What do PLAR Practitioners do?

“The key purpose of a PLAR Practitioner is to review progress and/or assess achievements, so that individuals and organizations can achieve their personal development and/or education and training objectives.

This purpose recognizes the range and diversity of PLAR in Canada. This includes: assisting individuals with their personal growth and development; human resource development; the preparation of professionals; and assessment of individuals for academic credit and occupational certification.”

Malcolm Day and Paul Zakos, Developing Benchmarks for Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition – Practitioner Perspectives, Guidelines for the Canadian PLAR Practitioner (2000)

Working in PLAR is rooted in respect for individuals and focuses on the assessment and recognition of prior learning regardless of where and how it was acquired. According to the CAPLA Benchmarking Study (2000) to develop benchmarks for prior learning assessment and recognition.

The practice of assessment of prior learning involves:

  • advising and preparing individuals to recognize the value of their prior learning,
  • assessing an individual's prior learning either for academic credit or recognition of occupational and/or professional competence,
  • developing and administering systems that facilitate prior learning assessment and recognition.

PLAR Practitioners may find themselves performing all three functions or as a member of a team-based approach towards PLAR in the role of Advisor, Assessor or Administrator.

The CAPLA Benchmarking Study completed in 2000 concentrated on the roles of Advisor and Assessor when identifying functions and indicators for practice. RFL has expanded on these and the basic functions of a PLA Co-ordinator identified in that study. By using competencies identified in the Red River College PLAR Practitioner Competency Profile as a base, RFL has included additional competencies from research. Your feedback is encouraged as RFL continues to develop PLAR Practitioner competencies.

Whether multi-tasking or performing a distinct function in PLAR, RFL invites you to find out more about PLAR roles and common competencies supporting the work of PLAR Practitioners across all roles.

An Invitation

To advance the practice of PLAR in Canada, RFL encourages ongoing learning and professional development and invites you to navigate through this site to learn more. Wherever you work, whatever your role, you might like to:
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