Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition for Mature Students (MPLAR)

Mature students who are 18 years of age or older on or after January 1st of the current school year and who are enrolled in a program for the purposes of obtaining their Ontario Secondary School Diploma, may apply to have some secondary school credits granted to them under the Ministry of Education’s Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition for Mature Students (MPLAR) process. The MPLAR process recognizes the knowledge and skills that adults have acquired through formal and informal experiences outside of secondary school. 

Students may have their knowledge and skills evaluated against the expectations in the Ministry of Education curriculum. Credits are awarded based on “prior learning” acquired through formal or informal work experience, training programs,  volunteer and life experiences and education.


To qualify for MPLAR a mature student must:

  • be at least 18 years of age on or after January 1st of the current school year
  • must be enrolled in a program with the purpose of obtaining an Ontario Secondary School Diploma
  • have less than 26 credits 


The MPLAR Process:

Grade 9 & 10 Credits 

Mature students may earn up to 16 credits through an equivalency process or by completing four subject based assessments.

Grade 11 & 12 Credits 

Mature students may be granted up to 10 credits through the equivalency and/or challenge process.

Equivalency Process: Mature students have their credentials and evidence of formal and informal training and experiences evaluated against the current Ontario Curriculum. Appropriate documentation from within and outside of Ontario are considered. 

Challenge Process:  Learning is evaluated using assessments for the purpose of granting credits based on current Ontario curriculum expectations. Students may challenge for a previously failed course. 


Mature students may acquire up to 26 equivalent credits through MPLAR. In order to graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma, mature students must complete a minimum of four grade 11 and 12 credit courses, including Grade 11 and 12 English, Grade 11 or 12 Mathematics and Grade 11 or 12 Computer Science, Mathematics or Technological Education.  The final credit may be substituted for any senior secondary course.

The final four credits may be completed through adult day school, regular secondary school, TVO's Independent Learning Centre, online learning, night school, and or summer school. Students may also have the option of earning some of the required credits through cooperative education.

Please note: Mature students who present evidence of a completed post-secondary diploma and/or degree from an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution may receive their OSSD by completing a minimum of one Grade 11 or 12 credit.

For more information please see the Guidance Department at Dr. Bette Stephenson Centre for Learning, Adult Day School or your secondary school.