Prior learning includes the knowledge and skills that students have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, outside Ontario secondary school classrooms. Through a formal evaluation and accreditation process known as Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR), students enrolled in Ontario secondary schools, including the Independent Learning Centre and inspected private schools that choose to implement PLAR, may have their skills and knowledge evaluated against the overall expectations outlined in provincial curriculum policy documents in order to earn credits towards the secondary school diploma. PLAR procedures are carried out under the direction of the school principal, who grants the credits.
Ontario Schools Kindergarten to Grade 12, Policy and Program Requirements p. 74)
The PLAR process involves two mandatory components: "challenge" and "equivalency".
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.
The "equivalency" process is the process of assessing credentials from other jurisdictions.
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.
PLAR Challenge Information
In order to be eligible to challenge a credit, you must answer
‘NO’ to all of the questions below:
• Have you earned a credit in the course you plan to challenge?
• Have you earned a credit in a course similar to the one you plan to challenge? (ex: challenging for ENG 2D, when you have ENG 2P)?
• Did you get this credit as part of a block of equivalency credits for the course you plan to challenge?
• Are you challenging a course that you were unsuccessful in?
• Did you already earn an English credit and plan to challenge an English as a second language (ESL), or Anglais pour debutants (APD)?
• Did you already earn a French credit and plan to challenge French as a second language (FSL), or Actualization Linguistique en Francais (AFL), or Perfectionnement du Francais (PDF)?
• Are you currently enrolled in the course you are intending to challenge?
• Are you interested in challenging a grade 9 credit?
In addition, you must answer ‘YES’ to all the questions below:
• Do you plan to challenge the whole course for credit?
• Have you met the prerequisite requirements for the course you plan to challenge?
• Does a successful challenge for credit meet educational goals outlined in your Individual Pathways Plan?
• Are you currently a day school student with Dufferin-Peel CDSB?
PLAR Challenge Process
1. Contact the guidance department at your home school to schedule the ‘Pre-Application’ Interview to determine eligibility.
2. If eligible, complete the PLAR for Challenge Application.
The application is due no later than the last Friday of March each year. Submit to the school Guidance Counsellor. One application can be submitted at a time.
3. The application is then submitted to a PLAR Committee who will determine if there is enough evidence to challenge a credit.
4. If approved, a teacher advisor will be assigned to the student to complete assessment and evaluation components, such as; tests, projects, presentations, interviews etc.
5. Important to note the following:
• A “PLAR Challenge for Credit: Cumulative Tracking Record” form will be maintained in the students’ OSR and will indicate the students passing, failing grade or withdrawal from the challenge process.
• The student’s level of achievement will be recorded as a percentage grade on the OST. For grade 10 courses only passing grades will be entered, for grade 11 or 12 courses passing and failing percentage grades will be entered.