Senior Secondary Certificate Programs

The new Policy and Advisory Library (PAL) is now available. This page will be redirected to PAL from the start of Term 3. Make sure to update your bookmarks to the new PAL site.

Purpose of this policy

To support schools providing a broad range of programs for students in the later years.


The two senior secondary certificates in Victoria are:

1. Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is based on applied learning and designed to:

  • give students practical work-related experience, literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for work and life
  • provide the skills, knowledge and attitudes to enable students to make informed choices regarding pathways to work and further education.

2. Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is undertaken by students in Years 11 and 12 but can be started in Year 10.  It provides a range of subjects to meet the needs of students and provides pathways to further study at university, TAFE or employment.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) in Schools is a vocationally oriented program that is part of either VCAL or VCE.  It provides credit towards these certificates as well as the opportunity to undertake  a nationally recognised VET qualification within the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Note: The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) is responsible for the curriculum, assessment and certification of both the VCE and the VCAL.

Department resources

General advice for parents can be found on the Department's website, Career Planning - Study options in Year 11 and 12

Other resources

  • See VCAA: which has the annual VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook.  This handbook provides all administrative advice and regulations as well as policy and regulatory matters for the VCE and VCAL. VCE study designs, their companion assessment handbooks and teaching and learning resources are all available on the VCAA website.
  • For full program details see VCAA's: