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About the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

VCAL is a hands-on senior secondary certificate of education that provides students with practical work-related experience, and develops literacy, numeracy, and personal skills.

The certificate is a pathway to many careers and educational opportunities. VCAL students have gone on to start small businesses, change careers or pursue further study at a TAFE or university.

The VCAL has three levels – Foundation, Intermediate and Senior – that match a student’s needs and abilities.

There are no entry requirements for the VCAL and students can take as long as needed to complete a certificate at any level.

The VCAL’s flexibility enables students to undertake a program that suits their interests and learning needs. Accredited modules and units are selected from the following four compulsory strands.

Literacy and Numeracy Skills include subjects such as VCE English and Maths or other accredited studies from the Certificate in General Education for Adults.

Industry Specific Skills include units of competency from a range of VET qualifications such as automotive, engineering, construction, hospitality and retail.

Work Related Skills include Structured Workplace Learning, a School-based or Part-time Apprenticeship/Traineeship or part-time work.

Personal Development Skills include participation in community-based projects, voluntary work and/or structured activities to develop self-confidence, teamwork and other skills important for life and work.

If you have completed some VCE units or a VET study you may be able to get credit towards your VCAL.

Time commitment

The weekly time commitment for VCAL will depend on how you structure your program. Many students complete a VCAL level in one year.

Assessment

The VCAL is made up of accredited courses and certificates, for example, VCAL units, VCE units, VET units of competency or Further Education units. A VCAL program is assessed by teachers in accordance with assessment requirements. Assessments include classroom-based tasks and projects that cover a range of outcomes across the VCAL strands.

No two VCAL programs look the same and students are encouraged to discuss their interests with their teachers to determine a learning program that meets their individual needs and passions.