News

  • January 22, 2016 9:30 AM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    Learn more about CAPLA’S fourth and final webinar in the 2014-2016 series on quality assurance for the recognition of prior learning (RPL) and its implications for practice.

    Now that the RPL QA MANUAL is complete, we want to showcase its contents, share ideas and discuss recommendations, to ensure all users have confidence in RPL processes.  

    This special session will provide:

    1. Observations on the importance of recognizing prior learning in Canada and the urgency to ensure that quality systems are in place to foster the development of the RPL process 
    2. Illustrations on how the Manual can serve as a catalyst for organizational effectiveness and public policy direction to meet the needs of Canadians and newcomers
    3. An overview of the Manual with special attention on its effectiveness for auditing, developing or improving existing human resource and RPL systems
    4. Examples of how RPL is being successfully integrated into organizations and institutions to support and promote the development of individuals within the workforce

    WhenThursday, January 28, 2016 at 12:00 noon (Eastern Standard Time)

    PresentersSusan Simosko, Susan Simosko Associates; Philip Mondor, President, Tourism HR Canada

    Length60 minutes

    FeeThe webinar is FREE but you are required to register HERE.

    For more information contact the Webinar Secretariat at capla@agendamanagers.com or call 1-877-731-1333.

    Please download your free copy of the Introduction to the MANUAL by clicking HERE, so you can review some of the MANUAL’s resources. You can also purchase a digital or print copy of the entire publication for as little as $50 by clicking HERE.

    This webinar will be conducted in English.

  • September 23, 2014 3:30 PM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    The Pan Pacific’s Executive Chef, Daryle Nagata works as an assessor with the Multiple Assessment Pathways (MAP) project.

    daryle-226x300“In the restaurant industry, working under the old system of standardized written assessments, we had known for some time that the certification system wasn’t fully meeting the needs of the industry.” It’s true. Prior to the introduction of ITA’s MAP system, chefs were expected to pass traditional, one-dimensional tests in order to attain certification. “But how do you judge taste on a written exam?” Daryle asks. “So when a chef presented their certification with their resume, it was a start, but we still had a lot of work to do to determine if the chef met industry standards.”

    “Of course, we still do our homework, you always have to when you hire someone, but knowing that a chef has been certified using Multiple Assessment Pathways, makes it a lot easier. We know that the chef’s skills have been evaluated in person by a trained assessor, and that’s worth a lot more than passing a written exam.

    The program does not allow Daryle to assess members of his own team who are looking to further their certification, so he finds himself mentoring any of his team members with aspirations. “We want everyone to succeed and this program allows me to be a part of their success. It inspires people.”

    “I’m so impressed by the work that’s been done to implement this system. Since it’s a much more authentic way to assess chefs, and much more useful as a tool for our industry, there has been tremendous buy-in from all of the stakeholders.”


  • September 23, 2014 3:00 PM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    Premier Christy Clark laid out her plan for jobs in BC with her 2012 report “Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan.” In it, the government announces several items of interest to BCPLAN.

    First, $15 million will be provided annually from the Labour Market Agreement to create regional workforce tables consisting of employers, labour, industries, communities, local chambers of commerce, and post-secondary institutions.

    “Their input will inform how the Province delivers regionally based skills development programs, including $15 million to further support regional post-secondary institutions in addressing local labour needs.”

    Second, $6 million will be provided annually to industry sector partnerships.

    “[This will] help them identify their skill and workforce needs, with additional funding for upgrading skills so workers can benefit from these opportunities.”

    Third, a plan to host a trades training conference this year.

    “…bringing all partners together to identify ways to enhance the province’s trades training programs.”

    In addition, the government plans further actions in the coming months aimed at “improving access to skills and apprenticeship training,” as well as, “exploring the potential for a single body to oversee formal credential assessments for foreign-trained professionals.”

    We are excited about the government’s commitment to adult learners in the province and we are looking forward to exploring ways for BCPLAN to promote recognition or prior learning as a part of the solution.

    Click here to read the full BC Jobs Plan.


  • September 23, 2014 1:30 PM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    BCPLAN board members and advisors have been working hard looking at ways to position the or­­ganization to make the greatest impact for adult learners in BC.

    Five priorities have been identified and are currently being explored by members for consideration in the strategic plan:

    1. To make PLAR practitioner training options available in BC.
    2. To demonstrate that PLAR meets economic needs, saves money and supports the labour market goals of any government.
    3. To make employment service centres hubs for PLAR activities in each region.
    4. To substantially increase representation of BC employers involved in BC PLAN partnerships.
    5. To secure sustained financial support from provincial and federal governments.

