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Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition (PLAR) provides members the opportunity to apply experiential and external academic accomplishments towards the A.I.M.A. and M.I.M.A. designation and accreditation programs.

Benefits of PLAR

  • Reduces the time required to complete the IMA designation/accreditation programs
  • Reduces the cost of completing the IMA designation/accreditation programs
  • Decreases learning duplication
  • Standardizes formal recognition for experience and external course completions

How it Works

PLAR reviews and recognizes courses completed through external academic institutions or recognized organizations. External course content is compared against the content of a corresponding IMA course to determine if it qualifies for an exemption or challenge exam.

To be eligible for exemption, the external course must cover a minimum of 75% of the content of a corresponding the IMA course. Courses that do not meet the minimum exemption threshold may be eligible for challenge exam at the discretion of the Accreditation Committee.

Approved courses are listed by institution on the “Recognized Courses” page.


Exemption vs. Challenge Exam

  • Exemptions: Members who complete an external course approved for exemption are not required to complete a corresponding IMA course in the process of earning their designation/accreditation. For example, students who complete BUSI 344 through the University of British Columbia are exempt from IMA-343 as a requirement for the A.I.M.A. designation.
  • Challenge Exams: Members who complete an external course approved for challenge exam are not required to take the entire corresponding IMA course, however they must successfully complete the IMA course exam with a passing grade of 70%.  Once a challenge exam application is approved, candidates will receive a digital course manual and have 90 days to successfully complete their exam. 

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for PLAR, members must have a minimum of 5 years of related work experience for A.I.M.A. courses and a minimum of 10 years of related work experience for M.I.M.A. courses.

Application Requirements

  • Be an active IMA member
  • Transcript confirming successful completion of an approved external course
  • A current resume which clearly demonstrates years of related work experience
  • Supervisor’s contact information
  • Application fee ($150 per exemptions / $250 per challenge exams)
  • Apply here


PLAR Details


Recognized Courses

Review the current list of recognized courses.

Get a Course Recognized

Find out how to get your external course recognized through PLAR. 

Additional Information

Need more information about the PLAR program?

Ready to Apply?

Apply for a course exemption or challenge exam.