Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

Often valuable learning is the result of work experience or learning outside a traditional post-secondary system. By performing prior learning assessments and qualifications recognition, many of our students can benefit from reduced course loads during their studies.

A Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an assessment process based on the belief that adults acquire knowledge and skills through life and work experiences that match what we, at JIBC, teach in a specific course or program.

Students who have acquired learning through non-formal education such as work experience, self-study, volunteer activities and other life experiences are assessed, and subsequently can be awarded credit for a course or toward a program at our institution.

Prior Learning Assessment FAQs

Students accepted into certificate, diploma and degree programs at JIBC are required to complete at least 50% of the program at JIBC.

In cases where a student in a degree program is applying for both PLA and transfer credit, and the combined total of possible credit exceeds 50%, the student may request an exemption to this policy through the Office of the Registrar.

If an exemption is granted, at least 50% of upper-level credits in a program must be completed at JIBC.


Students applying for PLA credits are required to complete and submit the Prior Learning Assessment Application form with applicable fees and arrange for the submission of supporting documents.

Your PLA assessment will not commence until all required fees have been received.


As a PLA candidate, you will gather and develop evidence to support your credit request.

This evidence may include direct evidence such as responses to an oral exam, skill demonstrations, case studies and products you have developed. Evidence may also include indirect evidence such as non-credited certificates, letters of validation from employers, colleagues or clients, or special awards.

Your evidence will be assessed by a faculty assessor who will recommend or deny credit. Credits obtained through PLA are recorded on your transcript.


$120 per credit or partial credit requested. For more detailed fee schedule information, please review the top section of the Prior Learning Assessment Application form.


At this time, credits acquired through PLAs are granted toward a JIBC credential only.

Many of the colleges and universities in BC, including our institution, are working together to develop provincial policies and standards. However, we cannot guarantee transferability to any other institution at this time.