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Prior Learning Assessment

Setup, Registration and Summary Guide

When a department accepts a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) candidate, the Dean or Dean’s Secretary e-mails the Records Department with their approval to open a new PLA section. This will either be for a single-course, a Comprehensive, or a Clinical assessment.

Records staff will check to see if there is already an appropriate section in the system for the named Instructor in the current fiscal year. If one already exists, the department is notified of the section number to use on the PLA form.

All PLA sections are charged to cost centre 6326 and are continuous intakes from January 1 to December 31, e.g. C17N90.

Records requires the following information to create a section:

  • Course code and name
  • Entry and exit dates
  • Instructor's name
  • Includes all students with a start date within the current year

Records will confirm with the Dean/Dean’s Secretary via e-mail that the new PLA section has been opened/was already open, and what section code has been assigned. All subsequent PLA candidates for this same course and Instructor in the same fiscal period will be enrolled in this section (to a maximum of 5 per Instructor per year).

After confirmation by Records of the section, the Dean’s office will complete and sign the appropriate PLA Registration form for the PLA candidate to take to Registration. Only the Dean’s signature is required at this point for enrolment purposes. The PLA fee must be specified on the form. The fee is linked to the type of PLA being conducted under the appropriate Letter of Agreement for BCGEU or VIUFA regarding workload and reimbursement.

The candidate will take the form to Registration and be enrolled. Registration will bar-code and scan the form to the student’s permanent record. The PLA assessment fee is due at the same time other fees are due (first business day of October for the Fall semester, and first business day of February for Spring); if the Fall/Spring fee deadline has passed, then the fees are due immediately; fees are also due immediately during the Intersession semester. If not already enrolled as a VIU student, now or in the past, the candidate will also pay the current application fee for a new student.

Once the assessment has been completed, the Instructor or Department must complete a Summary of Results form and submit it to Records to be recorded in the student’s permanent record. Depending on the type of assessment performed (single-course, Comprehensive, Clinical), the result will either be entered as a grade for a single course, or as an Advance Credit entry in the student’s record.

Note: Instructors may enter PLA grades online in order to have them appear in the student record more quickly, but they must still follow up by sending the Summary of Results form to Records for processing.

Records will forward a copy of the Summary of Results form, as well as a copy of the scanned PLA student registration form, to the Secretary, Executive Director of Student Affairs. At this point, the Executive Director will approve and sign the received copy, and the Secretary will set the payment in motion.

PLA FORMS:

See also PLA documents under Faculty Help, at https://records.viu.ca/reg/private/htbin/srsprivate

For more information or assistance with creating PLA courses or submitting grades, please contact records@viu.ca.