PLAR and Work

Adams, A., M. Brewer, I. Marshall, G. Tolley, and T. Whelan. (1995) And It Must Count: Work Based Learning for Academic Credit in Higher Education. Chelmsford, UK: Learning From Experience Trust.

Work-Based Learning comes in a variety of forms.  APEL often turns out to be the assessment of what is learned at work.  Under its banner the credit-rating and validation of companies in-house courses and training as credit towards Bachellor and Master's degrees began and now is an increasingly significant activity in a growing number of HE institutions.  Work-Based Learning Agreements are a way of enabling full-time employees to benefit academically from a negotiated work-based learning programme.  We seem to be moving quickly to the position where few courses of higher education will be complete without a period of work placement, yet what is learned remains unclear uncertain and assessment of outcomes continues problematic.  The contributors to this Discussion Document assert that if work-based learning can be demonstrated and they claim it can be it should count.  They have different approaches as to how it should count but that it must count is agreed.

Allemang, Elizabeth, et al. (June 1993) Transitional Council of the College of Midwives: Registration Project Report. Toronto: College of Midwives of Ontario.

Outlines the College's PLA procedures.

Banks, Sarah. (October 1993) "Accrediting Prior Learning for a Professional Qualification: Lessons from Community Work." Adults Learning (England) 5(2), 39-41. 

See abstract under 1.2.1 (PLAR Policy/Europe/United Kingdom).

Benett, Yves. (August 1989) "The Assessment of Supervised Work Experience (SWE) -- A Theoretical Perspective." Vocational Aspect of Education 41(109), 53-64.

Document Type: journal article; review literature. Two questions concerning assessment of supervised work experience (or sandwich courses in Britain) are: What should be assessed? and How should it be assessed? The first question involves issues of defining practical experience, measuring experiential learning and competence, and considering the relationship of theory and practice. Evaluation issues include validity and reliability and the place of self-assessment. Descriptors: Competency Based Education; Cooperative Education; Evaluation Methods; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Post-secondary Education; Student Educational Objectives; Student Evaluation; Supervision; Theory Practice Relationship; Work Experience Programs Identifiers: Great Britain; Sandwich Courses.

Bishop, Robin. (May 1992) "Towards a Skilled Australia: National Standards To Provide Aussie Joe and Aussie Joanna with Flexible, Transferable Skills." Paper presented at the International Meeting of the Modular Training Systems Conference, Washington, DC, May 11-12.

See abstract under 1.4 (PLAR Policy/Australia).

Bragg, Eileen, for College of the North Atlantic. (December 1997) Identifying Acceptable Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition Policy Models for the National Technology Career Credit Bank. Alberta Society of Engineering Technologists (ASET) and Canadian Technology Human Resources Board (CTHRB). 

70 pages. The CTHRB is working across Canada in developing a career advancement project to encourage engineering technicians and technologists to track and document their learning credits. The documentation of this learning will depend upon the cooperation of educational institutions. This paper provides background information to institutions in their efforts of assessing and implementing PLAR initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to provide historical and theoretical underpinnings of PLAR and their implications for institutions, report on the current use of PLAR both nationally and internationally, and identify current policies and issues involved in establishing and implementing PLAR programs. Definitions of PLAR are explored, then selected theories of prior learning and assessment methodologies are identified, and methods used in assessing prior learning are presented and explained. PLAR activity in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, U.K. and Canada are summarized. Finally, benefits and issues involved in establishing and implementing PLAR programs are discussed.

Brodie, Ian, Fiona Reeve, and Ruth Whittaker. (December 1995) "Delivering the DEAL: Implementation of a Work-Based Learning Programme at Degree Level." Vocational Aspect of Education 47(4), 365-385.

Burke, Roberta, and Joy Van Kleef. (Winter 1997) "Prior Learning Assessment in Canada: A Credit to Workforce Development." Career Planning and Adult Development Journal 12(4), 23-28. 

See abstract under 2.1 (Implementation of PLAR in Formal Education/Methods of Assessment/General-Other).

Burn, Doug. (November 17, 1997) "Recognizing Past Achievements: Prior Learning Assessment Can Help Create Life-long Learners." Learning for the Workplace, L12-L14.

Butler, Linda. (December 1992) "Unpaid Work: Taking the Credit." Adults Learning 4(4): 103.

Short piece on the assessment and accreditation of unpaid work in the home, community and voluntary sector. Descriptors: Competence; Accreditation (Courses); National Vocational Qualifications; Prior Learning; Home Environment.

Butler, Linda. (No date) "Unpaid Work: The Developing Potential for Accreditation".  The Learning from Experience Trust.

Many millions of individuals in the home, the community and in voluntary service engage in unpaid work which is the same as work undertaken elsewhere for pay.  The potential for the achievement of accreditable academic learning and vocational competences from their working experience by these individuals is therefore as significant as it is for their counterparts in paid work.  This Discussion Document draws attention to the developing potential for such accreditation in unpaid work.  For some it may be controversial.  For all it is important.

Carmichael, James. (1992) Accreditation of In-House Training: Courses and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning -- An Employer Perspective. University of Stirling, Glasgow Polytechnic, and Scottish Higher Education and Employers Collaboration.

