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Structured workplace learning (SWL)

The VCAA has determined that structured workplace learning (SWL) is an appropriate and valuable component of all VET qualifications undertaken by VCE or VCAL students. SWL compliments the training undertaken at the school/provider and should be spread across the duration of the training program. It provides context for:

  • enhancement of skills development
  • practical application of industry knowledge
  • assessment of units of competency/modules, as determined by the registered training organisation (RTO)
  • increased employment opportunities.

The school/provider should keep evidence of the student's SWL which may take place over the weekends and during school holidays as well as during the school week.

VCE VET program publications contain information relating to the SWL requirements. In all cases, SWL is strongly recommended. Several VCE VET programs have a mandated SWL component. The SWL requirements are expressed in hours and weeks and are expected to be carried out over the two-year minimum of VCE VET programs. It should be noted that industrial agreements may stipulate the length of a working week in a particular& industry and that this may differ from the VCAA recommendation. The industry requirements are to be adhered to.

The following document outlines the VCAA's recommendations for SWL in VCE VET programs:

The appropriate occupational or workplace health and safety unit of competency/modules in each program must be undertaken prior to SWL, as outlined in Ministerial Order 55.

Further information about SWL, including Ministerial Order 55 and an SWL Manual is available on the Department of Education and Training (DET) website:

Structured Workplace Learning Recognition

Structured Workplace Learning Recognition (SWLR) for VCE and VCAL students is a systematic and formal approach to workplace learning. SWLR provides the formal framework and processes to enable students to integrate their on-the-job experience and learning in a workplace, with nationally recognised VET undertaken as part of either the VCE or the VCAL.


The assessment process requires the student to gather evidence and reflect on their learning in the workplace that relates to the VET qualification in which they are enrolled. To be eligible for credit the student is required to be enrolled in a normal year long VET program, usually a minimum of 180 hours. The tool used to collect the evidence is the Workplace Learning Record (WLR).

The purpose of the WLR is to pose questions, allowing for student reflection on the workplace learning experience in the context of their current skills and knowledge. Students should reflect on what they observed and the tasks that they undertook in the workplace that relate to the VET qualification they are studying.

The assessment process requires a staff member to be assigned to the student to review the observations made in the workplace and how these learning’s relate to the VET qualification being undertaken.

This is not a process for assessing competence in the Units of Competency (UoCs); this is to provide students with an opportunity to reflect on the UoCs in a workplace setting. The reflection process provides the evidence for the formal assessment. Assessment can occur at any time and students may provide additional evidence throughout the year. The student is required to complete at least 80 hours of SWL and reflect on a minimum of six UoCs, one of which is the Work Health and Safety unit. All sections of the WLR must be completed to be eligible for credit.

Credit Guidelines

  • Credit is available at VCE Units one and two level, and for all three levels of VCAL as General Credits.
  • One unit of credit is available for each year (180 nominal hours) of a VCE VET program with up to a maximum of three credits.
  • Students undertaking multiple VCE VET programs or School Based Apprenticeships or Traineeships (SBAT’s) are eligible to a maximum of four credits.
  • Students are required to be enrolled and resulted in the VCE VET Structured Workplace Learning Program on VASS. The units enrolled in must reflect the VCE VET program or SBAT the student is undertaking.

Publications for SWLR

Fact Sheets and Guides