Alberta Provincial Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
In Alberta, a Prior Learning Assessment program is in place to confirm the level of skill and knowledge of a person for:
- advanced standing in an apprenticeship program based on Provincial Apprenticeship Committee (PAC) recognized training;
- advanced standing in an apprenticeship program based on previous work experience in a trade.
This prior learning assessment will take the form of:
- a review of original transcripts, diplomas and certificates; or
- verification of original or certified true copies of letters of work experience from previous employers; or
- a request from a current employer that is recognizing previous work experience of an apprentice; and
- an industry examination to confirm the level of skill and knowledge of the applicant.
PAC Recognized Programs
Individuals who are registered in a recognized pre-employment program must have the required educational requirements and successfully complete the program before they are eligible to attempt the prior learning assessment examination for the 1st period of apprenticeship.
Students who have the trade entrance requirements and have successfully completed the required courses in a Vocational Graduate/Undergraduate or Career and Technology Studies (CTS) Program can attempt prior learning assessment examinations for advanced standing in an apprenticeship program as outlined by the PAC for the trade.
Students who have successfully completed the required courses in a recognized technician or technology program can attempt prior learning assessment examinations for advanced standing as outlined by the PAC for the trade.
There are a number of other PAC recognized programs that would allow an individual who has made application for apprenticeship or is a registered apprentice to attempt prior learning assessment examinations for advanced standing in an apprenticeship program as outlined by the PAC for the trade.
Previous Work Experience
An individual may qualify for prior learning assessment examination(s) to determine credit toward an apprenticeship program if he/she has:
- the entrance requirements for the apprenticeship program in the trade,
- a minimum of 1 year documented work experience in the trade, or
- if a registered apprentice, a request from the current employer who is a party to the contract of apprenticeship and is recognizing previous work experience of one year or more and wishes the apprentice to attempt an examination rather than attend formal instruction.
In granting credit, the following standards shall apply:
- The credit granted for formal instruction shall not exceed the content in the formal instruction of the recognized training.
- The credit granted for on the job training shall not exceed the actual amount of time spent in the on the job training component of recognized training.
- The number of hours of on the job training outlined in the applicable trade regulations cannot be reduced.
- While a PAC may recognize, in whole or in part, a training program, course of training or program of study as equivalent to the on the job training provided in an apprenticeship program, credit for on the job training can be granted only when an employer recommends or approves credit.
- Apprentices’ must meet the “minimum requirements of apprenticeship” and includes the final period on the job training hours, one period of technical training in the trade’s apprenticeship program, and all required examinations completed in a span of 12 months.
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