Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) System
Purpose and Scope
The Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Apprenticeship and Certification Board (PACB) recognizes that learning which some adults acquire from other forms of formal training and from work and life experiences, may be equivalent to components of apprenticeship training programs offered within the province. This policy is designed to increase access to, and participation in, the prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) process, while promoting consistency in PLAR across colleges and programs.
All individuals, resident and non-resident, seeking certification in a designated occupation (i.e. an occupation approved as a provincial occupation by the PACB for apprenticeship training and/or certification in Newfoundland and Labrador) will have the opportunity to have their prior formal and informal learning assessed. Recognizing prior learning may shorten the time required for an individual to complete an apprenticeship program.
- Credential Recognition
- Recognition of academic or professional qualifications achievedat another training institution, in another jurisdiction or another country.
- Credit Transfer
- Awarding of credit or advanced standing for formal credits achieved in a training program other than the training program the applicant is currently enrolled in.
- Prior Learning
- Learning acquired through previous experiences. Sources of learning include any learning experience not associated with institutional study and courses taken at an institution that are not recognized through a credit transfer arrangement/agreement.
- Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
- Evaluation and Recognition of non-formal, informal or experiential learning.
- Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
- A process used to evaluate learning acquired through formal andinformal learning experiences for the purpose of assigning academic credit.
Limitations of the Policy
No person will be given credit for journeyperson certification without successfully writing the Provincial/Interprovincial (IP) certification examination, and all block level exams (if applicable).
- RPL will be made available to any individual enrolled or considering enrollment in an accredited entry or advanced level skilled trade training program. RPL will be optional for pre-apprentices, direct entry apprentices and apprentices completing advanced training blocks.
- RPL will be mandatory for :
- Graduates of non-accredited entry level training programs.
- Trade Qualifiers without full workplace skills endorsement.
- Foreign Credentialed Workers without full workplace skills endorsement.
- All training institutions offering apprenticeship training are required to have a policy and procedures in place to address RPL. In as much as it relates to apprenticeship training, the policy and procedures of the training institution must adhere to the standards for RPL as established by the policy and procedures of the PACB.
- PLAR will be conducted on a per-course basis only. Recognition is not granted on a program wide basis.
- PLAR will be challenge based, using a combination of theoretical testing and demonstration of practical skills.
- Notwithstanding the requirement to write all block and Provincial/IP exams, a client may receive RPL credit for all entry and advanced level courses in a program, on an individual course basis.
- RPL must focus on learning, not experience. Credit will be awarded for the learning from experience.
- The criteria used to award credit through RPL must be no more or less rigorous than the criteria used in assessing traditional classroom learning.
- RPL will be completed at an educational institution by an individual designated as an assessor by the department and the institution.
- The assessor will be an expert in the content assessed. Assessment of prior learning for core occupational courses must be completed by a journeyperson in the trade.
- Information will be made available to Designated Assessors to assist with the functions they perform. Designated Assessors are required to complete all training designated by the division as mandatory for their role as an assessor.
RPL information and advice will be available from apprenticeship division staff and training institutions.
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