# 2016-225 - Prior Learning Assessment Review (PLAR)

Prior Learning Assessment Review (PLAR)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2017–04–11

The grievor was disputing the refusal of his Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) request regarding qualification for the Army Operations Course – Primary Reserve (PRes AOC). He alleged that his prior learning had not been considered rigorously and in accordance with applicable policy by the Canadian Army Command and Staff College (CACSC). He also objected to the time it took for him to receive a response and to the fact that the response letter was written in English, whereas his first official language is French. The grievor asked that the criteria on which the CACSC based its assessment be provided to him, that all documents associated with his request be reviewed comprehensively and that the PRes AOC qualification be granted to him.

The Commander Canadian Army Doctrine and Training Centre, as Initial Authority (IA), denied the grievance. The IA ruled that the PLAR conclusions were sound and based on a meticulous analysis of the file by the CACSC. The IA acknowledged that there were some procedural breaches resulting in a delay, but nothing that affected the quality of the examination of his request. The IA ordered the commander of the CACSC to amend policies and processes to ensure a 30-day turnaround on all PLAR requests. Finally, the IA ordered that a French translation of the refusal letter be provided to the grievor, accompanied by the detailed analysis and reference material used for the PLAR.

Following its own detailed analysis of the file, the Committee concluded that the knowledge and experience acquired by the grievor over his career, both in the Regular and Reserve Forces, matched up with at most 30% of the PRes AOC teaching points. This is not sufficient to support the conclusion that his prior learning is equivalent to the current recognized qualification standard for the PRes AOC. While the Committee can concede to the grievor that CANFORGEN 046/05 offered an AOC exemption to captains with at least 10 years' experience, that was a temporary measure applicable only to Regular Force members who had acquired their experience in the Army; this was not the case for the grievor. The Committee concluded therefore that the decision to refuse the grievor's PLAR request was justified and in compliance with policies. Finally, the Committee stated that it was satisfied that the IA's actions had satisfactorily addressed the response-time and official-languages issues raised and recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff deny the grievance.

FA Decision Summary

The Final Authority (FA) agreed in large part with the findings and recommendations of the Committee, concluding that the grievor had been treated fairly and in accordance with the relevant policies. The FA declined to grant redress.

The FA found that the Initial Authority's actions had sufficiently addressed the delay issue and the lack of detailed analysis provided initially in response to the grievor's Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition request. However, the FA found that it was still necessary for the Canadian Army Command and Staff College (CACSC) to review its procedures to ensure that official language policies would be systematically respected in the future.

The FA agreed with the Committee that CANFORGEN 046/05 did not apply to the grievor's situation, so he was not entitled to an exemption from the requirement to complete the Army Operations Course (AOC). The FA considered the grievor's knowledge and experience and concluded that his prior learning was not sufficient to grant him the AOC - Primary Reserve qualification.

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