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Prior Learning Assessment Program


What is Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR)? 

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is a process that allows fish harvesters to demonstrate prior learned fishing-related skills and receive credits toward certification upgrading. 

The Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board recognizes that skills and knowledge acquired by fish harvesters through fishing and hands-on experience are equivalent to a number of fishery education courses approved under the professionalization program. 

How is Prior Learning assessed? 

Professional fish harvesters will have the opportunity to have their prior learned skills and knowledge assessed. The assessments will be carried out by trained assessors, all Level II professional fish harvesters. 

Each PLAR assessment will involve an oral interview between the assessor and the fish harvester and a demonstration of his/her prior learned skills. Each assessment is normally between ¾ hour and 1½ hours in duration. 

How many credits can I receive? 


There are 11 PLAR assessments available - each worth either 5 or 10 credits. There are a total of 85 credits available from PLAR. 

What kind of things will I be expected to know? 


Upon approval of your application, you will receive the learning requirements for each of the assessments you selected. The learning requirements will list the specific knowledge and skills you will be expected to know during the assessment. 

For example, if a harvester is being assessed in Basic Netmaking and Repair, he/she will be required to demonstrate knowledge and skill in rigging and repairing a gillnet, basic knot making, rope splicing, etc. 

What are the requirements for participation in PLAR?

  • You must be a certified Level I or Apprentice harvester.

  • You must have been registered with the PFHCB and have fished full-time for a minimum of five seasons.

  • You MUST have experience, knowledge and skill in the area you wish to have assessed.

  • You must provide details of your fishing experience on the application form provided. Applicants will be screened, and only those with proven attachment to the industry will be accepted.

Where and when can I be assessed for PLAR? 


PLAR assessments will take place in approximately fifteen central locations throughout the province during the months of March and April. An information package, including an application form, will be circulated by mail to harvesters eligible for application at least one month prior to the start of assessments. 

How much does PLAR cost? 


There is a fee of $50.00 per assessment. For example, four different assessments will cost $200.00. The fee is payable to the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board (PFHCB) and must be received with the application. 

What assessments are available for credit under PLAR? 


* The number in brackets indicates the number of education credits. 

Fishing Techniques

  • Trap Fishing (5)

  • Gillnetting (5)

  • Longline Fishing (5)

  • Pot Fishing (5)

  • Seining (5)


Maintenance and Repair

  • Hydraulic Systems Maintenance (10)

  • Diesel Engine Repair, Maintenance and Lay-up (10)

  • Small Engine Repair and Maintenance (10)

  • Basic Netmaking and Repair (10)



  • Fish Handling and Holding (10)


Navigation & Safety

  • Basic Navigation and Safety (10)

In order to upgrade to Level II, harvesters must have a minimum of 10 credits in Navigation.

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