    We are seeking input from all interested parties. Please use the comments field below to share your thoughts and opinions.


  • September 23, 2014 7:00 AM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    I’m delighted to draw your attention to a recent blog posting by Dr. Alan Davis, President and Vice Chancellor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Keynote Speaker, Summit 2013: Surging to the Future: Research-informed policy, practice and innovation in the Recognition of Prior Learning.

    In his post, Dr Davis eloquently outlines the increasing necessity for community-minded post secondary institutions, including KPU, to recognize and respect the skills and knowledge adult students have acquired through the workplace and community life and to incorporate this learning into a broader vision of post secondary education.

    Here is a brief excerpt:

    “…But if I called the blog “PLAR”, some would gloss over it, some would be put off by the jargon, and we too often pigeon-hole parts of our operation for administrative convenience so we don’t have to worry about everything all the time. It’s all about learning in the end.

    PLAR has a bad rap. Some see it as flaky, some as a threat to faculty work and academic control, some institutions do not do much of it, and KPU is behind many. So, here is my pitch, having seen again what people are doing across North America, and how powerful this can be.

    Learning starts the moment you are born (some say before that), and continues until the final revelation at the moment of death (there is a revelation, isn’t there?). Then there is the learning acquired in school and beyond, which, in many parts of the developed world, lasts anywhere from a few years to (in my case) 27 years before I got a full time job. This is­ our formal learning, which is always documented, and is easily transportable and recognized; although those with foreign credentials coming to Canada might disagree.

    Pretty well the rest of our learning throughout our lives is informal, almost always not documented and rarely recognized, but where would you be without it?

    You wouldn’t have a job, for one thing. Almost all hiring involves assessing who you are in terms of both your formal and informal learning. Think about it. We sort resumes into those who have the stated formal credential and those who don’t. For those who do, we started looking at experiences, knowledge, skills and attributes that are developed informally. i.e., we do a lot of subjective assessment of informal learning as we make very large dollar decisions.”

    Click here to read the full blog post.

    Wendy Watson
    President, BCPLAN


  • March 13, 2013 8:00 AM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    Gladys Ortiz immigrated to Canada from Columbia in 2002. While living in Columbia, she received a Masters degree in Community Development and worked for her municipal government as a Social Dietician and Community Nutritionist for ten years. She also instructed part time at a local university.

    Gladys OrtizWhen she moved to Canada she had intermediate English skills. She started looking for work but found it very difficult because she had no Canadian work experience and potential employers often thought she was over-qualified. “It was nearly impossible, I started to leave my education off of my resume.” Frustrated that she was only able to find work in shipping and receiving, Gladys continued to look for jobs more related to her skills.

    Early in 2010, Gladys heard about a program for foreign-trained professionals at Douglas College called the Tri-Cities Intercultural Workplace Project. After contacting Douglas College for more information about the program, Gladys was sure she had found a resource that could help her overcome the barriers that had prevented her from finding satisfying work in her field.

    She began the course in February 2010 and, since it was government funded, there was no cost to her. In addition, she received $400 a month to cover the cost of books, gas, transit etc.

    Three aspects of the program were most helpful to Gladys:

    1. English for foreign-trained professional: In this course students improve their verbal and written English. They also update their resumes, learn interview skills, and discuss job application strategies. They learn about the services and institutions available to support them in the Tri-Cities area.
    2. Introduction to community: In this course students learn about Canadian culture. Gladys said this was especially valuable because it has given her confidence to approach and communicate with business professionals because she understands Canadian culture better. Some of the topics covered in this course were economics, diversity, justice, how to approach difficult social issues (first nations, homelessness etc.), and exploring opportunities in a new culture.
    3. 100-hour practicum in the local community: Students were placed in a job in their desired field and assigned a mentor. Gladys said this was a fabulous experience because it allowed her to start building a network with professionals working in her area of interest.

    Gladys completed the program in August 2010. Although she hasn’t found a job yet, her updated resume is getting her more interviews and her level of confidence in interviews has increased. The staff at Tri-Cities Intercultural Workplace Project continue to be available to support Gladys.

    Gladys said that she feels confident, hopeful, and excited about her future. Her job search experience since completing the Intercultural Workplace program is like “being in a completely different universe!”


  • January 19, 2013 2:00 PM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    I’m delighted to draw your attention to a recent blog posting by Dr. Alan Davis, President and Vice Chancellor, Kwantlen Polytechnic University and Keynote Speaker, Summit 2013: Surging to the Future: Research-informed policy, practice and innovation in the Recognition of Prior Learning.

