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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 senior students. 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.

The focus on a real-life application sees students focus on learning and applying the skills and knowledge they need to solve a problem, implement a project or participate in the workforce.

Applied learning will involve students and their teachers in partnerships and connections with organisations and individuals outside school. These partnerships provide the necessary out-of-school context for students to demonstrate the relevance of what they have learnt.

In addition, the VCAL program aims to work with students in a holistic manner, taking into account their personal strengths, interests, goals and previous experiences.

Like VCE, VCAL is a recognised senior secondary qualification. Unlike VCE, which is widely used by students as a pathway to university, 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.

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 VCE units or certificates to satisfy the Industry Specific Skills.

The following five VCAL strands are compulsory:

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

Teaching, across the VCAL strands, is project based. Students complete a broad range of stimulating & challenging projects which allow them to fulfil specific learning objectives as stipulated by the VCAA.

For more information on the VCAL strands please follow the links below:




St Monica's College, Epping, acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which our school is built. For more information, please click here.