The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a senior secondary certificate based on applied learning. The VCAL has been designed to meet the needs of students in Years 11 and 12 who require a senior secondary qualification based on practical experience.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a senior qualification designed to provide additional pathways for Years 11 and 12 students interested in vocationally orientated career options or moving straight into employment.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a one or two year Certificate. The VCAL runs parallel to the VCE and provides students with a wider range of educational and training pathways.

VET is optional in the VCE but essential in VCAL.

Our aim is to offer as much flexibility as possible and to suit individual needs, abilities and interests.

VCAL Design

The VCAL is accredited at three levels:

  • Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning – Foundation
  • Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning – Intermediate
  • Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning – Senior

The three levels will ensure that there are achievable learning targets for a range of students.

VCAL Curriculum Strands

VCAL Learning Programs comprise four Curriculum Strands including studies in Literacy and Numeracy. The four strands are:

  • Literacy and Numeracy
  • Work Related Skills
  • Industry Specific Skills
  • Personal Development Skills

The units and modules selected in each Curriculum Strand could comprise units for VCE, VET and Further Education and VCAL units accredited by VCAA.

Strand 1 – Literacy and Numeracy

This may include for example, the literacy and numeracy units from the VCAL or VCE English and Maths units.

Strand 2 – Industry Specific Skills

This may include industry specific units from VET programs, VCE VET or VCE Technology programs.

Strand 3 – Work Related Skills

This may include part-time work, apprenticeships, traineeships, or structured workplace learning – and units such as occupational health and safety or planning for employment ot further VET Certificates.

Strand 4 – Personal Development Skills

This may include local and community based projects, voluntary work and structured activities to help develop self-confidence, teamwork and other skills important for life, employment and active citizenship.

Who is the VCAL suited to?

VCAL could be considered by students who:

  • Are interested in apprenticeships or traineeships
  • Do not want to go to University
  • Do not require an ATAR score
  • Want a Year 11 and/or Year 12 Certificate
  • Want to stay at school to complete their secondary education
  • Are more attuned to applied “hands on” learning
  • May want to go out to work when they finish school
  • Wish to pursue Higher Education at TAFE or ACE (Adult Community Education) providers in the future
  • Want to develop more confidence in the workplace
  • Want to gain maturity before they take future steps

Structured Workplace Learning

VCAL students are encouraged to complete one day in the workplace each week. The work arrangement should be made by the student but must be approved by the school. NO STUDENT is permitted to be in a placement without the required Structured Workplace Learning Form signed by all parties. Where students are having difficulty finding a placement the school may be able to assist.

Once the arrangement is in place it is up to the student to make contact with the employer. In the case of an absence or an inability to attend the workplace it is essential that the student inform both the employer and the school. Un-notified absences from the workplace could be deemed as unapproved absences from school and count towards the total absence record.

Commitment to the Program

VCAL students need to be committed to their individual program. The school, VET or TAFE and the workplace need to work together for the program to be successful. Where students are experiencing any difficulties in any area it is very important to make contact with their Sub School without delay. Students could be jeopardising their VCAL certificate if there is a problem in any area.

Part-Time Work

Students should inform the Careers Coordinator if they are in part-time work arrangements. There are occasions when parttime work can contribute to credit towards the VCAL or VCE. Each case is different and needs to be individually assessed.



VCAL Certificate/Statement of Results/VET Certificate and or Statement of Attainment – where appropriate.

Satisfactory completion of an Individual Learning Program equals

  • 10 credits (1 credit = 100 nominal hours)
    Contain components from:
    VCAL units,
    VCE units,
    VET VCE units

A minimum of 2 VCAL units
One credit for Literacy and one credit for Numeracy
One credit for each of the remaining strands

  • Include 6 credits at the level of the VCAL award, of which one must be for Literacy and one must be for a VCAL Personal Development Skills unit.