Vocational Education and Training delivered to secondary school students (Reference 56)

Vocational Education and Training (VET) delivered to secondary school students is a key component of the Victorian Government's strategy to increase student retention and improve Year 12 or equivalent completion rates, by providing options for all students.

In Victoria, nationally recognised VET qualifications can be undertaken by school students to contribute towards the completion of a senior secondary certificate, either the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL).

The core learning allocation in the Student Resource Package (SRP) provided to schools for each student is the primary source of funding for VET programs.

Government schools are also provided with targeted VET funding to support the higher cost of provision in this area. Funding for VET qualifications is based on an eight band model and is allocated pro-rata for enrolments up to 180 hours per certificate per year. Targeted VET funding also includes a rural weighting for students enrolled in schools with a location index of 0.2 and above.

Eligibility Requirements for Targeted VET Funding

To attract targeted VET funding, schools must enter accurate details of all VET enrolments on the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) by the annual deadline, which, for 2018, is 30 April.

Students between 15–20 years of age on 30 April 2018 who are enrolled in eligible VET certificates will be eligible for targeted VET funding.

Certificate II and Certificate III level qualifications undertaken as part of a senior secondary certificate (VCE or VCAL) are eligible for targeted VET funding.

Certificate IV qualifications may be funded, provided the school has first gained approval from the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) to offer the higher level qualification to VCE or VCAL students.

Further information and an indicative list of VET qualifications eligible for targeted VET funding is available at: Vocational Education and Training programs for secondary school students.

Targeted VET funding is NOT available for enrolments in:

  • Certificate I qualifications

        Certificates in General Education for Adults and generalist programs such as

  • Certificate II in EAL (Employment) and Certificate II in EAL (Access)
  • Diploma level qualifications. Schools wishing to provide Diplomas may fund this delivery from the core SRP allocation.
  • School-based apprenticeships and traineeships.

A student who is enrolled in a school, either full-time or part-time and also enrolled independently of their school in a VET program at a TAFE or Registered Training Organisation (RTO), is not eligible to have their VET studies subsidised through targeted VET funding.

​School-based apprenticeships

A student enrolled in a VET qualification through a School-based apprenticeship or traineeship (SBAT) is funded under Skills First and is not eligible for targeted VET funding. However, for assessment purposes​, students undertaking VET as part of an SBAT are still able to gain credit towards completion of their senior secondary certificate. Further information on SBATs is available at: Part-time and School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

School VET Fees and Charges

VET programs are considered standard curriculum, therefore government schools must provide VET tuition free of charge. For more information on fees and charges, see: Parent Payments.

Schools must document, ratify and communicate to parents a school-level VET policy. The VET policy must be compliant with Victoria's Education and Training Reform Act 2006 and the Department's policy on parent payments. A school-level VET policy sets out the basis on which a school offers VET programs to students. There are a range of programs approved by the VCAA that offer students the opportunity to gain both the VCE and a nationally recognised VET qualification. Selected VET programs also offer scored assessment for Units 3 and 4 of the VCE.

Use of Targeted VET Funding

Targeted funding allocated to support VET provision can be used for a range of purposes including: 

  • a contribution towards the purchase of delivery from an external RTO
  • a contribution towards teacher professional development and training
  • costs associated with registering as an RTO
  • program planning
  • purchase of curriculum materials, and
  • costs associated with the transition to new training packages.

Contractual Arrangements between Schools and VET Providers

Schools entering into arrangements with RTOs must use the appropriate Department template and have a valid, signed Contract or Agreement. The available standard contracts and agreements are:

Standard VET ​​Purchasing Contract

This contract is required where a school offers a VET qualification and/or units of competency to their students directly through an external RTO.

Standard VE​T Auspicing Contract

This contract is required where the school is auspiced by an RTO to deliver some or all of the VET qualification and/or units of competency to their students and the RTO issues the qualification or statement of attainment.

School to School​ VET Purchasing Agreement  

This agreement is required where a government school purchases a VET qualification and/or units of competency from another government school, where the host school is also an RTO. 

School to School VET Access A​greement

This agreement is required where a government school purchases a VET qualification and/or units of competency from another government school and in these arrangements the host school is auspiced by an RTO. 

For more information on guidelines for the delivery of VET to secondary school students and the template Contracts and Agreements see: Purchasing Guidelines for the delivery of VET

SRP - Core Student Learning Component that may be used to fund the purchase of VET programs 

To estimate the program delivery component of core SRP that would help cover the provision of VET programs, costs are separated into three categories: (1) classroom teaching, (2) non-classroom costs, and (3) Computerised Administrative System Environment in Schools (CASES21) recorded expenditure. The costs, as a percentage of all costs at Years 11 and 12, are estimated as follows:

  1. classroom teaching: 57 per cent
  2. non-classroom costs: 26 per cent
  3. CASES expenditure items: 17 per cent

Total of all cost items: 100 per cent

It is assumed that:

  • 100% of the classroom teaching duties should be included in the calculation of the core SRP available for program delivery, as they all relate to the direct delivery of courses
  • Of the non-classroom costs, only a portion is related directly to course delivery. It was estimated that 50% of these costs were applicable to course delivery, and
  • Estimates from the SRP review in 2007 suggested that about 30 per cent of CASES expenditure items are directly related to program delivery and should be included in the calculation of the SRP core delivery.

