Prior Learning and Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a formal evaluation and accreditation process. Students obtain credits towards the secondary school diploma (OSSD) for knowledge and skills that they have acquired outside of secondary school. This prior learning is evaluated to see if the student has met provincial course expectations. A student may “challenge” a specific course for credit or obtain credits through the “equivalency” process if they have credentials from schools outside Ontario.
Am I eligible to challenge a course for credit?
Secondary school students enrolled in a regular day school program in an Ontario secondary school can challenge a course for credit. Students who are 18 or older and who have been away from day school for one full year should go to the Gary Allan High School
PLAR page for mature students.
What courses can I challenge for credit?
Students can challenge Grade 10, 11 or 12 courses found in a provincial policy document (1999 or later) and offered in the Halton District School Board.How many courses can be challenged?
Students may earn up to 4 credits through the challenge process to a maximum of 2 credits in any 1 discipline.
Is parental permission needed to challenge for credit?
Students 18 and under must have parental approval before applying to challenge a course for credit.
How do I start?
All students and parents of students under 18 who want to challenge a course for credit must see the PLAR Orientation Presentation.
In it is a form that lets you challenge a course for credit to the PLAR Challenge committee. It provides information on the challenge process including:
- documentation needed to submit
- how a challenge a course application is processed
- how results are reported
- appeal procedures
- withdrawal policy
- contact information
Can I get a head start while waiting for my challenge confirmation?
Students begin by gathering evidence that demonstrates knowledge and skills acquired that are to do with the course being challenged. Ontario Ministry of Education course information is in French and English. Course codes can be searched by subject or grade.
Reference letters from teachers or community leaders, certificates, sample assignments, original work samples, portfolio, program descriptions, courses or experiences are used to support your application. These, with a paragraph from the student should cover all the parts of the course being challenged.
In order to qualify as a challenge candidate
Your answers need to be ‘NO’ to all 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?
- Did you fail the course you plan to challenge?
- 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)?
Your answers need to be ‘YES’ to all 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 Pathways plan?
If there is disagreement with the PLAR challenge committee or school about a whether a student should challenge for credit, the school area superintendent can review the matter.
A student can re-submit a challenge for a course after a reasonable amount of time, if there is evidence of additional knowledge, skills, and experience.
Evaluation strategies are based on curriculum expectations and achievement charts in the Ontario curriculum policy.
A student may withdraw from the challenge process before the final test, without a notation on their Ontario Student Transcript (OST) or the Cumulative Tracking Record (CTR). Once students have entered the final test and withdraw, a mark for Grade 11 and 12 courses will be entered in the PLAR Cumulative Tracking Record.
- Passing grades for Grade 10 are entered on OST similar to achievement in other courses without reference to PLAR.
- Passing/failing grades for Grade 11 and 12 are entered in OST similar to achievement in other courses without reference to PLAR.
These items must be completed and submitted to School Programs through the Principal so it may be reviewed by the PLAR challenge committee:
For more information contact:
Instructional Program Leader
905-631-6120, ext. 448