada, Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology. Thunder Bay, Ont.: Confederation College.

In 1987, the Barriers Project was initiated by Confederation College of Applied Arts and Technology to engage 31 selected community colleges in Canada in an organized self-appraisal of institutional barriers to the enrollment of part-time credit students. From the outset, colleges were encouraged to limit their investigation to barriers over which the college had control. By the end of the first six months, it was clear that all of the colleges, regardless of size, location, and mandate, shared common concerns about improving conditions for part-time learners. The most commonly identified issues included the following: (1) the need for colleges to explore alternative times and locations for the delivery of programs; (2) the need to market part-time opportunities within the community; (3) the need to provide part-time students with the same services (e.g., counseling, bookstore, cafeteria, and property maintenance) as full-time students; and (4) the need to develop systems for the assessment of prior learning by offering challenge tests, making credits from other post-secondary institutions transferable, and giving credit for experience. Among the specific barriers to enrollment identified by the colleges, 36% were categorized as operational. Barriers included limited course selections, scheduling problems, unavailability of support services, lack of information and communication, poor marketing and advertising, and inadequate counseling, orientation, and remedial services. Another 15.6% of the barriers related to institutional policy, 11% to attitudes, 9.46% to social conditions, and 7.42% to student finances. The project report includes brief descriptions of the methods and findings of the self-assessments of the 31 colleges. Descriptors: Access to Education; Community Colleges; Enrollment Influences; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Part Time Students; Self Evaluation (Groups); Student College Relationship; Student Recruitment; Two Year Colleges; Two Year College Students. Identifiers: Canada.

Council of Ministers of Education, Canada. (1997) Report on Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Activities Related to the Assessment of Credentials, 1995-96. Toronto: Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials, CMEC.

Critoph, Ursule. (November 1997) Looking Back to Look Forward: A Review of PLAR '97 (Conference). Ottawa: Canadian Labour Force Development Board. [7 pages]

Fugate, M., R. Isabelle, and D. LeDuc (April 1994) "Prior Learning Assessment in Canada." In Prior Learning Assessment in Canada: Report on a Survey Conducted for Human Resources Development Canada. Robert Isabelle and Associates, Education Consultants, Inc. Ottawa: Human Resources Development Canada.

Human Resources Development Canada. (1994-) Prior Learning Assessment Newsletter. Published by Ottawa Occupational and Career Information Branch of Human Resources Development Canada.

Public Works and Government Services Canada. (February 1995) Communications Strategy and Plan on Prior Learning Assessment for the Occupational and Career Information Branch, Human Resources Development. Ottawa: Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Thomas, Alan M., and Roslyn Klaiman. (Spring 1992) "The Utilization of Prior Learning Assessment in Canada." Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education 18(1), 7-26.

An introduction to the use of Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) in the USA, the UK, and Sweden is followed by a report of the first national study of its utilization in Canada, at all education levels, in the late 1980s. Findings reflect a surprisingly wide-spread use, on an equally widely decentralized basis. However, usage is highly discretionary in terms of faculties, programs, and individual faculty members. Most important, perhaps, is that with the exception of the province of Quebec, at the college level, and British Columbia throughout the educational system, students have no rights to such assessment. Implications of the increase in use of the procedures are discussed from the following points of view: the opportunities for increased flexibility for learners to move in and out of formal education; the increased efficiency in the utilization of teaching resources; the skills and practices required; and the potential of PLA for reforming formal education. Recommendations are explored for the effective further development of PLA. Descriptors: Evaluation practices; Post-secondary education; Surveys; Continuing education; Pratique d'evaluation; Enseignement postsecondaire; Enquete; Education permanente. Identifiers: Postsecondary level; Niveau postsecondaire.

Van Kleef, Joy. (May 1998) "Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition." Paper presented at Education and Life -- Transitions: Third National Forum on Education Conference, St. John's, Nfld., May 28-30. [On-line] Available [November 08, 1999]

A reference document coordinated by the Ontario Ministry of Education and Training. The paper provides a definition of PLAR, its potential benefits, an historical overview of PLAR's development in Canada, and a chart on PLAR activities in governments and education/training institutions across the country. Three key issues facing governments, consumers, and direct deliverers are presented: funding for institutions and learners; quality assurance; portability of recognized learning. The paper also includes a discussion of potential collaboration amongst stakeholders across the country.

Van Kleef, Joy. (February 1998) Report on Phase One of Cross-Canada Study on PLAR. Submitted to HRDC. [63 pages]

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