The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a VCAA recognized qualification and an applied learning option for Year 11 and 12 students.


VCAL is designed for students who are seeking a pathway from school to employment, traineeships, apprenticeships or TAFE. VCAL does not provide students with an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR), however it is now recognized as an entry-level qualification into a number of university courses.


VCAL uses part of the VCE and VET programs as well as specific VCAL units, Personal Development Skills (PDS) and Work Related Skills (WRS), to make up the requirements of the program.


Students can enrol in this program in Year 11, however any VCE or VET programs completed in Year 10, or externally through employment can

contribute to a VCAL program.




Features of VCAL:


  • Two levels of study: Intermediate and Senior (the length of each period of study is flexible but generally each certificate is achieved over a 12 month period).


What does a VCAL program include?


  • Four strands of study:
  1. Literacy and Numeracy
  2. Work Related Skills
  3. Personal Development Skills
  4. Industry Specific Skills


  • Industry and Enterprise Unit 1 is incorporated into the Intermediate program and Unit 2 Industry and Enterprise is incorporated into the Senior VCAL program.


  • Senior students also study VCAL Senior Numeracy as part of their program


Work Related Skills Strand.

A School Based Apprenticeship (SBA) or Structured Work Placement may be part of the WRS units. Students are required to work one day each week in a chosen industry area. This is an excellent way to build skills and to discover what the industry is all about.


Personal Development Skills Strand.

The aim of study in these units is to develop skills, knowledge and attitudes that lead toward social responsibility, building community links through volunteering and working for the benefits of others, improving self-confidence and self –esteem, and valuing civic participation in a democratic society.


  • Making connections with the community
  • Running events that educate and help others
  • Taking yourself out of your comfort zone!


Industry Specific Skills Strand:

  • Completion of a VET program, SBA or modified TAFE program can meet the Industry Specific Skills Strand. At the Intermediate and Senior level, curriculum selected from this strand must be drawn from nationally recognized certificates or training package qualifications. At the Foundation level, curriculum can be selected from either nationally recognized certificates or training package qualifications or a VCE unit that has a vocational focus e.g. VCE Design and Technology and Food Technology.


What does a student require to successfully complete a VCAL program?


To achieve a VCAL certificate, students must complete a minimum of ten credits from the following:

  • A minimum of two VCAL units from PDS and WRS
  • Completion of a VET program, SBA or modified TAFE program can meet the Industry Specific Skills strand (ISS).
  • Structured Work Placement for a substantial period of time
  • VCAL Literacy at the Intermediate or Senior level
  • VCAL Numeracy at the Senior level
  • VCE units


How is VCAL assessed?


All VCAL students must successfully achieve each learning outcome in each unit or module of their VCAL program. VCE, VET and accredited courses/certificates are assessed in accordance with existing requirements and may contribute to an individual VCAL program.


VCAL is a competency-based program where satisfactory completion is reliant upon each student demonstrating competency rather than sitting an exam or completing tests. Students do not need to achieve a specific grade to successfully complete any units or modules that count towards a VCAL certificate.


Projects, tasks and activities are flexible and are designed to meet the specific needs of individual student programs and outcomes of the certificate at the student’s level of study.



Evidence is gathered as students plan and complete projects and activities over the period in which a task is undertaken. The evidence must demonstrate the specific learning outcomes and their elements that are outlined and published in the VCAA course guidelines for each VCAL unit of study.