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Prior Learning Assessment & Recognition (PLAR)

PLAR is a process that evaluates and distinguishes the knowledge, skills and abilities a worker has acquired through work, education and other experience. It’s based on an appreciation of the value of:

  • skills gained through work and life experiences,
  • abilities gained in industries outside the advanced wood products sector, and
  • training gained outside Canada.


Because PLAR values non-traditional means of training and education, it helps advanced wood products companies go beyond traditional labour pools to look for new employees.

WMC PLAR Project
In 2008, WMC conducted a project that examined PLAR’s potential to help employers find and hire suitable employees from outside the industry’s traditional labour pool. The project included:

  • gathering input from advanced wood products sector stakeholders,
  • reviewing PLAR use in other sectors,
  • conducting a PLAR workshop.


WMC’s findings suggested that PLAR offers many benefits to the advanced wood manufacturing sector. We encourage all our sector participants to apply PLAR to their human resources. It will serve to:

  • help fill labour gaps using workers from nontraditional pools,
  • fairly assess prospective workers’ training and skills, regardless of where these were obtained,
  • save time and money by helping employers find the right match for each job, and
  • promote careers in the advanced wood manufacturing sector to people who might not have realized their training and qualifications are valid for our industry.

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