Prior Learning Assessment Policy


The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) is intended to acknowledge and validate an individual’s knowledge and proficiency acquired through prior learning. This process enables them to earn college credit or other forms of recognition, thereby accelerating their academic progress or facilitating their entry into additional educational pursuits.

Our Policy

The Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) policy sets forth CICCC’s principles, standards, and requirements for awarding credit to students based on their prior learning acquired through formal, informal, and non-formal education.

This policy offers an overview of PLA concepts, the types of learning recognized, and the credits that can be granted in acknowledgment of prior learning experiences.

Important notes:
  • The policy is applicable to all CICCC diploma courses currently offered. All applications for a Prior Learning Assessment (PLA) will be evaluated in accordance with CICCC policies. It is important to note that an assessment of prior learning conducted before an admission offer is extended does not guarantee the applicant a place in the course.
  • To initiate a PLA, all applications must be submitted in writing, accompanied by the requisite paperwork, proof of transcripts, and the PLA review fee. Please be aware that additional charges may apply based on the number of qualified credits a student is granted.

Policy Principles

At CICCC, we are committed to lifelong learning, embracing formal, informal, and non-formal educational experiences. Consequently, we provide our students with the opportunity to have various forms of prior learning recognized for credit in the courses they choose to pursue.

Types of learning:
  • Formal learning: This pertains to knowledge acquired through a structured learning program and assessment that results in the full or partial attainment of a credential from a recognized PTIB institution or another qualification formally acknowledged by CICCC. An example of this may include formal work experience or a certificate.
  • Informal learning: This refers to learning through work-related experiences. Unlike ‘formal’ and ‘non-formal’ learning, it is not organized or externally structured in terms of learning objectives, time, or support from an institution recognized by CICCC.
  • Non-formal learning: This refers to structured learning programs that do not lead to a formal qualification officially acknowledged by CICCC.
Credit and Learning Objectives Transfer

Cornerstone facilitates the transfer of academic credits and learning objectives for students into a CICCC diploma program. This process involves identifying equivalence between Cornerstone and other institutions based on learning outcomes, volume of learning, program of study content, and assessment approaches.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

This process entails evaluating an individual’s prior learning gained through formal, informal, and non-formal education. The assessment is carried out by the Senior Education Administrator (SEA) and the PLA Committee, which plays a crucial role in determining the outcome of the credit application for Cornerstone’s qualification.

The PLA Committee comprises at least two individuals, in addition to the SEA, who possess expertise in the field of study related to the courses being assessed.

Policy Statements

A) Comply with course requirements

All other admission requirements must be fulfilled before a student can be admitted into a program, regardless of the nature or amount of credit or recognized learning objectives.

B) Prior learning needs to be up-to-date

For credit recognition to be approved, the applicant’s previous learnings must remain current within the context of the course to which the student has been admitted. The determination of the time frame for potentially accepted prior learning will be made for each course or program by the relevant Senior Education Administrator (SEA) and the PLA Committee.

C) Additional assessment

The SEA and PLA Committee of CICCC may, at their discretion and within preset requirements, establish additional requirements such as testing, portfolio submission, and academic paper writing for the credit and learning objectives recognition process. In exceptional cases, the Senior Education Administrator may, on a case-by-case basis, recommend to the PLA Committee the approval of credit recognition beyond the predefined limits.

D) Limited credits

Recognition of prior learning is limited to a single occurrence within a diploma program. That means that even if a student’s prior learning is deemed equivalent to another subject or course component, it cannot be applied again for credit submission within the same program.

E) Applicants’ responsibilities

Applicants are expected to provide all required information within the preset deadlines, as established by CICCC for the Prior Learning Assessment process.

Responsibilities of the SEA & the PLA Committee

  • The Senior Education Administrator (SEA) and the PLA Committee are responsible for:
  • All credit recognition matters,
  • The final decision on applications, based on objective criteria.
  • Ensuring the establishment and maintenance of a systematic approach to enhance the quality of credit recognition processes.
  • Staying informed about current and updated trends related to credit and learning objective recognition.
  • Implementing the Prior Learning Policy and Procedures.
  • Educating the CICCC community about the operation of these policies.
  • Reporting to upper-management as necessary, providing insights into the effectiveness of the policy and its implementation.

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