Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Policy Number
VP Academic
Program Council
Effective Date
February 15, 2005
July 07, 2021

The Board of Governors of the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC) acknowledges the importance of the recognition of prior learning to the success of students in accomplishing their educational goals. However, recognition of prior learning from other sources for the purpose of granting credentials must balance the value of unique learning experiences with the value of portability and transferability.

Policy Statement

The JIBC Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Policy is premised on the belief that PLAR provides a viable process for learners to bring forward and display knowledge and skills learned outside recognized post-secondary institutions. Where appropriate, credit may be awarded based on the learner’s skills, knowledge and professional values acquired through life experiences, work and independent study.


This policy applies to all JIBC certificates, diplomas and degrees.  


Prior Learning Assessment - Prior learning assessment is a systematic process that involves the identification, documentation, assessment and recognition of learning (i.e. skills, knowledge and attitudes). This learning may be acquired through formal and informal study including work and life experience. Assessment is determined by subject matter experts in each program area and can consist of one or more of the following methods:

  • PLAR Challenge Exam: a test developed by the program area, which enables a student to prove their skill, knowledge and attitude toward the learning outcomes of a particular course.
  • PLAR Portfolio Assessment: a collection of information that systematically documents and provides evidence of an individual’s learning, experiences and accomplishments in relation to the learning outcomes for a course, program or graduate profile. At the discretion of the program this may include a demonstration of skills or personal interview.

Related Policies and Procedures