VCAL – Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

​VCAL is a hands-on option for Year 11 and 12 students, offering practical work-related experience and literacy and numeracy skills.

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

Students can do VCAL in Year 11 or 12, with the option of doing a part-time apprenticeship or traineeship at the same time.

Students who complete VCAL have several career options, including transferring to VCE, studying at TAFE, doing an apprenticeship or traineeship or starting a job once school has finished.

Choosing VCAL studies

VCAL students can choose studies from accredited modules within the following four compulsory strands:

  • literacy and numeracy skills. Each VCAL program includes literacy and numeracy subjects selected from VCAL units, VCE units or other further education studies.
  • industry-specific skills. Each VCAL program at the intermediate and senior level includes studies from nationally recognised vocational education and training (VET) programs. Students can also do a school-based apprenticeship as part of VCAL.
  • work-related skills. Each VCAL program includes work-related skills to make students employable. Students can do a structured work placement, a school-based apprenticeship or part-time work as part of VCAL.
  • personal development skills. Each VCAL program includes projects and activities in students’ community or school to help them develop teamwork skills, self-confidence and other skills important for life and work.

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

Options after VCAL

Students who complete 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 VCAL at the foundation level in Year 11 and successfully complete it, they decide to go on to complete either the intermediate or senior level of VCAL in Year 12.

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

VCAL assessment and results

VCAL is made up of accredited courses/certificates. It is assessed by the student’s teacher in accordance with the 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 level they chose to complete. They will also receive a statement of results, listing all VCE and VCAL units successfully completed as part of their 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