The CAPLA Board of Directors approved a new working group - CAPLA Immigrants RPL Working Group at the CAPLA Board of Directors Meeting on October 20, 2012.
On November 29, the working group held its first meeting and has 16 members who are actively engaged in RPL practices, immigrant related services, and research.
The purpose of the working group as identified in the Terms of Reference is to:
- Promote and advance greater awareness of the value and benefits of RPL for immigrants;
- Identify previous work that could be used as a basis for further development of RPL, and advance the development and implementation of quality RPL processes/mechanisms for immigrants to Canada;
- Explore, identify, and seek solutions for issues relating to the advancement of RPL for immigrants;
- Share, co-ordinate and promote RPL related information and available resources;
- Provide a platform for sharing and seeking input for advancing RPL for immigrants with various key stakeholders across Canada; and
- Support the development of new tools/resources that enhance RPL programs and services for immigrants.
Highlights of CAPLA Immigrants RPL Working Group 2013-2014
In the early discussions, committee members acknowledged that while there are a wide range of RPL resources available on many different sites in different locations, immigrants and others are not always aware of these tools nor are they always available in user-friendly language.
In this regard, the Working Group agreed to focus on 3 priorities:
- to identify the PLAR resources currently available for immigrants,
- develop a structure to have these resources/tools/research streamlined and accessible in a one stop online resource repository, and
- to develop new communication tools to help clarify and enhance the assessment and recognition of prior and current learning services for immigrants and stakeholders.
To further assist with researching and identifying already available resources, a sub-committee, RPL Resources and Exchange Sub-Committee was initiated in May 2013. The goal of the sub-committee is to gather available resources, best practices and disseminate information. Three members representing the Atlantic, Central, and Western regions accepted responsibility to lead the process. The sub-committee met via conference call and communicated through email over the summer.
Members of the working group facilitated a focus group workshop, Preparing Meaningful RPL Messaging for Immigrants Coming to Canada at the 2013 CAPLA Conference. It highlighted some activities undertaken by the working group and focused on three activities in progress:
- A PLAR - focused website template for immigrants;
- An info-graphic concept to reflect the key elements of the learning recognition process and to help immigrants visualize PLAR pathway options;
- A clear language brochure to inform immigrants about PLAR at the pre-arrival stage and clarify the differences between credential and competency assessment.
This workshop session also included small group discussions. This provided an opportunity for conference participants to provide feedback and assist the working group in the development of a PLAR messaging strategy for immigrants.
Additionally, the working group committee has frequently invited key guest presenters and committee members to share innovative initiatives, new programs, best practices, new techniques, and other current information relating to the advancement of RPL for immigrants to Canada.
The group members are committed to developing effective and current communication resources to help advance the assessment and recognition of prior and current learning for use by immigrants and all stakeholders. It is anticipated that, through the development of the resource repository, newcomers, agencies, employers, and educational institutions will have increased access to current, streamlined information and resources for the purpose of entering/advancing employment and educational systems throughout Canada.
Working Group Chair