VIU Advising Team walking on campus

Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)

PLA expands the ways Vancouver Island University can recognize the experience students bring to their post-secondary education. It is an assessment process based on the belief that adults acquire knowledge and skills through life and work experiences that match what we teach in a specific course or program. Individuals who have acquired learning through non-formal education such as work experience, self study, volunteer activities, and other life experiences can be assessed and subsequently awarded credit for a course or toward a program at our institution.

How do I Apply for Prior Learning Assessment?

PLA can be requested by applicants to VIU prior to enrollment as a student or by an enrolled student. Once accepted into a program, you may consult the program Chair to discuss PLA for individual courses or a group of courses. Acceptance as a PLA candidate is dependent on your ability to meet eligibility criteria for PLA in specific programs and is determined by program Chair and faculty.

Contact your instructor for Prior Learning Assessment Forms.

How does VIU Grant Credit for Prior Learning?

As a PLA candidate, you will gather and develop evidence to support your credit request. This evidence may include direct evidence such as responses to an oral exam, skill demonstrations, case studies and/or products you have developed. Evidence may also include indirect evidence such as non-credited certificates, letters of validation from employers, colleagues and/or clients, or special awards. Your evidence will be assessed by a faculty assessor who will recommend or deny credit. Credits obtained through PLA are recorded on your transcript.

What Will PLA Cost?

Please check with the Advising Centre or Chair of your program for current costs. Instructors can find these documents under Employee Resources, Registration Services, Help for Faculty.

Are PLA Credits Accepted by Other Institutions?

Credits acquired through PLA are granted toward a Vancouver Island University credential only. We cannot guarantee transferability to any other institution. However, many of the colleges and universities in BC, including our institution, are working together to develop provincial policies and standards.

Learn More About PLA

For more information on Prior Learning Assessment contact the Advising Centre at Vancouver Island University at or 250.740.6410 or consult directly with your Program Chair.