Prior Learning Assessment in Canada


The Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment – CAPLA – organised an important conference “Recognizing Learning, Skills and Competencies: Strengthening Today’s Workplace for a Better Tomorrow” on 22-24 October in Halifax, Canada.

The conference was attended by 250 participants, mostly stakeholders in public policy, labour force development, immigrant integration, occupational and regulatory certification, career development, employment counselling, and credential assessment. After her opening remarks, the Nova Scotia Minister of Education, Marilyn More, presented the Recognizing Learning Awards to the 2012 award recipients. In her opening, she made strong advocacy for Recognition Validation and Accreditation (RVA). In his keynote, Len Jillard, Senior Vice President of McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited, made an equally strong advocacy for RVA based on the human resource policy of McDonald’s. McDonald’s is a large multinational company with over one million employees worldwide.

UIL director Arne Carlsen presented the newly released UNESCO Guidelines for the Recognition, Validation and Accreditation of the Outcomes of Non-formal and Informal Learning, which were well received by the North American practitioners in attendance. Mr Carlsen made extensive reference to Education First, the new education initiative of the Secretary-General of UN, and to the mismatch between skills development and the need in livelihoods. Case studies from South Africa, Ireland, and Canada were discussed in a webinar in relation to national qualifications frameworks and systems for lifelong learning and related to the UNESCO Guidelines presented.