The combination of these elements is used to provide an estimate of the notional proportion of core SRP available for program delivery: 

Classroom teaching (CT)100% of 57% = 57 % of SRP
Non-classroom costs (NCC)50% of 26% = 13% of SRP
CASES expenditure items (CAS) 30% of 17% = 5% of SRP

Therefore, the SRP available for program (including VET) delivery = 57% + 13% + 5% = 75% of core SRP.

The following example applies the proportion calculated above to Indicative 2018 core SRP to identify the amount of SRP that might be available to support funding for each VET certificate as follows:

Calculation                                                                       SRP

Indicative gross SRP in 2018 (years 11 and 12)              $8,624

Note 1: Only 91.5% of the gross SRP is used as 8.5% will be billed back by the Department from schools for superannuation costs in 2018.

Indicative Net SRP in 2018                                   $8,624 X 91.5% = $7,891

Proportion of SRP for program delivery               $7,891 X 75% = $5,918

Note 2: Average number of subject enrolments assumes an annual student program of 900 hours with a Full Time Equivalent FTE VET certificate enrolment of 180 hours.  That is, 900/180 = 5

Allocation per subject enrolment                            $5,918/ 5 = $1,184

Core SRP per full-time equivalent VET certificate enrolment = $1,184

If VET is one of 6 subjects undertaken by a student then the notional available SRP would fall to $986 per FTE certificate of enrolment.

If a student is enrolled in more than one VET qualification (which is often the case with a VCAL program) then it is expected that the school should be able to release a proportionally higher amount of core SRP to purchase those certificates.

Calculation of Targeted VET Funding

Criteria for determining targeted VET funding

A Full Time Equivalent (FTE) enrolment in an eligible VET course is defined as a minimum of 180 hours of training per year. This will attract the full per certificate amount. Enrolments of less than 180 hours of training in a year will attract pro-rata funding.

Funding formula 

Allocation to support VET is comprised of:

Eligible FTE certificate enrolments X Funding Level (for students aged from 15 years to 20 years inclusive of annual VET enrolment deadline on VASS)


FTE X Location Index X Rural Rate (Where Location Index ≥0.2)

Rates for 2018 

Confirmed band rates applicable in 2017 have been used to determine indicative band rates for funding allocations in Terms 1 and 2 of 2018. Rates will be updated in Terms 3 and 4 as per confirmed enrolments on VASS as at 30 April 2018.

VET Band Funding Level Funding Level  $ Weighting Level
Band Level 11,048.003.344
Band Level 2   935.002.986
Band Level 3   852.002.719
Band Level 4   804.002.568
Band Level 5   726.002.317
​Band Level 5a**  ​1451.00​4.634
Band Level 6   430.001.375
Band Level 7   352.001.122
Band Level 8   313.001.000
Rural Rate   532.000.000

** As a consequence of a major change in the CUA Creative Arts and Culture Training Package, the CUS30109 Certificate III in Music and CUS30209 Certificate III in Technical Production have been merged into the one qualification, CUA30915 Certificate III in Music Industry. Previously, it was common practice for students to enrol in two separate qualifications (Music – Performance and Technical Production) and be funded up to 180 hours for both. These enrolments will now be in a single Certificate III in Music Industry, with many students undertaking a scored Unit 3 & 4 in both streams in a single enrolment year. Band 5a has been introduced to enable funding for the two streams within the one qualification, up to a maximum of 360 hours.

Targeted VET funding operates within a capped budget.  This means that band rates may be adjusted up or down depending on both changes in total eligible enrolments from all schools and the spread of these enrolments across band levels. 

For example, even if the total number of enrolments does not change between 2017 and 2018, if there is an increase in the proportion of enrolments towards the higher funded bands, the confirmed band rates for 2018 may be adjusted down, once enrolments are confirmed on 2018 VASS census date.

Conversely, if the total number of enrolments does not change between 2017 and 2018 and there is a significant increase in the proportion of enrolments towards the lower funded bands, the confirmed band rates for 2018 may be adjusted up, once enrolments are confirmed. The impact of changes in enrolment patterns is spread proportionally across all band funding levels.

This reinforces the importance for schools CORRECTLY entering enrolments on VASS by the due date.  There is no capacity within a capped budget to provide funding to schools that have not entered their VET enrolments on VASS at all or have entered them with incorrect information. 

Timing of Payments to Schools

Schools will be provided with targeted funding for every eligible VET certificate enrolment in each of the band funding levels, provided that they have entered the certificates, units and hours for each VET enrolment, on VASS no later than annual VET enrolment deadline, which for 2018 is 30 April.

Payments to schools will be made on a quarterly basis as detailed in the following table.

Terms Allocation Enrolment Basis
125% of indicative funding2017 enrolments applying 2018 Indicative Band Levels
225% of indicative funding2017 enrolments applying 2018 Indicative Band Levels
2/3Term 1 and 2 adjustment to school budgets2018 confirmed enrolments (as on VASS 30 April 2018) applying 2018 Confirmed Band Levels
325% of confirmed funding 2018 confirmed enrolments (as on VASS, 30 April 2018) applying 2018 Confirmed Band Levels
425% of confirmed funding2018 enrolments applying 2018 Confirmed Band Levels

Professional Development for Newly Appointed VASS Users:

In the early part of each year, the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) conducts professional development training specifically designed for VASS administrators who are new to their position or who have never used VASS, and new schools offering a VCE, VET or VCAL program for the first time.

Any queries related to VASS Operations should be directed to: (03) 9032 1758, 1800 623 681 or vass.support@edumail.vic.gov.au.