Centre for Curriculum, Transfer, and Technology. (December 1997) Report of the Working Committee on Public-Private Articulation Agreements. Victoria, B.C.: CCTT.

Cherry, Lynda. (Hiver 1995/96) "La Formation professionnelle: a l'avant-garde de l'evaluation des connaissances acquises." Canadian Vocational Journal 31(2), 16-17.

Descriptors: Vocational education; Adult education; Prior learning; Enseignement professionnel; Education des adultes; Connaissances acquises.

Cherry, Lynda. (Winter 1995/96) "Vocational Education: At the Forefront of PLA [Prior learning assessment]." Canadian Vocational Journal 31(2), 14-15.

Descriptors: Vocational education; Adult education; Prior learning; Enseignement professionnel; Education des adultes; Connaissances acquises.

Chiko, Carl H., and Stephen E. Marks. (July 1979) "Career Education and Experiential Learning." Canadian Counsellor 13(4), 191-96. 

Identifies some career education assumptions, describes the characteristics of experiential learning, and illustrates how experiential learning is suited to address the career education assumptions. Descriptors (major): Career Education; Career Planning; Experiential Learning; Vocational Education (minor): Counselors; Educational Attitudes; Foreign Countries; Simulation.

Clulow, V. (1994) "Industry Training Reform - Issues and Interfaces. RPL: The Currency of the Future: Policy, Practice and Directions: Conference Papers. Eds. P. Quinn and D. Harman. Broadmeadows, Austral.: Broadmeadows College of TAFE. Recognition and Assessment Centre.

15 pages. This paper looks at industry training reform - the issues and interfaces. It examines, in particular, the route, via RPL (recognition of prior learning) from the retail industry to higher education. It examines the Training Reform Agenda, initiatives in the retail industry, RPL and the National Qualifications Framework, and higher education and linkages.

College of Midwives of Ontario. (1997/98) Prior Learning and Experience Assessment: Orientation Booklet. Toronto: College of Midwives of Ontario, PLEA Department. [115 pages]

College of Nurses of Ontario. (May 1996) "Implementing a Competency-Based Assessment Process Utilizing PLA Principles Within a Regulatory Setting: A Process to Assess Nurse Practitioners for Registration." Presentation at First Nations Technical Institute's 7th Annual PLA Conference.

Communications, Energy and Paperworker's Union.  Local 200-0. [videorecording].  (April 1999)
PLAR & Worker's Learning & SKP Focus Group.   Time 22 minutes.

Crouch, Tom (No date). The Prior Learning Assessment Network (PLAN) Community-Based Portfolio Development in London [Online]. Available oct98/newslondon.htm [February 02, 1999].

The initial idea of this one-year pilot project was to provide training in portfolio development to community-based training organizations and to promote a common understanding and acceptance of portfolio development and its benefits. The portfolios would be used to assist individuals with the development of self-directed career and learning plans which might assist with entry into the work force and provide better access to the college for a broader range of learners. Other goals were to encourage the development of some kind of agreed-upon portfolio format for community-based trainers and to encourage inter-agency cooperation. 

Day, M. (1998). "Occupational Standards and Professional Development." Nursing Standard 12(21), 39-41.

Day, M. (1996). "Using Occupational Standards as a Complement to the Continuing Development of Health Care Professionals." Association of Social Care Training 28, 14-15.

Day, Malcolm. (1993) "NVQ Assessment for Care Assistants." Nursing Standard 7(29), 35-38.

Dearden, Gerald. (No date) Learning While Earning: Learning Contracts for Employees.  The Learning From Experience Trust.

This is an account of Learning Contracts for Employees conducted by LET with the help of Jaguar Cars Ltd., JBS Computer Services, the Training Agency and Wimpy International Ltd. with Coventry, Oxford, Sheffield City and Wolverhampton Polytechnics.  Learning Contracts for Employees are essentially agreements between an employer and the employee and an academic institution about a work-based learning programme for the employee which can be assessed as a contribution towards an appropriate qualification.  They represent a new and significant link between the world of formal education and the world of work, have demonstrable value for both employers and employees in the context of retraining, upgrading and were supported enthusiastically by the employers of the project.

Dev, Chekitan S. (August 1990) "Measuring the Value of Experiential Learning." Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly 31(2), 105-107. 

Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology. (1994) Trades to Technology: Transition from Skilled Trades to Engineering Technology: Orientation, Application and Assessment Handbook. Oshawa: Durham College.

See abstract under Section 2.2.2 (Implementation of PLAR in Formal Education/Post-Secondary Education/Community Colleges).

Durkin, Terry. (1998) PLA in Search of the Diploma. [On-line] Available [November 08, 1999]

Terry is a Senior Software Analyst with Human Resources Canada and a recent Community College Graduate who made extensive use of the PLA process. This speech was given at the '98 PLA Conference.

Edwards, C., and O. Keeley. (1997). Competency-Based Learning for the Surgical Assistant. Nursing Standard 12(20), 44-47.
Employment and Skills Formation Council. (1990) The Recognition of Vocational Training and Learning. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. [97 pages]

Employment and Training Administration (DOL). Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. (1982) National Apprenticeship and Training Standards for Drafters. Revised. Washington, DC: Employment and Training Administration (DOL), Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training. 

