What is PLAR?

What is the PLAR Challenge Process?

  • The PLAR Challenge Process is a process whereby active TDSB secondary or Continuing Education students may obtain credits toward the Ontario Secondary School Diploma for knowledge and skills that they have acquired outside of the classroom.
  • Students may “challenge” and earn a maximum of four credits for prior learning, including a maximum of two credits in any one discipline.
  • Students’ prior learning is assessed and evaluated to determine whether they have met the provincial curriculum expectations in a specific course.

What you can challenge:

    • Current TDSB day school and Continuing Education students may challenge only Grades 10, 11 or 12 subjects that are
      currently being taught in TDSB secondary schools.

What you cannot challenge:

    • Credits granted through the International Baccalaureate Program as a result of the specialized nature of the additional
      curriculum and certification process
    • A Transfer course
    • Locally Developed courses or IDC (Interdisciplinary Courses)
    • Gifted option and course types
    • Cooperative Education courses
    • A subject where a higher level of credit has already been granted i.e. you have Grade 11 Science but not Grade 10, you may not challenge for the Grade 10 Science.
    • You cannot challenge between course types for the same course for example: when a student earns Grade 10 English Applied he/she cannot challenge the Grade 10 English Academic
    • Multi-credit Technology courses
    • English as a Second Language or English courses
    • French as a Second Language courses (core, extended, Immersion) if the student has earned one or more credits in Français (French as a First Language) from Français Policy Document 9-12, OSS.

NB: Extended/Immersion French students who challenge Core French will be removed from the Extended/Immersion Program.

How do I apply for the PLAR challenge?

  • 1. Students are responsible for initiating the challenge process, and for independently satisfying all of the performance
    requirements associated with the specific course challenged.
    2. Attend the Information/Orientation session in February.
    3. Students must submit reasonable evidence of successfully meeting the provincial subject curriculum expectations, along
    with the challenge application, as proof that they are qualified to challenge for credit in a specific course, including a
    course prerequisite.

What is considered reasonable evidence for the challenge application?

    • Samples of relevant work, in keeping with Ministry curriculum expectations
    • Proof of successful relevant experience or independent learning
    • Video, audio or writing samples of relevant work

What if I take the challenge and am not successful?

    • If the application package is approved in April for the student to go through the challenge, chances are excellent that they will be successful in the challenge at the end of May.
    • Unsuccessful challenges will not be reported for Grade 10 courses. The policy for full disclosure that applies to all Grades 11
      and 12 courses taken during the day also applies to Grades 11 and 12 courses challenged under PLAR.

What do I need to enroll?

    • Credit Counselling Summary and/or Transcript
    • Birth Certificate and/or proof of citizenship
    • Proof of residency
    • Photo ID
    • $30 non-refundable Student Activity Fee – payable by Debit, American Express, MasterCard or VISA (No cash accepted)
Key dates in the 2017-2018 PLAR challenge process:
  • Monday, February 5, 2018 – Orientation session for all potential applicants, parents, and community.
  • Tuesday, February 6, 2018 – PLAR Challenge applications available in secondary school Guidance Offices from this date.
  • Friday, March 9, 2018 – Applications, with appropriate documentation, must be submitted by 4:00 pm to the school Guidance Office.
  • Monday, March 19, 2018, by 4:00 p.m. – First and second page of PLAR Challenge Application Form will be scanned to Pietra Caruso, Teaching and Learning (pietra.caruso@tdsb.on.ca)
  • By Tuesday, March 27, 2018 schools will deliver completed student packages to Teaching and Learning Department, East
  • Education office, 140 Borough Dr., 2nd : Att: Ron Felsen or Pietra Caruso
  • By Wednesday, April 11, 2018 – Principal or school designate notifies successful and unsuccessful applicants. Unsuccessful applicants must file an appeal within 5 days.
  • By Thursday, April 19, 2018 – Final date for successful students to confirm, in writing, that they are committed to undertake the challenge process. Final date for unsuccessful students to file an appeal with their Learning Network Superintendent.
  • Between Tuesday, April 17 and Friday, April 27, 2018 – PLAR Assessor contacts student for assessments.
  • Monday, April 30 – Friday, May 18, 2018 – Students complete PLAR Assessments
  • Friday, May 11, 2018 – Last date for students to withdraw from Challenge without a mark appearing on transcript.


The PLAR challenge process requires students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills through assessment procedures that include formal tests, group work, and other activities. The challenge will take up to 20 hours of classroom/assessment time. There is no teaching component to this process and only one PLAR challenge is permitted at a time.