    In his post, Dr. Davis eloquently outlines the increasing necessity for community-minded post secondary institutions, including KPU, to recognize and respect the skills and knowledge adult students have acquired through the workplace and community life and to incorporate this learning into a broader vision of post secondary education.

    Here is a brief excerpt:

    “…But if I called the blog “PLAR”, some would gloss over it, some would be put off by the jargon, and we too often pigeon-hole parts of our operation for administrative convenience so we don’t have to worry about everything all the time. It’s all about learning in the end.

    PLAR has a bad rap. Some see it as flaky, some as a threat to faculty work and academic control, some institutions do not do much of it, and KPU is behind many. So, here is my pitch, having seen again what people are doing across North America, and how powerful this can be.

    Learning starts the moment you are born (some say before that), and continues until the final revelation at the moment of death (there is a revelation, isn’t there?). Then there is the learning acquired in school and beyond, which, in many parts of the developed world, lasts anywhere from a few years to (in my case) 27 years before I got a full time job. This is­ our formal learning, which is always documented, and is easily transportable and recognized; although those with foreign credentials coming to Canada might disagree.

    Pretty well the rest of our learning throughout our lives is informal, almost always not documented and rarely recognized, but where would you be without it?

    You wouldn’t have a job, for one thing. Almost all hiring involves assessing who you are in terms of both your formal and informal learning. Think about it. We sort resumes into those who have the stated formal credential and those who don’t. For those who do, we started looking at experiences, knowledge, skills and attributes that are developed informally. i.e., we do a lot of subjective assessment of informal learning as we make very large dollar decisions.”

    Click here to read the full blog post

    Wendy Watson

    President, BCPLAN


  • February 02, 2012 10:30 AM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    BCPLAN Considers the Path Ahead

    BCPLAN board members and advisors have been working hard looking at ways to position the or­­ganization to make the greatest impact for adult learners in BC.

    Five priorities have been identified and are currently being explored by members for consideration in the strategic plan:

    1. To make PLAR practitioner training options available in BC.
    2. To demonstrate that PLAR meets economic needs, saves money and supports the labour market goals of any government.
    3. To make employment service centres hubs for PLAR activities in each region.
    4. To substantially increase representation of BC employers involved in BC PLAN partnerships.
    5. To secure sustained financial support from provincial and federal governments.

    We are seeking input from all interested parties. Please use the comments field below to share your thoughts and opinions.

  • October 27, 2011 2:00 PM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    BC Jobs Plan

    Premier Christy Clark laid out her plan for jobs in BC with her 2012 report “Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan.” In it, the government announces several items of interest to BCPLAN:

    First, $15 million will be provided annually from the Labour Market Agreement to create regional workforce tables consisting of employers, labour, industries, communities, local chambers of commerce, and post-secondary institutions.

    “Their input will inform how the Province delivers regionally based skills development programs, including $15 million to further support regional post-secondary institutions in addressing local labour needs.”

    Second, $6 million will be provided annually to industry sector partnerships.

    “[This will] help them identify their skill and workforce needs, with additional funding for upgrading skills so workers can benefit from these opportunities.”

    Third, a plan to host a trades training conference this year.

    “…bringing all partners together to identify ways to enhance the province’s trades training programs.”

    In addition, the government plans further actions in the coming months aimed at “improving access to skills and apprenticeship training,” as well as, “exploring the potential for a single body to oversee formal credential assessments for foreign-trained professionals.”

    We are excited about the government’s commitment to adult learners in the province and we are looking forward to exploring ways for BCPLAN to promote recognition or prior learning as a part of the solution.

    Click here to read the full jobs plan.


  • January 10, 2011 2:00 PM | Andrew Skapenko (Administrator)

    A broad range of British Columbia’s educators and administrators convened recently to re-discover PLAR with a new energy, a new focus, and a new urgency. “This is not your grandmother’s PLAR” became the battle cry of the British Columbia Prior Learning Action Network (BCPLAN) Summit gathering at which the BCPLAN was declared as a not-for-profit society. This paper describes and situates BCPLAN as an emergent PLAR entity and considers its potential success against a historical background and a range of current issues.

    Read the full paper published in the Canadian Journal of University Continuing Education (fall 2010).


BC Prior Learning Action Network
Email Address: info@bcplan.ca
Mailing Address: 300 - 722 Cormorant Street Victoria BC V8W 1P8

© BC Prior Learning Action Network. All rights reserved.  

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