27 pages. Document Type: classroom material; legal material. The revised standards were developed and recommended by the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, AFL-CIO, in cooperation with the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training, U.S. Department of Labour. These revised national standards are designed to assist local unions in establishing local apprenticeship and training programs for drafters. Covered in the individual sections are the following topics: provisions of the apprenticeship standards for drafters (definitions, qualifications for application, the selection of applicants, credit for previous experience and education, the terms of apprenticeship, apprenticeship agreements, supervision, probationary periods, hours of work, salaries, examinations, related instruction, ratios of apprentices to journeymen, work experience, management and labour relations, and equal opportunity); supervision of the program (local joint apprenticeship and training committees, responsibilities of apprentices, committee consultants, recognition of completion of apprenticeship, filing with registration agencies, safety and health, and modification of standards); and federal laws and regulations affecting the employment of apprentices. The appendixes contain schedules of recommended work processes and related technical instruction for manufacturing, marine, and architectural drafters. Descriptors: Apprenticeships; Architectural Drafting; Credits; Definitions; Drafting; Employment Practices; Engineering Drawing; Federal Legislation; Federal Regulation; Guidelines; Job Training; Labour Legislation; Labour Standards; Manufacturing Industry; Marine Technicians; Post-secondary Education; Prior Learning; Program Content; Program Development; Program Implementation; Safety; Standards; Work Experience Identifiers: National Standards.

Fennell, E. (1993) "Analysing the Business Case for NVQs." Competence and Assessment 18, 26-27.

Further Education Unit. (January 1989) Assessment, Accreditation and Certification. Two-Year Youth Training Schemes. An Evaluation of LEA Modular Programmes. No. 6. London, Eng.: Further Education Unit. 

See abstract under 1.2.1 (PLAR Policy/Europe/United Kingdom).

Gereluk, W., D. Briton, and B. Spencer. (1998) "PLAR of Nonformal Nonvocational Education: Preliminary Report of Labour Education NALL Project." In Proceedings of 17th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education, University of Ottawa, Ontario.

This paper is a preliminary report on prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) of Canadian labour education.

Gonczi, A. (1994) "Competency Based Assessment in the Professions in Australia." Assessment in Education 1(1), 27-44.

This paper presents a brief analysis of the various ways in which the nature of competence has been conceptualized. The current state of the professions' involvement with the competency movement. Some issues in implementing the competency standards, especially those relating to assessment in the professions. Two case studies of the application of competency standards and the assessment flowing from them, regarding specialist accreditation in the legal profession and in medicine.

Government of Ontario. (1995) Workshop for Health Professionals. Proceedings, April 25, 1995, Queen's Park, Toronto. Toronto: Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, Access to Professions and Trades Unit; Ministry of Health; College of Nurses of Ontario.

97 pages. This resource guide includes the full presentations made by the speakers, as well as summaries of discussions held during small group workshops. The workshop was held as part of the commitment of the Access to Professions and Trades Unit to improving access to foreign-trained professional and tradespeople. Workshop topics included: registration processes for nurses and midwives in Ontario; understanding more about prior learning assessment; vocation-specific language training; and working with community resources. Descriptors: Educational experience; Access to education; Adult students; Nursing education; Medical education. "Questionnaire for the health professions" laid in. This workshop was organized by the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, College of Nurses of Ontario, College of Midwives of Ontario, Ontario Advisory Council on Multiculturalism and Citizenship, Community Working Group on Access to Professions and Trades, and Access Action Council. Descriptors: Nursing education; International students; Medical education; Health education; Enseignement des sciences infirmieres; Etudiant etranger; Enseignement de la medecine; Education a la sante. Identifiers: Post-secondary level; Niveau postsecondaire.

Government of the United Kingdom. Employment Department. (1990) Accreditation of Prior Learning: A Training Agency Perspective. London: Employment Department.

Hall, Liz. (November 7, 1995) "The Drive for Learning." Personnel Today, 39-40.

Car manufacturer Ford is leading the way in forging closer links between academic and vocational training with a scheme that offers its engineers the chance to gain a work-based degree. Descriptors: Work Education Relationship; Modular Courses; External Degree Programmes; Staff Development; Work Environment; Experiential Learning. Identifiers: Accreditation of Prior Learning.

Hammett, Hugh B. (May 1987) "Partnerships in Assessing Prior Learning: A Model College Union Program." In Kathleen McGuinness, Comp. Non-Traditional and Interdisciplinary Programs: Selected Papers from the Annual Conference of Non-Traditional and Interdisciplinary Programs, 5th, Virginia Beach, Virginia, May 4-6.

Hughes, Chris, and others. (1994) "Credentialling Competency Based Education and Training: A Review of the Literature." Studies in Continuing Education 16(1), 52-71.

Document Type: review literature; journal article. This literature review examines seven issues: describing minimum requirements for qualifications, distinguishing qualification levels, recognizing prior learning, using short courses, recording competency-based assessment results, keeping records of individual achievement, and deciding whether to record exact competencies. Recent movements to abandon general criteria for qualification levels in the United Kingdom and Australia are discussed. Descriptors: Competency Based Education; Credentials; Employment Qualifications; Foreign Countries; Minimum Competencies; Prior Learning; Recordkeeping; Training. Identifiers: Australia; United Kingdom. ISSN: 0158-037X.

