Prior Learning Assessments | Credit Studies | College of Extended Learning | UNB

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College of Extended Learning

Prior Learning Assessments

Get credit for what you already know

You may be eligible for credit toward your UNB undergraduate program based on your previous learning. A Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) looks at what you have learned through non-formal education and life experience and evaluates it for possible credit.

Prior learning could include workplace-related training, independent study or non-credit courses, and volunteer and community activity. PLA differs from transfer credit, which provides credit for formal university or college coursework.

  • It may reduce the time it takes to complete your degree, saving you money as well as time.
  • It may prevent you from having to study what you already know.
  • It validates your knowledge and abilities and inspires self-confidence.

How to earn PLA credits

You must be registered in a UNB program or in the process of applying for registration before you can request an assessment. The assessment may take up to 3 months, so you may want to start the process well in advance of when you need the assessment results. A PLA coordinator will work with you to provide necessary information and answer your questions, determine your eligibility, and guide you through the PLA process.

Complete the pre-assessment questionnaire to see if you might be a candidate for PLA.

The PLA coordinator will arrange a meeting to start the PLA process. You will also be granted access to an Online Student Toolkit that includes the following resources:

  • Detailed cover letter and resume template
  • Learning narrative template
  • Document collection template
  • Submission document template

To make an assessment of your learning, a faculty-based assessment committee will need to understand how your prior knowledge, skills and learning relate to the desired outcomes of your program or courses.

You may need to refer to course outlines and prepare a submission that clearly explains the relevance of your training. It is your responsibility to provide appropriate documentation to verify your learning claims. You will need a detailed resume that outlines:

  • Your educational background, both formal (i.e. institution-based courses/programs) and non-formal (i.e. work-based seminars, workshops and self-study)
  • Your work experiences detailing your responsibilities
  • Any other personal/professional information that may be relevant for PLA
  • Non-formal training, i.e. certificates/diplomas, professional workshops. Include a brief description of your learning, dates of training and length (in hours)

  • Complete the PLA application form
  • Pay the $450 non-refundable assessment fee

Once you submit your PLA documentation to the PLA coordinator, evidence of learning is then presented and assessed through one or more of the following methods (determined by appropriate faculty):

  • Portfolio of learning experience
  • Interview with content specialist
  • Challenge exam
  • Product or skill demonstration


Assessment results will be sent to you, to your faculty and the registrar. Any earned credit will appear at the top of your transcript or will be added to your file pending admission to your program.

PLA for Occupational Health & Safety Courses or credit for Military Training