Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a formal evaluation and credit-granting process that allows mature students to obtain credits for knowledge and skills learned outside of school.  PLAR can help students 18 years and over who are interested in earning credits for work and life experiences.

"Coming back to school wasn't easy.  Thankfully, PLAR allowed me to gain credits through life and work experiences.  I attended day school and earned the remaining credits I needed to graduate.  Staff have been helpful throughout my journey.  It is truly never too late." -Chris

Watch PLAR for Mature Student Video

Watch the PLAR for Mature Student video in the following languages:

Tagalog          Spanish          Simplified Chinese          Urdu          Arabic          Punjabi          French

Who is eligible for PLAR?

  • Mature students who:
    • are turning 18 before August 31st of the current school year
    • enrolled in a credit program for the purpose of obtaining an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD)
    • have started high school in Ontario in 1999 or later and returning as an adult
    • started or completed high school outside of Ontario but want to obtain an Ontario Secondary School Diploma

Note: Students who started high school in Ontario before 1999 may have Maturity credits granted through a Mature Student Evaluation.

What schooling and experiences can I get credit for?

You can earn credits for learning and skills you have acquired at school, at home, at work, in training programs, and volunteer work.  This applies to schooling, work and experiences that you have from outside Ontario and Canada.

Grade 9/10 Assessment & Equivalency Process

A maximum of 16 Grade 9 and 10 equivalent credits can be granted through either: course completion or an assessment in a subject area.

• Assessments are written between terms, and/or through a PLAR preparation class.

• Arrangements are made through a guidance counsellor.

Grade 11 and 12 Credits

A guidance counsellor will review how your life and work experience match current high school courses. For example, your experience as a parent or construction worker may give evidence of learning that relates directly to the Ontario curriculum expectations for parenting and construction technology credits. In order to be granted credits, you will need to provide evidence for your learning. Here are some examples:

• Training Certificates for short courses or apprenticeship training

• Letters of appraisal or recommendation from your employers

• Letters indicating volunteer experiences, including number of hours completed

• Copies of birth certificates of your children

• A document indicating languages spoken and written at the grade 11 or 12 level

• A detailed resume and ROEs, T4s, or paystubs

How much does it cost?

There is no cost for PLAR.

All mature students must earn their final 4 credits in Adult & Continuing Education, have 40 hours of community service and meet the Ontario Literacy Requirement in order to graduate.  A grade 12 English credit must be earned and cannot be granted through PLAR.

Speak to a guidance counsellor to plan the best way for you to earn the credits you need to graduate. PLAR can help you to meet diploma requirements.

Contact us:

For more information about how to apply or to book an appointment with a PLAR assessor, please call 

  • Oshawa Campus at 905-438-0570 or
  • Ajax Campus at 905-683-7713 or

PLAR in the News

She got a credit for being a mom: How adults in Durham are getting their high school diploma faster