Functions of the VCAA

History

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) came into operation on 1 March 2001 and is the successor to the Board of Studies.

Governance

It is an independent statutory authority primarily accountable to the Minister for Education, serving both government and non-government schools. The VCAA is also responsible to the Minister for Education, the Minister for Training and Skills and the Minister for Families and Children in relation to sections of Part 2.5 of the Act that they administer.

Legislation and core functions

The VCAA was established under the repealed Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Act 2000 and continues to operate under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (the Act).

Under section 2.5.3(2) of the Act, the functions of the VCAA are:

  • a) to develop high quality courses and curriculum and assessment products and services;
  • b) to carry out functions as a body registered under Chapter 4[1]; and
  • c) to provide linkages that will facilitate movement between those courses and other courses.

[1] Pursuant to s. 4.3.10 of the Act, the VCAA is registered for a five year period, commencing 30 September 2007, as a body that awards, confers and issues registered qualifications (VCE and VCAL) with the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

Under section 2.5.3(2) of the Act, the functions of the VCAA are to:

  • a) develop policies, criteria and standards for curriculum, assessments and courses for school students, including courses leading to recognised qualifications;
    • (ab) develop policies, criteria and standards for learning, development and assessments, which relate to early childhood;
  • b) develop, evaluate and approve –
    • (i) courses normally undertaken in, or designed to be undertaken in the school years 11 and 12 which are accredited by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority under Chapter 4 or which could be accredited under that Chapter and assessment procedures for those courses; and
    • (ii) courses for students at other school years;
  • c) oversee the delivery of, and conduct assessments for, the VCE and VCAL and any other qualification available to a student in a school, except a qualification in vocational education and training, further education or higher education that is a registered qualification;
  • d) conduct assessments of students in Years 11 and 12 undertaking accredited courses;
  • e) arrange with schools and other persons, bodies or agencies providing accredited courses to conduct, on behalf of the Authority, school-based assessments of students in those courses;
  • f) approve the establishment of examination centres for the conduct of examinations in accredited courses and to withdraw approval of examination centres;
  • g) set rules for the conduct of assessments, including examinations, and any other qualification referred to in paragraph (d) and (e);
  • h) develop and maintain the standards for measuring and reporting on student performance;
  • i) conduct assessments against those standards for measuring and reporting on student performance;
    • (ia) conduct assessments against national standards for measuring and reporting on student performance;
    • (ib) develop and maintain standards for measuring and reporting on early childhood learning and development;
    • (ic) arrange for other persons, bodies or agencies to conduct assessments against the standards for measuring and reporting on early childhood learning and development;
  • j) do any of the following by arrangement with other persons, bodies or agencies –
    • (i) design, develop and evaluate a curriculum or course and an assessment or assessment method for the course or any other course;
    • (ii) oversee the delivery of the course and conduct assessments of students undertaking the course;
    • (iii) design, develop and evaluate curriculum and assessment products and services;
  • k) conduct investigations and hearings in accordance with Division 3 and, if necessary, amend or cancel assessments in accordance with that Division;
  • l)  monitor the patterns of student participation in, and the quality of outcomes of courses;
  • m) advise the VRQA about patterns of participation and quality of outcomes referred to in paragraph (l) relating to courses undertaken in Years 11 and 12 including VET in Schools courses, and the qualifications relating to those courses;
  • n) give advice or make recommendations to the Minister about any educational policy or strategy relating to the VCAA objectives or functions;
  • o) prepare and maintain records of student assessment and, on request, provide a copy of a student’s record to the student or a person authorised by the student;
  • p) make available to the general public information collected by the Authority on results of schooling as measured by assessments of student performance and other statistical information relating to its functions;
  • q) commission or conduct research on matters related to its functions;
  • r) provide professional development activities related to its functions;
  • s) provide information services about its practices and functions;
  • t) report on student performance as measured by assessments conducted against standards (including national standards) to the Minister, the Secretary and relevant bodies;
    • (ta) with the approval of the Minister, report on student performance as measured by assessments conducted against national standards to a body or person approved by the Minister;
    • (tb) report on the results of assessments relating to early childhood learning and development to the Minister, the Secretary and relevant bodies;
  • u) any other function conferred on or delegated to the Authority under the Act.

Qualifications

The Authority may issue a qualification relating to

  1. a course undertaken by a school student in any year and up to and including Year 10;
  2. an accredited course owned by the Authority.

The Authority may recognise the completion of an accredited course or part of an accredited course or the award or issue of a registered qualification by the issue of a written statement or otherwise.

Any information made available to the general public by the Authority in carrying out its function under subsection (2)(p) must not include any personal information relating to any individual student or child.