Policy Details

2000-1-10 Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition - Internal & External

Responsible Executive Senior Vice-President, Academic & Student Success
Directory, Institutional Intelligence & Registrar
Issue Date October 31, 2016
Supersedes Date March 28, 2017
Last Review April 7, 2021
Last Revision April 7, 2021

Upon request, the college will provide a copy of this policy in an alternate format.

Lambton College recognizes the learning that takes place at other post-secondary institutions and endeavours to recognize that learning through the granting of credit. Lambton College also recognizes that learning may take place outside of formal post-secondary institutions through life experience, non-formal study, work and training. Through the assessment of prior learning - both formal and informal - using processes that enable the student to demonstrate the prior learning, Lambton College can recognize and grant credit towards a program or course.


Transfer Credit (TC)

  1. A Transfer Credit (TC) may be awarded for a Lambton College course on the basis of a course that the student successfully completed at another post-secondary institution, which is determined to be substantially similar to the Lambton College course. For the course to be deemed substantially similar, it must:
    1. cover or match 70% of the learning outcomes of the Lambton course,
    2. demonstrate a rigour and depth comparable to the Lambton course, and
    3. employ an evaluation scheme of reasonable soundness, with a variety of assessment methods and reasonable weighting attached to each evaluation.
  2. For a TC to be considered, the student must have completed the course at the other institution with a grade of C or equivalent mark, within the previous seven years.
    1. All currency considerations are dependent on the course and program in which the student is enrolled and will be determined by the program.
    2. A higher minimum grade may be required for a TC to be considered for specific Lambton College programs.
    3. Transfer student applicants, seeking credit for several courses as part of a program transfer, may be required to present a minimum grade point average for their program.
  3. The TC application and the awarding of the TC grade must occur before the Registration Deadline. See Registration (2000-1-2) policy.
  4. The student applying for a TC must provide a transcript documenting the completion of the course, an outline for the previously completed course, and any other documents required by the assessor to make a thorough and accurate assessment of the course.
  5. The number of courses and credits earned through transfer credits and/or Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR) are limited by the College residency requirements including the requirement that a minimum of 25% of the courses and credits required for graduation from a program must be earned at Lambton College or recognized as resident courses. See Residency Requirements & Recording of Courses & Grades (2000-1-9) policy.
  6. A TC grade carries no grade points and so is not included in the calculation of the Grade Point Average (GPA).

Advanced Standing (AS)

  1. An Advanced Standing (AS) grade may be awarded for a course on the basis of an assessment of the student by Lambton College (e.g. experiential learning evaluation, successful completion of a challenge test, assessment of cumulative formal learning, etc.) through which the student demonstrates achievement of course learning outcomes.
  2. Typically, but not necessarily, the determination of Advanced Standing will occur through the PLAR process.
  3. The awarding of the AS grade for a course must occur before the Registration Deadline for the semester in which the student would normally take the course. See Registration (2000-1-2) policy.
  4. An AS grade carries no grade points and so is not included in the calculation of the Grade Point Average (GPA).

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

  1. A person who has acquired knowledge and skills, through life experience, non-formal study, work and training that may be the equivalent to the learning required in a course or courses in a Lambton College program, may request a review and assessment of that learning, through the Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition process to determine the formal recognition (course credit) that may be awarded.
  2. A person requesting Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition does not need to be enrolled in a Lambton College program at the time of the request. The requestor must, however, demonstrate that through life experience, non-formal study, or work and training experience that there is sufficient background to undertake PLAR.
  3. The assessment of the student’s learning will be undertaken by a content-expert College faculty member. Credit will be awarded only for learning that can be demonstrated and not for experience. The assessment may be based on a challenge process or portfolio assessment. The method(s) of assessment will be determined by the faculty member in discussion with the student and will vary according to the subject matter being assessed.
  4. A fee will be levied for PLAR, payable at the time of registering for PLAR. After meeting with the faculty assessor, and once the assessment criteria and requirements have been established by the faculty assessor, the student may either indicate that they wish to proceed or may withdraw the application for PLAR within five working days and be refunded the PLAR fee minus a processing fee.
  5. Once the student has indicated the desire to proceed, the student must complete all requirements within four months in the case of a single course assessment, and within eight months in the case of a multi-course assessment.
  6. A grade and credit will be awarded only if the student demonstrates sufficient current learning as determined by the faculty evaluator. The grade awarded will be commensurate with the demonstrated learning relative to normal grading expectations for the course(s). The grade awarded will be one of the grades normally awarded for that course:
    1. In some circumstances, such as the inappropriateness or inability to evaluate to the precision of an individual grade, and with the approval of the Dean, an AS grade may be awarded;
    2. Where the prior learning is being assessed across multiple courses for credit in a single course, the use of the AS grade may be more appropriate.
  7. The grade for a course earned through PLAR will be recorded on the student's transcript.
  8. The grade and credit earned through PLAR will not be designated or in any way identified on the student transcript as having been earned through the PLAR process.
  9. Unsuccessful attempts through PLAR will not be recorded or noted on the student transcript.
  10. Grades earned through PLAR may not count for more then 50% of the courses or credits required for graduation from a program. See the Residency Requirements & Recording of Courses & Grades (2000-1-9) policy.
  11. A student currently registered in a course beyond Day 10, or previously registered in a course, may not use the PLAR process to attempt a grade or credit in the course until at least one year has lapsed from the end of the semester in which the student was most recently enrolled in the course.
  12. Courses completed and credits earned through the PLAR process do not count towards meeting residency requirements. See the Residency Requirements & Recording of Courses & Grades (2000-1-9) policy.

Recognition of Internal Credits

  1. Equivalent courses completed at Lambton College shall be transferable among Lambton College certificate, diploma and degree programs. Credits earned through the successful completion of courses in one program may be recognized for credit towards the completion of another program.
  2. A course successfully completed within one Lambton College program required within another Lambton College program shall be recognized as meeting the requirements of the different program provided that any grade level and course currency requirements are met. No additional entry or re-entry of the course on the transcript will be made.
  3. A completed course may be used in place of an equivalent course in a second program. The grade of the completed course will be used in the GPA calculation of the second program, and no additional entry will be made on the transcript.
  4. An AS may be granted for a course when the learning outcome have been substantially achieved at an acceptable level in two or more other Lambton College courses.

Recognized Equivalencies

  1. The application for the recognition of a Transfer Credit, Advanced Standing or an internal credit must be made to the Registrar’s Office. In some cases, previously established equivalency is recorded on the information system and will be recognized by the system. The student will be offered the opportunity to accept the course equivalency for a TC or AS or a program requirement equivalent. In the absence of such an offer, the requirement to apply for the recognition of the internal credit remains with the student.
  2. The determination of the awarding of a TC, AS or recognition of an internal credit will be made by the relevant Dean after consultation with the appropriate faculty, and forwarded to the Registrar who will notify the student of the decision.


  1. Decisions regarding the awarding of TC, AS and PLAR grades may be appealed according to the Appeal of an Academic Decision (2000-1-13) policy.

For questions or concerns regarding this policy, please contact the Policy Sponsor by phoning our main line 519-542-7751.