PLAR Pathway

If you have significant IRB education and experience in all 4 IRB Divisions, the Specialization Program – Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) pathway will help you obtain your RCIC-IRB class of licence.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) Pathway

Practice before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) will become a restricted area of practice on July 1, 2023.

On and after that date, only Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) with an RCIC-IRB class of licence will be authorized to practise before the IRB.


Completing the PLAR portfolio requirements should take you less than a week.


 Competency assessment in all areas     $350  
 Specialization Exam      $450
  TOTAL   $800




How does the PLAR Pathway work?

You must submit a portfolio detailing your prior education and relevant experience. This portfolio should demonstrate the knowledge and skills you have gained from the work you have done and show how they match the required Essential Competencies.

Portfolio details and assessment

Your portfolio must include:

  • PLAR Portfolio Declaration attesting to the authenticity and ownership of the submission
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Autobiographical sketch with appended Attestation Form
  • Critical reflection essay
  • Verification of learning

To help you prepare your portfolio, read the templates and instructions in the RCIC-IRB PLAR Guide: A Handbook for Preparing a Portfolio.

A Portfolio Reviewer Panel will assess your portfolio submission against the Specialization Program competencies, which align with the Education Pathway courses:

  • Foundations of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB)
  • Foundations of the Immigration Division (ID)
  • Foundations of the Immigration Appeal Division (IAD)
  • Foundations of the Refugee Protection Division (RPD)
  • Foundations of the Refugee Appeal Division (RAD)

The Portfolio Reviewer Panel will determine whether you have provided sufficient evidence for your prior learning to be formally recognized; if this is the case you may receive credit for 1 or more courses.

If the Portfolio Reviewer Panel determines you would benefit from further education in 1 or more areas, you must register for those courses in the Education Pathway.


If you have questions about the PLAR Pathway, email