Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

At the University of Guelph, Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is an acceptable process for assigning credit at the diploma level for learning stemming from experience acquired independently of courses taken at the campuses. PLA provides a mechanism whereby credit is given for equivalence in a course to those students who have mastered the content of the course concerned without having taken a formal course in the subject area. Such mastery may have been acquired, for example, through work experience, independent study or from non-degree courses. In the absence of a certificate or other formal acknowledgment of competence by an appropriately accredited institution, the student can challenge the appropriate specific course(s) offered by the University to a maximum of 1.50 credits in a diploma program or 30% of the curriculum for Open Learning Certificates. This is a post admission process only.

Each academic department is responsible for determining which of its courses may be subject to P.L.A. challenge. The challenge process could include one or more assessment methods, including standardized tests, written and/or oral examinations, performance evaluations, interviews, and portfolio assessments. These assessments require that the individual demonstrate, to a qualified faculty member, that pre-determined knowledge and skills have been acquired.

Students should contact Enrolment Services ( for application forms and further information.