VICTORIAN CERTIFICATE OF APPLIED LEARNING (VCAL)

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a ‘hands-on’ option for students in Years 11 and 12. Like the VCE, the VCAL is a recognised senior secondary qualification. Unlike the VCE, which is widely used by students as a pathway to university, the VCAL focuses on ‘hands-on learning’.

Students who do the VCAL are more likely to be interested in going on to training at TAFE, doing an apprenticeship, or getting a job after completing Year 12. The VCAL’s flexibility enables students to design a study program that suits their interests and learning needs. Students select accredited curriculum components from VCE studies, Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualifications, Further Education (FE) and VCAL units.

There are four compulsory strands in VCAL:

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

STRAND 1 – LITERACY AND NUMERACY SKILLS

Your VCAL program must include literacy and numeracy subjects. These can be selected from VCAL literacy skills and VCAL numeracy skills units and/or VCE English and Mathematics units or selected further education studies such as the Certificate in General Education for Adults.

STRAND 2 – INDUSTRY SPECIFIC SKILLS

Your VCAL program at the Intermediate and Senior levels must include components of nationally recognised VET qualifications. However, you are not required to focus on, or complete, any single VET certificate. For example, you can choose to complete various units of competency from a range of VET certificates to meet the VCAL requirements and gain experience in a range of vocational areas. The range of VET options is extensive. Some examples are automotive, engineering, building and construction, hospitality, retail, multimedia, information technology, agriculture, horticulture, warehousing and hair and beauty.

STRAND 3 – WORK RELATED SKILLS

In order to develop employability skills, VCAL gives you the choice of undertaking a structured work placement, or a part-time apprenticeship/traineeship, or part-time work. You can also study units and modules that will help prepare you for work, for example occupational health and safety or job interview skills.

STRAND 4 – PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT SKILLS

As part of your VCAL program you will participate in projects and activities in your community or school that will help develop your teamwork skills, self-confidence and other skills important for life and work. For example, your school may work with the local council to enhance parklands. The learning you gain from being involved in such a project can be counted towards the VCAL.