Overview

In May 2010 the New Brunswick Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (NBPLAR) Action Group was formed, following a period of consultation and visioning with PLAR stakeholders in the province. In balancing the experience of practitioner groups in other parts of Canada and NB stakeholder needs, NBPLAR chose to:

(a) target stakeholders of all types rather than only PLAR practitioners

(b) establish a comprehensive stakeholder group spanning all types of PLAR in New Brunswick rather than focusing on only workplace or academic PLAR.

Since the creation of the Action Group there have been a number of collaborative achievements including:

  • The development of a provincial PLAR training curriculum guide
  • Two modules of e-learning on PLAR and PLAR systems
  • Joint delivery of the 2012 and 2014 Symposia with the Council on Articulations and Transfers of New Brunswick (CATNB)
  • Delivery of “PLAR for Organizations” training following the 2014 Symposium
  • a series of research activities, including the feasibility of a provincial service and a survey of PLAR services in New Brunswick post-secondary institutions

In addition to these accomplishments, the NBPLAR action group has undertaken several activities to improve PLAR in New Brunswick which include conference presentations, dialogues with influencers and collaboration on a national Quality Assurance project for PLAR guidelines.

Given its stakeholder diversity and broad mandate, NBPLAR’s working definition of PLAR includes “the evaluation and recognition of non-formal, informal and/or experiential learning that can result in workplace recognition, academic credits and/or credentials, or other forms of recognition. PLAR includes such activities as competency assessment, learning outcome assessment and portfolio development.”

Mandate

The NBPLAR Action Group is established to promote and facilitate the delivery of prior learning assessment and recognition (PLAR) practices in New Brunswick through increased awareness, collaboration, and common terminology and tools.

Responsibilities

The key responsibilities of the Action Group include:

  1. Developing and recommending policies, procedures and guidelines to promote the provincial coordination of PLAR activities.
  2. Encouraging the development and refinement of PLAR policies and practices.
  3. Providing leadership in educating and informing New Brunswickers about PLAR.

Relationship to PETL

NBPLAR Action Group is a participatory group composed of organizational and individual members. Advice and recommendations proposed by NBPLAR Action Group shall be forwarded by the Executive Director to the appropriate person(s) within PETL. It is not a legal entity and has no legislative or regulatory authority.

PETL shall inform NBPLAR Action Group regarding actions which may or may not be taken as a result of their advice and/or recommendations.

Membership

NBPLAR Action Group shall consist of voting member organizations representing key PLAR stakeholders in New Brunswick and individual New Brunswickers who play a key role in PLAR at the local, provincial or national level. Membership shall be at the invitation of the Co-Chairs of the NBPLAR Action Group and shall include, but not be limited to:

  1. New Brunswick’s post-secondary institutions
  2. Organizations providing PLAR services to targeted population groups
  3. Federal and GNB departments whose mandates coincide with the delivery of PLAR
  4. Professional Organizations, Unions, and Employers
  5. Individual members who have played a key role in PLAR at the local, provincial or national level

Roles

The Co-Chairs of the NBPLAR Action Group shall be elected at biennial Annual General Meetings (AGM). The Co-Chairs share a combined responsibility to communicate and respond to communications in both official languages.

Role of the Co-Chairs -Dividing responsibilities among themselves, the Co-Chairs shall:

  • Preside at meetings of the NBPLAR Action Group
  • Oversee the production of the Annual Report
  • Function as a liaison with other organizations or delegate this role as appropriate.
  • Make any necessary decisions between meetings, in consultation with the Members and Directors
  • Function as an ex-officio member of any ad hoc committees that are formed
  • Oversee the preparations for the AGM

Role of the Directors – The Executive Director and Associate Director of CATNB function as Directors of NBPLAR Action Group and shall:

  • Provide support in the preparation for and logistical needs of meetings (including the AGM)
  • Ensure that required documents (minutes, agendas, reports, Annual Report, etc.) are prepared and available as needed.
  • Provide a liaison to PETL with regard to resources, finances, and similar matters
  • Function as an ex-officio member of any ad hoc committees that are formed

Meetings

NBPLAR Action Group shall hold four meetings a year (4x/year), typically twice (2x) in person and twice (2x) via tele/video conference. Additional meetings on special issues that arise may be called as needed.

Designates may be sent to vote at meetings where the organizational voting representative is unable to attend, but the intention to do so must be communicated prior to the meeting. The NBPLAR Action Group may review the membership of an organization or individual given sufficient cause, such as an absence of three consecutive meetings.

Decisions that require a response between meetings shall be made by the Co-Chairs in consultation with the Members and Directors. Consultation shall take place using various means of communication and voting shall occur as required. A review of these decisions will occur at the next regular meeting.

Members are encouraged to express themselves in the official language of their choice with the Directors assisting with translation as needed. All official NBPLAR Action Group documents will be provided in both official languages.

NBPLAR Action Group may create ad hoc committees as necessary to achieve its mandate and activities. NBPLAR Action Group may delegate responsibilities to these ad hoc committees as appropriate and likewise may require reporting from the ad hoc committees activities as appropriate.

An Annual General Meeting (AGM) is required, during which time the Annual Report and Work Plan will be approved for submission to PETL. Co-Chairs may also be elected during the AGM per the Role Description (see Roles)

Finances

Any financial disbursements required to achieve the mandate and activities of NBPLAR Action Group will be carried out by the Financial Services unit of PETL in accordance with the financial policies of the Government of New Brunswick (GNB). Costs associated with meeting attendance are the responsibility of the member organizations. The fiscal year of NBPLAR extends from April 1 to March 31 to align with the GNB fiscal year.

Conflict of Interest

Members of the Action Group and/or the individuals representing them must avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest whenever possible. Any such conflicts must be declared at the start of an NBPLAR Action Group meeting and the member representative must abstain from voting on decisions that would convey a benefit to the member organization he or she represents or to him or herself personally. When in doubt about any potential conflict, such concerns should be discussed with the Co-Chairs as appropriate.

Member Confidentiality

Any materials received by members of NBPLAR Action Group that are deemed confidential by other members or meeting participants are not to be discussed or disclosed with anyone beyond the bounds of the NBPLAR Action Group.

 

Approved:   October 26, 2010                                                                     Last Amended:  June 2, 2016