Office for Prior Learning Assessment

PLA Credential Review

***IMPORTANT NOTE: AFTER 9/30/20 Prior Learning will no longer be awarding credit for basic/standard CPR/First Aid training.

Students may be able to earn course credit for some licenses, certificates and other credentials from organizations outside the University, if these credentials represent learning that is comparable to that encountered in the college classroom. The PLA office reviews licenses or certificates to determine whether credit is applicable.

Please Note:  The USM PLA office reviews credentials that students have already earned through work/life experience.  The PLA office does not pre-review trainings, credentials, or learning experiences that students have yet to undertake.

Credential Review Submission

Before beginning the credential review process, students should:

  • Contact the PLA office at 207-780-4663 or by email at

  • Verify certifications are valid (not expired), not provisional, and will not duplicate credit already on the transcript.

  • Prepare training materials (certificates, syllabi, other documentation, etc.) and submit them to the Office for Prior Learning Assessment for review. Certificates can be submitted in person, by mail, or via email.

The submission of credential documentation does not guarantee the awarding of credit.  Credentials/trainings are evaluated using the following criteria:

  • Number of hours participants are engaged in training
  • Learning outcomes participants achieved in training
  • Types of assessments utilized 
  • Qualifications/credentials of the trainer
  • Minimum qualifications required of participants
  • Depth of engagement required of participants
  • Independent learning required of participants
  • Connection of theory with practice
  • Transferability of learning outside of the immediate context

Please allow up to two weeks for formal review.  The PLA office works with faculty evaluators to determine departmental credit.

*CEUs are not automatically equivalent to college credit.  All certificates that earn CEUs are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. 

USM Equivalencies for Credentials/Trainings

Here is a link to a detailed printable list of the most frequently reviewed credentials and trainings.

If upon completion of review credit can be awarded, it will be posted to the student's account free of charge. The PLA office will send email confirmation of any posted credential/training credits to the student’s University email account. 

Important Note:
USM's Office for Prior Learning Assessment reserves the right to revise, amend or change items set forth in our policies, procedures, and equivalencies at any time.  Students should be aware that certificate and training programs change frequently.  PLA staff may need to review any such program to determine the number and types of credits that may be awarded from its current format and duration.


Printable Credentials/Trainings List 1-21-21