Prior Learning Assessment- Waive

Waiving a Prerequisite

This process is used when a candidate has sufficient training and/or experience to request exemption from a particular prerequisite for a CAA course. In the case of a progression of courses, this process can be used to skip a level and move into the more advanced course. Candidates should have an adequate amount of experience and training in the avalanche industry and be able to demonstrate proficiency in the target prerequisite and/or course's learning goals and objectives.


Example 1: The CAA Introduction to Weather course is a required prerequisite for applying to the CAA Avalanche Operations Level 2 program. You have taken a similar mountain meteorology course in the past and would like to apply to waive the CAA Introduction to Weather prerequisite to apply for the Level 2.

Example 2: An Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (AST 1) course is a required prerequisite to register for the CAA Avalanche Operations Level 1 course. You have taken a similar avalanche course in a different country and would like to apply to waive the AST 1 prerequisite to register for the Level 1.


The PLA Waive application process involves several steps- please review each step in the drop-down menu details below.

Step 1 - Complete Self-Assessment Form

The Self-Assessment Form is where you will fill out the majority of your information to waive a CAA course. Use the example provided at the top of the form to guide you on how to complete the form and follow the detailed instructions. Ensure that you are filling out reasoning and information for each point of the CAA Course DACUM that you are waiving. Note: As this is a Word document you must download/open to view.
  1. Review the article "Learn what a DACUM is and why it's important" to gain an understanding of how a course DACUM describes the level of knowledge, skills, and/or practice expected for each learning objective. The DACUM for the course you are wishing to waive can be found under the 'Program Goals' tab of the specific course under the Training tab of the CAA website.
  2. Describe course work, learning and/or work situations you have faced and how that supports your meeting the course learning outcomes. Use the template found in the PLA Self-Assessment Waive Form to organize your response. The first column should correspond to the DACUM (goals and learning outcomes) of the prerequisite course you are applying to waive.
  3. Provide supporting evidence, which typically falls under the following categories: educational (formal, university, professional, in-house), career accomplishments (e.g. project results) or relevant experience (resume).
  4. Describe each piece of evidence in detail, indicating how it applies to the relevant course goal, as well as the associated learning outcomes. Indicate the period of time involved: 2 days, 3 weeks or 1 season, full-time. You may refer to your resume, job descriptions, projects you have done, courses you have taken and so on.

Step 2 - Prepare Supporting Documentation

We strongly recommend providing us with accompanying documentation that will support your application to waive a CAA course. Supporting documentation can include the following:

  • Professional Resume
  • Course certificates (with student's name, completion date, and institution name)
  • Course curriculums (e.g. schedule, course outline, assessment methods and results)

Supporting documentation should be saved as a PDF, JPEG, or GIF file for uploading to the Online PLA Waive Application Form.

*Please note: If additional information and/or supporting documentation is requested by the CAA once we have started reviewing your application, you will be given a timeline of one month to provide this to the CAA in order to complete the PLA review process. Failure to meet this requirement will result in a denial of your application

Step 3 - Contact a Professional Reference

Each PLA Waive application must be accompanied by a PLA Reference. (The only exception is if you're applying to have the Avalanche Skills Training Level 1 (AST 1) prerequisite waived; no reference letter is required for waiving an AST 1.)


After completing the self-assessment form, contact a CAA Professional Member1 to act as a reference for your application. This person should be familiar with your avalanche-related experience AND have completed the CAA course you are applying to waive.


You will need to provide them with your completed self-assessment form along with the CAA course DACUM. It is their role to review your self-assessment and assess whether you have achieved the minimum proficiencies of the CAA course you are waiving. They must complete the online CAA Professional Member PLA reference form (right click to copy link) found in the Members Only section of the CAA website. All references are confidential.


Follow up with your reference person to make sure they have completed the online reference form. It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure their reference letter has been submitted.


If you do not know a CAA Professional Member who has taken the course and that can act as your reference, then please do the following: 

  • Find a qualified person who understands the goals and learning outcomes outlined in the CAA course DACUM you wish to waive.
  • Provide them with your self-assessment form, the CAA course DACUM, and the link to the online Non-CAA Member PLA Reference Form (right click to copy link).

Step 4 - Application Fees

PLA Waive application Fees:


PLA Waive application for courses 4 days or less (AST 1 & 2, Introduction to Weather, AvSAR Advanced Skills, AvSAR Practical Skills Assessment, Level 2 Module 1 or 2): $30.


PLA Waive application for courses greater than 4 days (Level 1, Level 2 Module 3, Level 2 (entire program), Level 3, Mapping): $60.

Step 5 - Submit Online Application Form

To access and submit a PLA waive application you need to have already created a CAA User account on our website. 


To apply for a PLA please click on one of the links below. Be sure to have read this webpage thoroughly, have your Self-Assessment Form and supporting documents ready, and have contacted a reference who has agreed to submit a reference on your behalf. Payment can be made by credit card.


Please note: You can not save an application submission and return to complete it later. You must complete the application in its entirety in order to save and submit the information.


Online PLA Application- Waive Forms:

Box 2759, 110 MacKenzie Ave
Revelstoke, BC Canada, V0E 2S0
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