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Introduction to the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands-on option for students in Years 11 and 12. The VCAL gives practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work.

Like VCE, VCAL is a recognised senior secondary qualification. Unlike VCE, which is widely used by students as a pathway to university, VCAL focuses on three main components: where the learn is at; connections with self and the community; and promoting confidence and self-worth. Students who do the VCAL are more likely to be interested in continuing on to training at a TAFE college, finding an apprenticeship, or making a direct transition to full-time employment. Students who complete VCAL cannot directly apply for university courses, even at the end of the Senior Certificate, however, alternative pathways are available.

The structure of VCAL

The VCAL's flexibility enables students to design a study program that suits their interests and learning needs. Students must select at least one accredited Vocational Education and Training (VET) certificate as well as other units or certificates. The following five VCAL strands are also compulsory:

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

Students, with teachers and mentors, select projects of interest that they think would be beneficial to them outside the secondary school environment. These projects should be able to be integrated into the five VCAL strands.

Planning Your VCAL

Download a printable pdf copy of the VCAL Program Planner to help you plan your VCAL on paper or electronic devices by clicking the purple hyperlink.