Idaho State Division of Vocational Education. (June 1996) Work-Based Learning: A Manual. Boise: Idaho State Div. of Vocational Education.

106 pages. Document Type: non-classroom material. Target Audience: Practitioners; Community. This manual is a guide to local partnership councils as they plan and design work-based learning experiences for credit. Chapter 1 provides an overview of work-based learning as part of vocational education. Chapter 2 describes a variety of work-based learning experiences, including established secondary vocational program work-based learning components and a new program called individualized occupational training. Each description includes a list of distinguishing characteristics. Chapter 3 describes work-based learning experience at the technical college level, including off-campus examples -- apprenticeships, clinical experiences, cooperative education, and internships/practicums/field experiences -- and an on-campus variation, campus-based enterprises. Chapter 4 discusses work-based learning as a component of an educational program. Chapter 5 describes how to design an effective work-based learning activity using these criteria: assessment, staffing, identifying work sites, equal access, and budgeting. Chapter 6 identifies activities involved in the implementation and management of work-based learning, including community relations, job/work site visit, work site mentor orientation, training agreements and plans, student schedule, student work site interviews and orientations, issuing grades, and maintaining a work site training directory. Chapter 7 explains legal considerations of work-based learning. Appendixes include a list of 52 organizational, print, and software resources; definitions; and sample forms. Descriptors: Apprenticeships; Clinical Experience; Cooperative Education; Cooperative Programs; Educational Cooperation; Education Work Relationship; Experiential Learning; Field Experience Programs; Internship Programs; Post secondary Education; Practicums; Program Administration; Program Descriptions; Program Design; Program Development; Program Implementation; School Business Relationship; Secondary Education; Work Experience Programs.

Inman, Patricia L., and Sally Vernon. (Fall 1997) "Assessing Workplace Learning: New Trends and Possibilities." New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education (Assessing Adult Learning in Diverse Settings: Current Issues and Approaches) 75, 75-85.

Current issues relating to workplace learning are explored and several innovative approaches are presented.

Isabelle, Robert.Workforce Development: A Partnership Model for Industry, Labour, Education, and Governments. [12 pages]

Jones, P. (1994) "Recognition of Prior Learning in the Electronics Industry: A Case Study." RPL: The Currency of the Future: Policy, Practice and Directions: Conference Papers. Eds. P. Quinn and D. Harman. Broadmeadows, Austral: Broadmeadows College of TAFE. Recognition and Assessment Centre.

11 pages. The objectives of this case study was to ascertain if the current educational model for assessing the prior knowledge of individuals, with slight modifications, could be utilised by a company in a workplace environment. The overall company objective was to identify a process that could accurately determine skill levels of current and future employees, thus identifying job classifications and training needs.

Kenyon R., J. Saunders, and J. Gibb. (1996) Improving RPL: A Training Provider's Perspective. Leabrook, Austral.: National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

109 pages. Document Type: Guides - General. Funded by the Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA). This book is for those people in the workplace who are designing a recognition of prior learning (RPL) process or who want to improve an existing RPL process. It looks at RPL practices around Australia and identifies the best aspects of the activities. The barriers which are preventing many people from using RPL opportunities are identified and ways to deal with those barriers are recommended. ISBN 087397414X.

Kenyon, R., J. Saunders, and J. Gibb. (1996) Improving RPL: A Workplace Perspective. Leabrook, Austral.: National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER).

See abstract above. ISBN 0873974131.

Law, Ron. (March 1994) "APL: An Alternative Route to NVQs." Training Officer 30(2): 50-52.

Describes the EnTra (the Lead Body for the engineering manufacturing industry) APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning) process. Descriptors: Engineering Training Authority; National Vocational Qualifications; Qualifications; Accreditation (Institutions); Engineering Education. Identifiers: Accreditation of Prior Learning. Variant Names: EnTra See Engineering Training Authority.

Leach, James A., and others. (1982) Literature Review with Annotated Bibliography. The Accreditation of Training Experiences: Implications for Employment Training Programs. Grayslake, IL: Lake County Coll. 

124 pages. Publication of Project R.E.A. Document Type: review literature; bibliography. This volume provides a cumulative review of the primary methods used or available for use in recording formal training experiences and an annotated bibliography of documents relating to the accreditation of training experiences. The literature review begins with a discussion of academic documentation, that is, the record of formal training experiences such as classroom training, work experience designed for academic credit, and the documentation of competence. It then covers non-academic documentation of formal training experiences in apprenticeship systems, the military, and private business and industry. An overview is then presented of the training records that are kept for individuals participating in Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) programs. In addition, sample CETA programs are described to illustrate various academic and non-academic methods of documenting training experience. A 77-item annotated bibliography is then presented which summarizes technical reports, textbooks, journal articles, congressional testimony, final reports, and conference presentations that relate to academic and non-academic accrediting and CETA system approaches. For each document, bibliographic information, a description of its content, and ratings assigned by a panel of educational experts are provided. Descriptors: Annotated Bibliographies; Apprenticeships; Certification; Educational Experience; Employment Experience; Employment Programs; Evaluation Methods; Experiential Learning; Literature Reviews; Military Training; On the Job Training; Prior Learning; Program Descriptions; Work Experience. Identifiers: Comprehensive Employment and Training Act. Sponsoring Agency: Illinois State Dept. of Commerce and Community Affairs, Springfield.

