Evaluating Learning Beyond Academic Credentials: A 360-degree Look at the Recognition of Prior Learning

Determining the competencies of an individual requires careful consideration of the person’s knowledge, skills, abilities and experience. Regulatory bodies, certification organizations and universities frequently rely on the evaluation of credentials to determine the level of immigrants’ competence. Increasingly, however, organizations realize that credentials alone do not—perhaps cannotprovide an adequate reflection of what an individual has learned or his/her level of competency in a particular field.

Assessment tools such as simulations, demonstrations, challenge exams, case studies, structured interviews and self-assessment processes are regularly used in classrooms and workplaces to help individuals meet licensing and other continuing competency requirements. They are often, however, overlooked in the assessment of entry-level competence requirements.

In this webinar we will begin to explore the use of tools commonly associated with prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) and competence-based assessment to better assess immigrants’ entry-level skills, knowledge and abilities. In so doing we hope to develop multiple options beyond credential evaluation for decision-makers to consider as they seek greater assurance and confidence in the evaluation process. We also hope that the webinar will serve to stimulate further discussion in a variety of other contexts.

This webinar will challenge participants to consider five questions:

  1. How can we best facilitate a process that allows immigrants to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities, beyond credential assessment?
  2. What assessment strategies or tools would be effective with immigrants and why?
  3. What factors help to determine the appropriateness of one tool over another for a particular organization or unique purpose?
  4. Can a single tool or process ensure that an immigrant is “competent” to work in Canada?
  5. What is the link between prior learning assessment and the assessment of competencies?

In addition to stimulating the conversation around these five questions, the webinar will enable us to generate key topics for inclusion at the pre-conference workshop on this topic that will be held on November 13, 2011, Toronto, ON at CAPLA’s Fall Focus event.

The Foreign Credential Recognition Program at Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) is supporting this webinar and is keenly interested in the outcomes of our discussion.


When 31 October 2011 - 2:00pm (Eastern)
Length 60 minutes
Fee Webinar completed
Facilitator/Moderator: Susan Simosko, Susan Simosko Associates, Inc.
Speakers: Jan Robinson, College of Physiotherapists of Ontario Christine Nielsen, Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science

This webinar has been completed and registration is now closed. The recording of this webinar is no longer available.

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