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Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)
Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition: Mature Students

For mature students who have been out of school for at least one year, the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) process can be used as a way to progress towards graduation.  Students may obtain credits towards the secondary school diploma (OSSD) for knowledge and skills that they have acquired outside of secondary school. This prior learning is assessed and evaluated to determine whether the student has met the provincial course expectations.

Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition: Students Currently Enrolled in Secondary School

Students may obtain credits towards the secondary school diploma (OSSD) for knowledge and skills that they have acquired outside of secondary school. This prior learning is assessed and evaluated to determine whether the student has met the provincial course expectations. Students may 'challenge' a specific course for credit if they can provide reasonable evidence indicating a likelihood of success. Students registered full time in a secondary school (not including mature students) may challenge Grades 10, 11 and 12 courses. Please click the following link for a copy of our PLAR Challenge Process Brochure.

A student who believes that she or he possesses the full range of knowledge and skills for a course in the school course calendar should refer to the "Challenge for Credit" brochure for information. Brochures are located in the guidance office and are also available from the Principal. The student should be prepared to provide reasonable evidence for success in the challenge process (eg., a portfolio, documentation of related course work, recommendation from a teachers, etc.). Further, the student will be required to demonstrate achievement of the course expectations through formal tests and other assessment strategies appropriate for the particular course. Students who are successful in the challenge assessment will receive a final percentage grade and a credit for the course.

PLAR Challenge Process Steps

Who may challenge credits through PLAR?

Students registered in the Board may challenge for credit Grades 10, 11 and 12 courses offered by the Board.


What credits may be challenged?

Students may apply to challenge for credit only Grade 10, 11 and 12 courses developed from a provincial curriculum policy document.

They may obtain:
  • a maximum of four credits through the challenge process,
  • no more than two credits in one subject area
A student:
  • is eligible to challenge credits that have not been completed or attempted through previous enrolment, in the past four years
  • may challenge a Grade 10, 11 or 12 course regardless of his/her current grade
  • may only challenge a course that is offered by the Board

Reporting challenged credits

The percentage grade of successful challenges of any Grade 10 credit will be recorded on the Ontario Student Transcript.

The percentage grade of both successful and unsuccessful challenges of any Grade 11 and 12 courses will be recorded on the Ontario Student Transcript (Full Disclosure).


PLAR Challenge Process Steps

There are five steps to the Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition challenge process:

Step 1:
Notify the Principal of your school of your intent to challenge for credit a particular subject in February.

Step 2:
The Principal will give students the PLAR Application Package which the student must complete.
The components of the package are:
  • PLAR Challenge Application Form
  • Ontario Student Transcript
  • Individual Pathways Plan (IPP); (formerly the Annual Education Plan)
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP), if applicable
The application form and supporting documentation must be submitted to the Principal in March.

Step 3:
Consists of a meeting where the student and parent/guardian will discuss his/her application package components (ie supporting evidence, IPP) and receive course specific assessment materials and timelines. A percentage grade will be determined for the student based on assessment of 70% from formal tests and 30% from a variety of other assessment strategies appropriate to the particular course.  The assessments may consist of written tests, portfolios, oral examinations, panel interviews, oral presentations, simulations, case studies,  task demonstrations, observation, and product assessment.

Step 4:
The Principal will inform you of the date of the assessment. It will occur by the end of May of the school year in which the challenge was made. Specific location and times will be communicated after the material presented in Step 3 has been assessed.

Step 5:
The resulting percentage grade earned through the PLAR challenge process will be communicated to the student. An opportunity for feedback regarding the PLAR challenge will be available at this time.



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