Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is defined as "the process of identifying, assessing and recognizing skills, knowledge, or competencies that have been acquired through work experience, unrecognized training, independent study, volunteer activities, and hobbies.  PLA may be applied toward academic credit, toward requirement of a training program, or for occupational certification"
(Human Resource Development, Canada (HRDC).  Prior Learning Assessment Newsletter, 1(2).  Ottawa, Ontario:  Human Resource Development Canada, May, 1995: 1)
The Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition Group is part of a national research network for New Approaches to Lifelong Learning (NALL).  NALL has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to study informal learning and its relation to formal and continuing education throughout the life course.  The Prior Learning Assessment Group (Group 2) is co-directed by Alan Thomas and Monica Collins.
The PLAR Group has been responsible for the following projects:
  1. Developing an Annotated Bibliography for PLAR (Bibliography)
  2. Determining the current status of the provision of PLAR in Canada and Abroad (Current Status)
  3. Developing a "Values" document for PLAR (Values Statements)
  4. Exploring the current and future users of PLAR.  Download the entire report, Dimensions of the Experience of PLAR, 2002, .pdf 484K, [here].
For more information about these and other NALL projects and activities, please see the NALL website.

last updated 25 June 2002

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