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VCAL – Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

The VCAL (Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning) is a hands-on option for Year 11 and 12 students, offering practical work-related experience and learning.

Like the VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education), VCAL is an accredited secondary certificate and is also offered at TAFE (Technical and Further Education) institutes and a number of Learn Local organisations.

The program can be started in Year 11 or 12 and students can do an apprenticeship or traineeship part-time while at school doing the VCAL.

Students who complete the VCAL can choose several career options, including: transferring to the VCE certificate; going to TAFE; doing an apprenticeship or traineeship; and starting a job once school has finished.

  • Choosing VCAL studies
  • Options after VCAL
  • VCAL assessment and results
  • How to get started

Choosing VCAL studies

If your child chooses VCAL studies they will select from fully accredited modules that include units from the following four compulsory strands:

  • Literacy and numeracy skills: each VCAL program must include literacy and numeracy subjects. These can be selected from VCAL literacy skills units and VCAL numeracy skills units and/or VCE English and mathematics units or other further education studies.
  • Industry specific skills: each VCAL program at the intermediate and senior level must include components of nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) programs. Students may also take on a school-based apprenticeship as part of their VCAL program.
  • Work related skills: units in work related skills develop the skills that make students employable. VCAL gives students the opportunity to undertake a structured work placement, a school based apprenticeship or part-time work, as part of a VCAL program.
  • Personal development skills: as part of the VCAL program students will take part in projects and activities in their community or school to help them develop their teamwork skills, self-confidence and other skills important for life and work.

Students start the VCAL at one of three levels that best matches their needs and abilities – foundation, intermediate or senior. Many VCAL students complete the program in one year.

Options after VCAL

Students who complete the VCAL will have practical work-related experience and a qualification that is recognised by TAFE institutes and employers. This helps students move from school into work, an apprenticeship or traineeship and/or further training at TAFE.

Alternatively, if students start studying for their VCAL at foundation level in Year 11 and successfully complete it, they may consider going on to complete either the intermediate or senior level of the VCAL in Year 12.

Students can also reconsider their options and decide university is the right choice for them and transfer to the VCE. Any VCE studies successfully completed as part of the VCAL program will count towards the VCE. Intermediate and senior VCAL units also contribute to the VCE.

VCAL assessment and results

The VCAL is made up of accredited courses/certificates. It is assessed by the student’s teacher in accordance with the assessment requirements for each part of the program.

If students successfully complete their learning program they will receive a VCAL Certificate for foundation, intermediate or senior level, depending on the VCAL level they chose to complete. They will also get a Statement of Results, listing all VCE and VCAL units successfully completed as part of their VCAL course, and a Statement of Attainment for VET or further education courses.

More information

For more information on VCAL and school-based apprenticeships, see: VCAL

For career advice and information, see: Beyond School