Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is the formal evaluation and high school credit-granting process whereby students may obtain high school credits for prior learning. Prior learning includes the knowledge and skills that students have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, both in and outside of school. Students may have their knowledge and skills evaluated against the course expectations outlined in current provincial course curriculum policy documents in order to earn high school credits towards their Ontario Secondary School Diploma.  PLAR requirements and eligibility depend on a student’s age:

  • PPM 132 for Mature Students (students who are at least 18 years of age by August 31st of the current school year).
  • PPM 129 for all other students
The PLAR process involves two components: Challenge and equivalency.

The challenge component to PLAR is an evaluative process whereby eligible students may apply to have their prior learning assessed for the purpose of earning high school credits without taking the course. Eligible students may apply to challenge eligible high school courses offered by the OCDSB. Applications require students to provide evidence in advance that demonstrates that they would likely be successful in earning the credit.

Once an application is approved, the challenge process requires students to demonstrate evidence of learning where they will be evaluated against curriculum course expectations for the course(s) they are challenging. The process can be intensive and relies on a level of demonstration of learning that would reflect those expectations presented in a classroom setting. The challenge process also values and recognizes learning that has happened outside of the classroom. All courses attempted through the challenge process must represent the same standards of achievement as credits earned by taking the courses.


The equivalency component to PLAR is the process of assessing students’ prior knowledge, learning and skills, as well as credentials from other jurisdictions. Please reach out to the Student Services Office at the student’s school for more information.

PLAR Challenge Dates

Applications can be submitted at any point during the school year. Applications will be reviewed starting on the dates below:

October 2, 2023
December 4, 2023
February 5, 2024
April 2, 2024

Dates for the 2024-2025 school year

October 7, 2024
November 25, 2024
March 3, 2025

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