Learning, Education, and PLAR: A Workers' Perspective [videorecording]. (1998) Communication, Energy, and Paperworkers Union of Canada Local 200-O, Producer. Toronto: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

Learning From Experience Trust. (1995) Work Based Learning for Academic Credit. Chelmsford, UK: Learning From Experience Trust.

The Work Based Learning for Academic Credit (WBL for AC) project, funded by the Department of Employment set out to develop the award of academic credit for work-based learning within undergraduate non vocational non sandwich course degrees.  Three different institutions joined together Chester College of Higher Education, Liverpool John Moores University and The University of Liverpool to show that WBL for AC can be developed within higher education.  A dissemination document has been produced showing how the scheme was successfully developed within the three institutions.

Learning From Experience Trust. (No date) The Credit Rating of In-Company Courses: How to Get Double Value. Chelmsford, UK: Learning From Experience Trust.

Academic credit can now be awarded for the learning acquired from in-company employee development programmes.  The purpose of this handbook, the work for which was funded by the Department of Employment, is to outline for employing organisations and academic institutions the procedures by which credit-rating can be achieved as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.

Lewis, Linda H., and Carol J. Williams. (Summer 1994) "Experiential Learning: Past and Present." New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 62, 5-16.

Document Type: position paper; journal article. Current applications of experiential learning in higher education include field-based experiences, credit for prior learning, and classroom-based programs. In the workplace, action learning, future search, and outdoor education are among the forms of experiential learning being used. Descriptors (major): Adult Education; Corporate Education; Experiential Learning; Higher Education; Learning Theories; Prior Learning.

Lilly, M. (1994) "The Relationship Between RPL and Workplace Assessment." RPL: The Currency of the Future: Policy, Practice and Directions: Conference Papers. Eds., P. Quinn and D. Harman. Broadmeadows, Austral.: Broadmeadows College of TAFE. Recognition and Assessment Centre.

13 pages. This paper examines the relationship between workplace assessment and recognition of prior learning (RPL). RPL is a process that tends to be more closely linked with accredited curriculum/training. The great benefit of this to industry and enterprises is that this allows time reduction of accredited training programs that generally require workplace release, be they work or provider based.

Malak, Sharon, et al. (1979) Assessing Experiential Learning in Career Education. Columbus, OH: National Center for Research in Vocational Education. [124 pages]

Malizio, Andrew G., and others (November 1984) "Credentials in Employment: Learning in the Workplace." Paper presented at the National Adult Education Conference, Louisville, KY, November 6-10.

35 pages. Document Type: conference paper; research report; project description. This document consists of four papers that were read as a joint presentation on learning in the workplace and credentials in employment. Reported in the first paper, "Educational Credentials in Employment: A Nationwide Survey" by Andrew G. Malizio and Douglas R. Whitney, are the results of a survey in which 1,500 members of the American Society for Personnel Administration were asked to indicate their company's emphasis on educational credentials in its employment practices and to rate the importance of various skills and attitudes for employees in jobs requiring not more than a high school diploma or equivalency credential. The survey instrument is appended. The next report, by Sylvia W. Galloway, is a program description and analysis entitled "The Program on Noncollegiate-Sponsored Instruction of the American Council on Education." In the next report, "Implications for Registrars and Admissions Officers in Awarding Credit for Learning Acquired in the Workplace," Elbert W. Ockerman discusses various sources of extra-institutional learning, their built-in levels of quality assurance, and the development of institutional policies regarding their acceptance. The final paper, "Employer Requirements for Today's Work Force" by Dennis M. Benson, discusses both the increased need for more educated workers that has occurred because of rapid technological advancement and also the specialized training programs that employers have had to develop to meet this need. Descriptors: Admissions Officers; Adult Education; College Credits; Credentials; Educational Attitudes; Educational Certificates; Educational Needs; Employer Attitudes; Employment Level; Employment Patterns; Experiential Learning; Influences; Lifelong Learning; National Surveys; Postsecondary Education; Prior Learning; Program Descriptions; Program Development; Questionnaires; Registrars (School); Student Certification Identifiers: American Council on Education; Impact Studies.

McHale, Carol, and Irene Selway. (1994) "Collaboration Between Higher Education and Professional Education and Training Systems: A View from the Change Agents." Studies in Continuing Education 16(1), 19-36. 

See abstract under (Implementation of PLAR in Formal Education/Post-secondary Education/Academic Programs and Professions/Nursing).

Mthwecu, Menzi Melrose. (1996) The Role of Trade Unions in Adult Basic Education and Training: A Case Study of the National Union of Mineworkers in South Africa. Ed.D. dissertation, University of Massachusetts.

National Board of Employment, Education, and Training. (1990) The Recognition of Vocational Training and Learning: A Report Commissioned by the Employment and Skills Formation Council. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service.

New Approaches to Lifelong Learning Labour Caucus. (1998) A Labour Perspective on Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition. Toronto: Centre for the Study of Education and Work, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.

Prepared as a discussion document for the Training and Technology Committee of the Canadian Labour Congress. Sections include: Introduction; Principles; Purposes of PLAR; Issues of Implementation; Recommendations.

