The Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA) has been the national voice for prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) for many years. Beginning in Belleville, Ontario, CAPLA was nurtured by First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) and continues to benefit from the legacy of its founders. Since the early 1990s, those interested in the recognition of adult learning have come together to share practices connected to experiential learning and how it can be articulated against academic or industry standards. Experts from across Canada and abroad have helped shape the look and substance of what PLAR in Canada has become. CAPLA members continue to be modern-day pioneers in the field of PLAR. They have worked tirelessly within their communities, institutions and organizations to build a culture for adult learning, assessment and recognition, in order to facilitate social inclusion, individual growth, equity and economic prosperity for all.
CAPLA has been operating since 1994 and was incorporated in 1997 as a non-profit organization. Its members are comprised of adult learners, PLAR practitioners, researchers, unions, businesses, academic institutions, equity groups, occupational bodies, sectors and non-governmental organizations. CAPLA continues to host yearly conferences and workshops on a range of recognition of prior learning (RPL) programs, practices, policies, projects and research with local, provincial/territorial, national and international emphasis.
CAPLA's network extends across the country, into the United States and abroad. It has provided the expertise, advocacy and support for the development of PLAR in Canada. The existence of PLAR, the communities understanding and use of it, and adult learners' awareness and access to it are key to removing barriers to recognition, regardless of the end uses of the recognition process.
CAPLA’s online community of practice (www.recognitionforlearning.ca) has become an important resource for online discussions, webcasting and information. As a virtual community for outreach, skill development, knowledge building, mutual support, research and advocacy, it is a clearing house for vital information about PLAR services and practices. Its audiences include those who need PLAR services as well as those who develop, provide, regulate and research them.
As the only national membership organization dedicated to the recognition of prior learning (RPL), CAPLA has developed considerable expertise in a wide range of areas connected to PLAR. Its network of partners, practitioners, advisors and assessors can be found in communities of every province and territory in Canada.
CAPLA has a voluntary Board of Directors from across Canada who are involved with PLAR in a variety of ways. They are elected by the Members at the Annual General Meeting which coincides with CAPLA's fall conference.
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