Topic 7 – Barriers to PLAR

A host of factors can impede the successful implementation of PLAR. Negative attitudes amongst stakeholders, insufficient finances, lack of expertise and lack of awareness are just some of the barriers to setting up effective PLAR systems. The assigned Readings for this topic highlight barriers that are commonly encountered in PLAR implementation, while the Additional Resources provide further insight and examples.

Learning Outcomes:

Explain how barriers to PLAR might affect implementation.

Learning Activities:

Reflect on the barriers described in the assigned Readings and prepare a list of those that may apply to the scenario you identified in topic 4. Think about this in broad as well as specific terms.

Self-Assessment Items:

Reflect on the following:

  • How many barriers applied to the scenario you developed?
  • Do these barriers involve a variety of stakeholders?
  • Which stakeholders?
  • What might the solutions might be to these barriers?



Morrissey, M., Myers, D. [eds.] (2008). Achieving our potential: An action plan for PLAR in Canada. Halifax, NS: Prior learning Centre. pp. 409-413.

Van Kleef, J. (2006). Building PLAR through theory: The case for implementing PLAR in adult education practice settings. Unpublished Master’s Thesis, Saint Francis Xavier University, pp. 51-56.

Additional Resources:

Barker, K. (2001). Sustainability and Efficiency of Prior Learning Assessment in British Columbia’s Public Post-Secondary Education System Background Paper.

Harriger, C. (1991). Barriers to the optimal use of prior learning assessment: An institutional evaluation of perceptions of credit for prior learning. Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University Teachers’ College. New York, NY.

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