Osborne, Michael, et al. (1993) Accreditation of In-House Training Courses and Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning -- Some Case Studies. Scottish Higher Education and Employers Collaboration. Stirling University and Glasgow Caledonian University Joint Research and Development Project.

This document is a review of the second phase of the Scottish Higher Education and Employers Collaboration (SHEEC) project, conducted by Glasgow Caledonian University and Stirling University. Phase One involved a research project aimed at discovering the extent of the awareness of a sample of Scottish employers, of the use and significance of the relatively recent initiatives utilising the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL), and whether or not they saw a role for these initiatives within their own establishments. In Phase Two, the exercise was taken a stage further: employers were offered the possibility of becoming involved in pilot schemes, which would seek to put into practice some of the techniques which had been developed.

Ottoson, Judith M. (Fall 1997) "Beyond Transfer of Training: Using Multiple Lenses to Assess Community Education Programs." New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education (Assessing Adult Learning in Diverse Settings: Current Issues and Approaches) 75, 87-96.

The transfer of learning to the workplace continues to be an issue of concern to trainers and educators in all venues; in this chapter the author explains the benefits of using multiple lenses to assess training effectiveness.

Preston, Diane. (1993) "Accrediting Managers' Learning: The Way Forward for Executive Development?" Executive Development 6(5), 12-14.

Preston, Diane, and Alison Smith. (1993) "APL: The Relationship Between Rhetoric and Reality." Management Education and Development 24(4), 395-405.

APL (Accreditation of Prior Learning) promises a way of recognising managers for the learning they have acquired in their work but to what extent is APL actually being used? Descriptors: National Vocational Qualifications; Training and Enterprise Councils; Competence; Training; Qualifications. Identifiers: Accreditation of Prior Learning; East Midlands; Management Charter Initiative.

"Project Profile: Prior Learning Assessment -- Giving Credit for Learning Gained from Work and Life Experiences."Prospects, Fall 1994, 13-14.

Rankin, M. (1994) "Rural Water Corporation - A Case Study in RPL." RPL: The Currency of the Future: Policy, Practice and Directions: Conference Papers. Eds. P. Quinn and D. Harman. Broadmeadows, Austral: Broadmeadows College of TAFE. Recognition and Assessment Centre.

12 pages. This paper describes a case study of an organisation - the Rural Water Corporation - that undertook workplace changes that included the establishment of a competency based training program that involves extensive RPL (recognition of prior learning). It examines award restructuring, counselling, implementing RPL assessment, the benefits of RPL, and other issues. ISBN 0646224417.

Robertson, C. (1992) "Accreditation of Company Training Programmes." Development of Credit Accumulation and Transfer in Scotland (SCOTCAT). Eds. H. Bines and D. Watson. Buckingham, Eng.: Society for Research in Higher Education/Open University.

Rutherford, P. (1994) "Competency Based Assessment." RPL: The Currency of the Future: Policy, Practice and Directions: Conference Papers. Eds. P. Quinn and D. Harman. Broadmeadows, Austral.: Broadmeadows College of TAFE. Recognition and Assessment Centre.

22 pages. The objective of this paper is to provide technical guidance in the use of competency based assessment in the workplace. It examines educational policy and competency based assessment, access to assessment, methods of assessment, stages of assessment, assessors and appeal processes.

Sawchuk, Peter. (1999) Unionized Industrial Workplace Site (Ontario).  Toronto, ON: Advocates for Community-Based Training and Education for Women (ACTEW) and The New Approaches to Lifelong Learning (NALL) Network.

63 pages.  The LCCW project’s Ontario Industrial worker’s research site has offered a basic analysis of several key issues that are relevant to the PLAR research as well as to the labour education community.  The central goals of the overall project revolved around the need to examine both the development and applications of a new PLAR instrument, the “Skills and Knowledge Profile” (SKP) that would be uniquely suited to working class participants; and, to examine the types of strategies practices and capacities of which working people typically use.  These two goals were seen to be mutually reinforcing as the understanding of the existing practices of these groups.  Primarily qualitative data was analyzed to provide several important observations with regards to the relationships between workers’ views and experiences of learning in the workplace and the classroom; dominant and alternative perspectives with regard to the learning practices; and, strategies workers traditionally use.

St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology. (1995) Prior Learning Assessment for Professional Certification: Access to the Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario for Non-Ontario Trained Accountants: Final Report and Guide. Windsor, Ont.: St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology. 

148 pages. St. Clair College presents a model whereby one group of professionals, non-Ontario trained accountants, can gain faster access to Canadian certification. This guide outlines how to develop a model for delivering a College Access Program, describes the negotiation process conducted by the College with the Certified General Accountants Association of Ontario, and details the resulting agreement with the CGA. Designed around a prior learning assessment format, the model allows the college to assess the individual's level of knowledge, grant college credit, and recommend an entry level into the CGA certification program through recognition of foreign academic credentials and transferable work experiences. Descriptors: Colleges of applied arts and technology; Educational experience; Access to education; Adult students; Accounting. An Access to Professions and Trades project, funded by the Ministry of Citizenship. In accompanying folder: Summary (1 p.); Exemption policy: St. Clair College, Windsor (2 p.); Application for a CGA exemption agreement.

