Background/Context Of Prior Learning Assessment In the Words of Paul Zakos


 I have been actively involved in adult education, program and policy development, training and human resource development for over thirty years. I have designed and implemented education and training materials for adults in formal education settings and in the workplace. I have also acted as an advisor for the development and implementation of federal and provincial policy in relation to prior learning assessment and recognition and adult learning.

I began practicing PLA in 1979 when I was the coordinator of the Social Service Worker Program at Loyalist College in Belleville. Since then I have helped develop and implement PLAR and adult learning policies, practices and resource materials at the federal level and in several provinces across Canada. I have done similar work internationally in the United States, South Africa and Chile working with a variety of stakeholder groups and individuals to improve services to adult learners.

I have authored and co-authored three PLAR guidebooks.-one for adult learners and two for PLAR practitioners (advisors and assessors). I have also written numerous articles on PLAR and adult learning.

I was a founding director of the Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA) and its first president from 1994-2002.. The PLA Department of First Nations Technical Institute (FNTI) was CAPLA’s birthplace and its first home until 2002 when CAPLA assumed a more independent stance.

Paul Zakos