ABM College recognizes that learning is a continual process that can be achieved through formal, non-formal, and informal avenues including credit courses and programs offered at other institutions, non-credit courses, on-the-job training professional workshops, and skills gained outside the classroom through life and workplace experiences.

ABM College is fully supportive of developing ways and means to provide appropriate recognition of a learner’s prior experiences or education. In assessing previous learning, the integrity of ABM College credentials and graduation standards are the overriding considerations.


Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process of identifying, assessing, and recognizing what a person knows and what skills and abilities he/she can demonstrate. The assessment and recognition process can take various forms and the outcomes can be used for a number of purposes relevant to the educational goals of an individual

There are five (5) ways in which Recognition of Prior Learning can be undertaken:

  • Transfer credit
  • Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) of Experiential Learning (work and life experience)
  • Challenge exam
  • Internal transfer credit
  • Course substitution

All applicants, who have been admitted to an ABM College program can have their previous educational, life or workplace experiences assessed by the Academic Lead and Program Coordinator.

Students admitted into a provincially approved program at ABM College who have previously completed post-secondary studies are assessed for Transfer Credit. Other methods of RPL must be initiated by the student.

Students considering Continuing Education courses that lead to a college approved credential, may request an RPL pre-approval on a course by course basis. In this case, payment of administrative fees is required prior to the assessment being completed.

A student must choose one RPL method for a specific course. In some cases, a combination of methods could be considered if deemed appropriate by the Academic lead.

The initial assessment toward a specific course or program of study is based on the required competencies of the course(s) or program of study that the student is enrolled in at the time of the assessment. Any credits that are awarded through the review process may not apply in the same way to a different course or program.

RPL request must be made in a timely manner to allow for processing prior to the add/drop deadline of the course.

Applicants should be aware that the evaluation of requests may take up to 4 weeks and should submit documentation accordingly.

RPL decisions are at the discretion of the Academic Lead who consults with the Program Coordinators and Faculty as necessary.

Transfer Credit:

Transfer credit is a process of receiving credit for previously completed equivalent post-secondary education. Admitted students (to a provincially approved program) who have previously attended another post-secondary institution will be assessed for Transfer Credit upon receipt of transcripts. Detailed learning outcomes (Course outline and /or syllabus) from a previously attended institution may be requested. A Transfer Credit Fee will be charged to the student account for successful assessments.

Transfer Credit pre-approvals may be obtained with prior written authorization from the Academic Lead. Transfer credit may not be awarded if the pre-approval was not completed.

Students considering Continuing Education courses that lead to a college approved credential, may request a transfer credit review. Payment of an administrative fee is required prior to the assessment being completed.

In order to receive transfer credit, courses must meet the following equivalency criteria:

  • 80% of the course content must be comparable
  • Course credit hours must be comparable
  • A minimum letter grade of C is required for a certificate or diploma program.
  • Course(s) must have been completed within the last 10 years

Some exceptions may be considered at the discretion of the Academic Lead in consultation with the Registrar and Faculty and may require additional documentation confirming current and relevant learning in a related area.

Transfer Credit will result in credit being granted for the course but will not be included in the calculation of the grade point averages.


Fees are charged for each successfully transferred course:

  • $75.00 administrative fee per transferred course.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition(PLAR) of Experiential Learning:

If a student has current and relevant informal, non-formal or experiential learning, he/she can apply for a prior learning assessment. A student shoud submit one PLAR application per ABM College course he/she is seeking credit for.

As part of the application a student is required to submit a portfolio that maps our how he/she meets 100% of a course’s primary General Areas of Competency and 80% of the courses secondary General Areas of Competency.

Portfolios generally include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • A letter of introduction outlining how student has met General Areas of Competency
  • A recent resume
  • Detailed job description
  • Letters from employers/supervisors confirming skill level and ability
  • Proof of non-formal or informal training and education
  • Any other documentation student feels will help strengthen the application

It is up to the student to initiate the PLAR process with the Academic Lead who will then coordinate the review process. If successful a student is awarded ABM College credit and a grade of PLA is reflected on the academic transcript. The PLA grade is not calculated into the student’s Grade Point Average (GPA).


The following non-refundable fees are charged for PLAR:

  • $75.00 administrative fee per PLAR application and
  • Half the cost of tuition per course for awarded credit.

Experiential learning or non-credit learning is acquired through work experience such as employment, practicums and non-credit courses or through life experiences. The residency and length of time over which the experiential learning was achieved will be a factor during the review or evaluation progress. PLAR assessments will be reviewed by the Academic Lead in consultation with Program Coordinators and Faculty.

Challenge Exam:

Students who have acquired skills or knowledge relevant to the competencies of an ABM College course may request a challenge exam. These exams are not available for the purpose of improving a grade, nor are they available for all ABM College courses. The Academic Lead will consult with Program Coordinators who works with Faculty to determine if a course is eligible for a challenge exam.

To be eligible to write a challenge exam, a student must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Successful completion of a post secondary diploma or degree (proof required)
  • 5 or more years of industry related experience

Challenge exam applications, writing and grading must be completed by the add/drop deadline of the course that is being challenged.

To be granted credit from a challenge exam a student must meet a minimum of C grade (70-79%). Upon successful completion, a grade of “P” will be issued on the student’s transcript. The “P” grade will not be calculated into the Grade Point Average(GPA). If unsuccessful, a grade of “F” will be assigned and this grade will be calculated into the GPA.


The following non-refundable fees are charged for challenge exams:

  • $75.00 administrative fee per challenge exam application, due prior to writing each exam, and
  • Half the cost of tuition per course for awarded credit.

Internal Transfer Credit:

Internal transfer credit may be issued for a course if a student has previously completed an ABM College course that shares 80% of the general areas of competencies. The course may have been for a different program or a previous version of the current course. In either instance, courses must have been completed within the last 10 years. The course will be recorded on the student transcript and included in the Grade Point Average (GPA) calculation.

Course Substitution:

A course substitution may be issued for a course if a student has previously completed course competencies but does not qualify for transfer credit. In this instance the student is exempt form having to take a particular course, however, the credits must be replaced with a course relevant to the program of study in order to satisfy credit requirements.

A course substitution is generally initiated by the student and Program Coordinator, most often in the case of students pursuing a subsequent credential. Course selection must be approved by the Academic Lead.


Download the application forms:
Challenge Exam From
Course Add Drop
PLAR Application Form