Sansregret, Marthe. (October 1997) "Recognizing Our Own Potential: PLAR, Canadians and the Global Economy." Paper presented at the National Forum on Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition, 2nd, Montreal, Quebec, October 6.

13 pages. Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a new field, but it has a long history, since children have always learned from adults and demonstrated their competence by observation of their work or by the quality of their products or services. Later, formal learning became more valuable and recognized school credentials paved the way to good jobs. Only when adults began returning to school in large numbers has the idea of recognizing learning outside the campus evolved. In Canada, for lack of procedures recognizing adult learning, academic institutions admitted adults as "mature students" who could provide proof of what they had learned. Today, procedures are being developed to test and document adult learning from a variety of sources. Portfolios are encouraged, but it is often wrongly assumed that adults must develop a portfolio for each field of study instead of an integrated one. It is also thought that many new tests must be developed, whereas the standard tests that traditional undergraduates take may suffice to allow adults to demonstrate mastery of a subject. Developing a PLAR program requires creating new partnerships among business, schools, and organizations in order to design and implement knowledge demonstrations. Descriptors: Adult Students; Credentials; Employment Qualifications; Experiential Learning; Portfolio Assessment; Prior Learning; Academic Achievement; Adults; College-Programs; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Knowledge Level; Performance; Standards.

Sawchuk, Peter H. (1999) Final Report of the "Building Learning Capacities in the Community and Workplace" Project: Ontario Industrial Workers Site. Toronto: Advocates for Community Training and Education for Women/New Approaches to Lifelong Learning Research Network.

Sawchuk, Peter H. (1998) "'This Would Scare the Hell Out of Me if I Were an HR Manager': Workers Making Sense of PLAR." Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education Conference Proceedings. Ottawa, Canada: CASAE.

This paper presents original research which details employed, unionized industrial workers' reflections on and experience of Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR). Findings outline how workers view PLAR as an extremely situated process in which the meaning of the "Skills and Knowledge Profile" tool shifts radically from context to context. PLAR in the context of formal schooling, the workplace, the labour market, the union local, and the working class community are all considered. In the latter two cases, workers actively (re)construct the process of PLAR as an opportunity for the reassertion of workers' knowledge and working class community solidarity. The data has implications for the development of 'worker-friendly' PLAR practices, and the use of PLAR for expanding union culture and working class solidarity. 

Sims, Ronald R. (1990) An Experiential Learning Approach to Employee Training Systems. New York: Quorum Books.

252 pages. Descriptors: employees -- training of, experiential learning. ISBN: 0899305261.

Simosko, Susan, Associates. (March 1990) Accreditation for Prior Learning: A Training Agency Perspective. Employment Department Training, Enterprise, and Education Directorate.

Spille, Henry. (1980) "Credit for Learning Gained in Military Service or Employment." New Directions for Experiential Learning 7, 15-28.

An outline is given of the system developed by the American Council on Education through which more than 2,000 colleges have awarded hundreds of thousands of credits toward degrees for prior learning outside colleges, either in military service or employment. Descriptors: Adult Education; Equivalency Tests; Evaluation Methods; Adult Students; College Credits; Experiential Learning; American Council on Education.

Stoyanoff, Karen, and Jeanette Klehm, Comps. (December 1981) Research in Accrediting Efforts (Project REA). An Assessment on the Awarding of Academic Credit for CETA Activities in Illinois. Case Studies. Graslake, IL: Lake County College; Springfield, IL: Illinois State Dept. of Commerce and Community Affairs.

216 pages. Document Type: evaluative report. Summaries are presented of 15 case studies conducted at Illinois Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) regions to determine the kind of credentialing mechanisms that exist for awarding academic credit or some other record of achievement to those eligible participants who complete CETA training programs. Introductory material describes the study's methodology and summarizes findings regarding types of credit and credentials offered, the purposes of credentialing, the determination of what kinds of training should receive credit, and barriers to obtaining credit. Next, information is presented from the case studies of CETA sites in Champaign, Chicago, Cook County, Balance of State-DeKalb, Balance of State-Galesburg, Kane County, Lake County, Macon County, Madison Bond County, Peoria County, Rock Island, Rockford, St. Clair County, Will County, and Balance of State-Zeigler. The case studies provide: (1) demographic data, including the area covered and population served, the CETA governing agency, major employment sources, and educational agencies; (2) program descriptions, including information on length, funding source, credential or credit, date of establishment, participants, location, problems with credit, and follow-up mechanisms; and (3) a general summary for each site which discusses whether credit is important and why credit is not provided for certain programs. The report concludes with recommendations for follow-up. Descriptors: Case Studies; College Credits; Credentials; Credit Courses; Educational Certificates; Employment Programs; Experiential Learning; Job Training; Non-credit Courses; Program Descriptions; Program Evaluation; Public Agencies; Work Experience Identifiers: Comprehensive Employment and Training Act; Illinois.

Surma, Nancy Ann. (1993) A Regional Council for the Education of Automotive Workers: A Study in Interorganizational Relations Between Higher Education and Industry (Worker Education). Ph.D. dissertation, Boston College.

