Recognition of Prior Learning

KPU recognizes that students attain significant learning at a post‐ secondary level from formal academic learning, as well as work, training and other experiences outside the formal post‐secondary education system. Those who have gained such learning may be assessed and receive credit for that learning to pursue further education within KPU through the Recognition of Prior Learning process (RPL). This recognition may be in the form of:

  • transfer credit for coursework completed at another recognized institution / organization;
  • prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) credit for significant learning attained through previous informal and non-formal learning, work and life experiences, or through formal learning that is ineligible fort transfer credit.

Students may be granted credit that can be applied toward admission requirements, toward the prerequisite requirements for individual courses, or toward the graduation requirements of a program.  Applicants should note that the credit  may differ in its applicability for the purposes of admission, registration or graduation. For information on how the credit granted may apply to program requirements and graduation, refer to the Graduation section of the University Calendar.

Transfer Credit

Through the transfer credit process, a student who has completed courses at another recognized post-secondary institution may request that these credits be transferred to KPU. Where KPU offers an equivalent course to that taken at the sending institution, the student will be granted transfer credit for the KPU course. Where no direct equivalent is offered at KPU, unassigned credit may be granted.

Courses transferred from another post-secondary institution are not included in the calculation of the institutional grade point average. The transfer of credits and the transfer grade point average become part of the student’s permanent record at KPU. Once transfer credit has been awarded and is reflected on a student's academic record at KPU, the same transfer credit will not be applied or amended for subsequent requests. To receive optimal transfer credit, students should request a transfer credit review as part of the application for admission, or as part of a request submitted prior to the completion of 30 credits at KPU.

Note, according to Policy AR16 a student may not receive two credentials for substantially the same coursework. A minimum of 50% of the course work for the second credential must be from courses or modules, including those transferred to KPU from another institution, that were not used to satisfy the requirements for the first credential.

Any student planning to transfer to another university or other post-secondary institution should be aware that transfer credits granted by KPU are not binding at other post-secondary institutions.

For information regarding transfer credit, please refer to

For further details, see Policy AC6, Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy. All KPU Policies can be viewed at

Letter of Permission

A letter of permission may be requested by KPU students who wish to take courses required for their program at another recognized post-secondary institution to transfer back to KPU. More information can be found at

Advanced Placement (AP) Program

All Advanced Placement (AP) courses are considered for admission in combination with an approved high school credential. Transfer credit will be assessed upon receipt of an official College Board AP transcript. Students who have completed Advanced Placement (AP) subjects will receive advanced standing in accordance with the table of equivalencies which has been established in consultation with the faculty.

For further details, please refer to

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

International Baccalaureate students are eligible for admission on the basis of successful completion of the IB Diploma. All International Baccalaureate (IB) courses are considered for admission in combination with an approved high school credential.

Students who have completed Higher Level International Baccalaureate subjects will receive advanced standing in accordance with the table of course equivalencies which has been established in consultation with faculty. The table of equivalencies is reviewed and updated by the appropriate Departmental and Divisional Curriculum committees each year. Transfer credit will be assessed upon receipt of an official International Baccalaureate Organization transcript.

For further deatils, please refer to

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a systematic credit-granting process used to evaluate and recognize prior learning. The process involves the identification, documentation, assessment, verification, and recognition of relevant knowledge and skills acquired through previous informal and non-formal learning, work, and life experiences, and formal learning that is ineligible for transfer credit when determining equivalency for KPU credit. The relevant learning is assessed and evaluated relative to the learning outcomes of a particular course or program.

Applications for PLAR are available from Student Enrollment Services. Before applying for PLAR, a student must meet with the PLAR Advisor in his or her program area for detailed information. 

Any student planning to transfer to a university or other post-secondary institution should be aware that credit granted by PLAR at KPU is not binding at another post-secondary institution.

For further details, see Policy AC6, Recognition of Prior Learning.

Methods of Assessment

The following methods of assessment may be used, independently or in combination, to determine if the PLAR applicant has met the required standards:

  1. Examinations

    1. Challenge Exam: A test or exam (written or oral) that is designed to validate the knowledge of the candidate as it relates to course requirements. A challenge exam may be the same test or exam given to students who formally attend the course. It is limited to questions that are directly related to the learning objectives/outcomes of the course.

    2. Standardized Test: Similar to a Challenge Exam. However, this test or exam is usually developed by someone other than the PLAR assessor. It is focused around widely recognized standards (as set by a department or professional/sectoral organization) that are equivalent to the course objectives.

  2. Competency Based Assessments

    1. Products/Portfolios: Documents or objects that have been produced by the candidate and demonstrate tangible proof of accomplishment. These may include, but are not limited to, reports, videos, illustrations, prototype models, or an artist's portfolio. Students may be asked to demonstrate abilities or answer questions about the portfolio by the PLAR assessor.

    2. Demonstration: Simulation or actual presentation of candidate's abilities, which may be live, recorded, or videotaped. The demonstration may include, but is not limited to, such activities as presenting a speech, role‐playing a situation, creating a document on computer, giving a musical performance, performing a lab experiment, interviewing a client, operating equipment, or completing a procedure.

    3. Interview: The PLAR interview is focused around course objectives and may include techniques such as open‐ended questions, case studies, and prepared analyses. The interview is used to clarify areas of learning, and may be used in parallel with other methods, as a sole method of assessment, and/or as a means to ensure authenticity of products.

    4. Worksite Assessment: The candidate is observed performing tasks as a part of normal work routine, or as specifically assigned, in the place of work. Assessment is normally made by faculty assigned to a candidate, but may also be made by a work supervisor or field expert. If performed by an external assessor, it may be followed up by a self‐assessment and/or interview with a PLAR assessor.

    5. Industry-Based Evaluation: Credit may be awarded through recognition of pre-assessed training based on established agreements with select employers, training organizations, Continuing Studies programs, recognized Credit Banks, or Red Seal certifications.

    6. External Evaluation: Assessment provided by an expert other than KPU faculty. Assessment method may include, but is not limited to, performance evaluation, letter of validation, or worksite assessment, and may require follow‐up by faculty.

    7. Self-assessment: Assessment performed by the candidate, usually with the aid of an established form or questionnaire. Normally requires a parallel assessment by a field expert and/or PLAR assessor.


The KPU Board of Governors determines tuition and fees:

  1. Students receiving PLAR credit awarded for individual course(s) will be charged the domestic rate of tuition based on the fee category for the assigned course.
  2. Students receiving PLAR credit(s) as a result of a competency-based assessment will be charged an assessment fee of $750 or the cost associated with the resulting credit at the domestic rate of tuition based on the fee category for the assigned course(s), or whichever is the lesser of the two.
  3. Students receiving PLAR credit for coursework previously completed at KPU in a different academic level may be exempt from PLAR fees, with approval of a PLAR advisor/assessor and the relevant Dean. Where a previous assessment is on file as precedent, a flat fee of up to $750 may be assessed at the discretion of the Dean with approval of the Vice President, Finance and Administration.

This online version of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Calendar is the official version of the University Calendar. Although every effort is made to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, KPU reserves the right to make any corrections in the contents and provisions of this calendar without notice. In addition, the University reserves the right to cancel, add, or revise contents or change fees at any time without notice. To report errors or omissions, or send comments or suggestions, please email

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