Ontario's Designated Provider of Distance Education

Independent Learning Centre

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) Requirements

Credits for Prior Learning

If you are a mature student, you may be able to receive Maturity or Prior Learning credits depending on when you first entered secondary school.

Who is a Mature Student?

A mature student is someone who:

  • is at least 18 years old
  • has not attended a traditional  school (i.e. Day School) for at least one year
  • is enrolled in a secondary school credit program for the purpose of obtaining an OSSD (such as the ILC)

Two Routes to Credit:

1. Maturity Credits 2. PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition) for Mature Students

You may be eligible for Maturity Credits if you:

a. Started high school in Ontario before September 1, 1999, or

b. Enrolled in an Ontario secondary school as an adult (18+) before February 1, 2004

You may be eligible for PLAR credits if you:

a. Started high school in Ontario after September 1, 1999, or

b. First enrolled in an Ontario secondary school after February 1, 2004

How many maturity credits can I earn?

You may be recommended for up to 12 maturity credits for:

  • life and work experience since leaving secondary school
  • successful completion of courses not usually considered secondary school subjects (this could be certification or designation in a specific program that required a minimum of 110 hours of instruction or training)
  • successful completion of each period of an apprenticeship program (for example, electrician, hairdresser or mechanic)

How Do I apply for Maturity Credits?

After you have completed one full ILC course, you may submit a request to the attention of the ILC Learner Advisor department for an official diploma assessment. You will need to submit your original secondary school transcript, a current resume and (if applicable) original documentation of courses and training completed outside of secondary school.

If all documentation is in order, you will receive a one-page diploma assessment outlining your diploma requirements and the number of maturity credits you have been granted.

Can I earn my diploma with maturity credits?

No, a mature student must still complete a minimum of four Grade 11 or Grade 12 credits after becoming a mature student. These credits must include Grade 11 or 12 English. ILC's diploma assessment will tell you exactly how many more credits you need.

Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) is the formal evaluation and credit granting process whereby students may obtain credits for prior learning. Prior learning includes the knowledge and skills that you have acquired, in both formal and informal ways, outside of secondary school. You may have your knowledge and skills evaluated against the expectations outlined in provincial curriculum policy documents in order to earn credits towards the secondary school diploma. All credits granted through the PLAR process must represent the same standards of achievement as credits granted to students who have taken the courses.

Request for a PLAR Assessment

NOTE: The ILC only offers PLAR assessments for Grade 11 and 12 equivalency credits.

  • You may ask for an assessment of your diploma requirements after you have successfully completed one course with the ILC and submitted an original student transcript.
  • If you have completed the eligibility requirements outlined on the PLAR Fact Sheet, you will be asked to complete the PLAR Application Package.

Need Advice?

If you need advice about diploma requirements or choosing courses, please contact the ILC Learner Services and ask to speak with a Learner Advisor.

Learn more about Diploma Requirements.