Technical and Further Education National Centre for Research and Development. (October 1990) Assessment and Standards in Vocational Education and Training. Conference/Workshop Report, Adelaide, Australia, October 1-3. Leabrook, Austral.: TAFE National Centre for Research and Development.

314 pages. Document Type: conference proceedings; project description; research report. These proceedings contain 17 papers from plenary sessions, workshops, and other presentations at a conference to consider and clarify major issues in assessment and standards in vocational education and training, including identification of problems and suggested solutions. A summary of discussions follows most presentations. Plenary session papers are as follows: "The Importance of Skills and Standards" (Slee); "The Development of the Vocational Education System in the Federal Republic of Germany from the Special Perspective of the 1992 European Integration" (Laur-Ernst); "United Kingdom Reforms in Qualifications and Standards in Vocational Training" (Fuller); "Issues Affecting Assessment and Accreditation" (Kirby); and "Summary and Challenges" (Hall). Workshops include the following: "Skill Standards in the Textile Clothing Footwear Industries" (Parkinson); "Competency-Based Training: COSTAC Working Party Report" (Murphy); "A Workplace Education (Adult Literacy) Project in the Hunter Valley" (McLauchlan); "More and Better Skills Recognition: Where Are We Up To? Where Are We Going?" (Ashenden); "The Trademen's Rights Regulation Act: National Recognition in the Metal and Electrical Trades" (Newton); "Graded Criterion Referenced Assessment in Competency-Based Training" (Van de Graaff); "Competency-Based Vocational Education: Implications for Teacher Education" (Watson); "What Is Clever about Competency-Based Training?" (Thompson); "Staff Development in Competency-Based Assessment" (Docking); "National Recognition of Experiential Learning for the Hospitality Industry" (Casey); "National Scheme for Accreditation of Independent Business Colleges" (Walsh); "TRAC: A Competency-Based Link between School and Work" (Sweet); "A Whole College Approach to Competency-Based Self-Paced Delivery" (Wickenton); and "Media Package: Assessing Competency in the Workplace" (Barry, Davy). Other presentations are: "The Challenges for Australia in Vocational Education and Training" (Dawkins); "Speech by the Minister of Employment and Further Education" (Rann); and "How Did We Get Here from There" (Ramsey). The program and list of participants are appended. Descriptors: Certification; Competence; Competency Based Education; Credentials; Criterion Referenced Tests; Education Work Relationship; Employment Experience; Experiential Learning; Foreign Countries; Job Skills; Job Training; Performance Tests; Personnel Evaluation; Postsecondary Education; Prior Learning; Secondary Education; Standards; Vocational Education. Identifiers: Australia. ISBN: 0-86397-029-X.

Thermer, Clifford E. (1996) "The Portfolio Perspective: Authentic Assessment for Experiential Training". ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED396166.

See abstract under (Implementation of PLAR in Formal Education/Methods of Assessment/Portfolio/Practice).

Tiernan, Kathy. (October 1992) "Taking Credit for Voluntary Work: A New RSA Diploma." Adults Learning (England) 4(2), 38-39. 

Document Type: journal article; general report. A project at Denman College (Great Britain) to help volunteers document their community work to get credit for a diploma encountered problems in translating community work into formalized academic definitions and in the range of skill levels among volunteers. Descriptors: Credits; Foreign Countries; Higher Education; Portfolios (Background Materials); Prior Learning; Volunteers. Identifiers: Diplomas; Great Britain. ISSN: 0955-2308.

Tourangeau, Robert. (1997) "Prior Learning Assessment." In Workplace Education: The Changing Landscape. Ed. Maurice C. Taylor. Toronto: Culture Concepts Inc.

This chapter provides foundational information for a basic understanding of prior learning assessment and is divided into three parts. The first part provides the setting and the philosophy of prior learning assessment. The second part deals with assessment in general and, in particular, with the portfolio process and the practical considerations that flow from the adoption of national standards and generic skills. The third part describes briefly the benefits of prior learning assessment, the barriers with respect to its implementation and its implications for educational purposes.

Van Kleef, Joy. (December 1996) Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition: A New Dimension in Worker Training Programs and Partnerships. Prepared for Human Resources Development Canada. [27 pages]

Winning, Anne. (1993) "Apprenticeships and RPL: Recognizing the Learning of a Trade. Education and Training 35(7), 18-21.

Yule, W., and M. Brownlie-Marshall. (1991) The Assessment of Prior Learning. Aberdeen, Scot.: CICED/PACE.

Zacos, Paul. (1998) The Role of Prior Learning Assessment and in the Development of Healthy Communities. [On-line] Available [November 08, 1999]

In times of transition what are our responsibilities to each other and our communities? How can individuals and communities take positive action to generate economic development and create employment opportunities? Rather than throwing ourselves on the mercy of the global marketplace, what can we do to make the economy more democratic and accountable to its citizens? One way of addressing these challenging conditions is by providing greater support for the education, training and career development of those most affected. The development of innovative structures and processes which realistically acknowledge the insecurity and anxiety accompanying high rates of unemployment is crucial. Prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) is one such innovation, waiting in the wings?, to demonstrate its usefulness to Canadian citizens.  PLAR has much to contribute to a world “turned upside down” economically and socially for increasing numbers of Canadians. It has many important characteristics which are well suited to the times in which we are living.

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