Find out how Alberta higher education institutions evaluate your prior learning
Your educational planning process often involves an assessment of your education and work experience. This analysis confirms which educational credits and credentials may be eligible for transfer to an Alberta institution.
What is Recognition of Prior Learning?
Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) evaluates the learning people acquire throughout their lives. The Alberta government defines 3 types of learning, which are measured in different ways:
Transfer credit—awarding credit at one institution for courses completed at another institution.
Credential recognition—recognizing a completed in-province, out-of-province or international certificate, diploma or degree.
Prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR)—assessing and recognizing a person’s knowledge and skills, acquired through non-formal and informal learning, in relation to a certain goal (for example, receiving credit in a higher education institution's program, meeting professional license/certification requirements or obtaining employment). A PLAR assessment may include one or a combination of the following:
Written challenge exam
Oral exam or interview
Transfer credit is a formal learning assessment that awards credit at one recognized higher education institution for courses completed at another, or at the same institution between varying programs and schools.
Potential transfer credit is based on:
Recognized transfer agreements between one institution and other higher education institutions
An individual basis if there is no pre-existing agreement
Fit to the new program
Note: Transfer credit options vary over time and are subject to change. Please see the Transfer Alberta website to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
Credential recognition recognizes a completed in-province, out-of-province or international certificate, diploma or degree (formal learning assessment) for potential credit.
If you have already completed formal learning from another program or recognized institution and have been accepted to a program at one of Alberta's higher education institutions, you may benefit from applying for credential recognition.
Note: credential recognition options vary over time and are subject to change. Please see the Transfer Alberta website to ensure you have the most up-to-date information.
Students seeking transfer credit for courses or programs taken in a country other than Canada or the United States of America (USA) should inquire with the institution they plan on transferring to. Students may have to provide proof of English language proficiency, and have official translations of their transcripts if they are from a non-English speaking country. Because higher education programs vary from country to country, students are advised to provide detailed course outlines or evidence of existing transfer agreements.
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)
Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is the process of identifying, assessing and recognizing skills and knowledge acquired through non-formal and informal learning (such as work experience, non-formal training, independent study, volunteer activities and hobbies) for a specific goal. PLAR may shorten your training, save you money and help you to access skilled work faster.
Specific Requirements for Recognition of Prior Learning by Institution
Every institution may have varying requirements for supporting recognition of prior learning in your field of study. Explore the specific requirements below: