Prior learning assessment and recognition

NorQuest College supports the recognition of your current skills, competencies, and knowledge. Your experience gained through study, work, and life experiences can earn college credits.

When to request an assessment

Prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) will give you college credits toward a ministry-approved program. You must show prior learning that relates to the learning outcomes of the course(s). Once you have been admitted, submit your PLAR request as early as possible, well before you start your program. PLAR assessments can take up to 12 weeks. We focus on PLAR requests for the upcoming term. Requests for future terms will be held for processing once the upcoming term’s drop deadline has passed.
If you are enrolled in the course for which you are requesting PLAR, you must submit your request no later than the drop deadline of the course. You are not eligible for PLAR credit for a NorQuest College course if you have already attempted  or completed the course.

Steps for requesting PLAR

  1. Be admitted to or waitlisted for your program. We will consider PLAR once admitted or waitlisted for your program. Your program must be eligible for a credential. We will add PLAR credit to your student record once you are active in your program.

  2. Research your program’s courses. Find your program under Programs and courses. Review the descriptions on the course listings page. Compare your study, work, and/or life experiences to these descriptions.

  3. Discuss PLAR options with your program chair. Set up a time to meet with your program chair to discuss which course(s) you would like to request an assessment for. Collect proof of past experience that relates to specific course(s). Your program chair will provide information on the types of prior learning assessments. They will also determine eligibility.

  4. Request your assessment and pay fees. Email to request your assessment. In your email include:

    • the course(s),
    • your program, and
    • the name of the program chair you discussed your options with.

    The cost for an assessment is 50% tuition plus a $25 administrative fee for each course. PLAR charges are due at the time of the request and are non-refundable. Any outstanding amount is subject to a financial penalty.

    NorQuest assesses Tuition fees on a per-credit basis. Your program determines this rate.

  5. Complete your assessment. Your program chair will assess prior learning and grant or deny credit. We will email your assessment decision to your MyMail account. You will receive a grade of 'PL' on your NorQuest transcript.

  6. Submit your PLAR request before the drop deadline for your course. We will drop you without academic or financial penalty if PLAR is awarded. This may affect your full-time status in your program.

Other important information

Method of assessment

Method of assessment will vary based on the course for which PLAR is being requested. The assessment will ensure you meet learning outcomes for the course. Assessments may include:

  • portfolio assessment
  • examination and/or assignment
  • skills or lab assessment

Your program chair will provide your specific assessment information.

Residency rule

You must meet NorQuest College’s residency rule of 50% of the program’s credit load. This is the least number of credits you must complete at NorQuest to graduate.

PLAR for Practical Nurse students who are health care aides

If you are a health care aide and have been accepted to the Practical Nurse program, you may request:

To submit your request, email and include:

  • a copy of your health care aide certificate
  • a copy of your official transcript, showing completion of an approved health care aide program
  • a letter of employment or portability letter that shows you have worked at least 500 hours as a health care aide
  • proof of registration with the Alberta Health Care Aide Directory (or equivalent), with issue date and expiry date visible (Your directory license must be current and active at the time you are requesting this credit. If the license has expired, you are not eligible).