Qualifications: Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning
1 VCAL program components
1.1 VCAL strands
The VCAL has four compulsory curriculum strands. These strands are:
- Literacy and Numeracy Skills
- Industry Specific Skills
- Work Related Skills
- Personal Development Skills.
Students must be enrolled in a program that includes curriculum from each of these strands. Information on the four curriculum strands is published on the VCAA website. To ensure coherence in designing a VCAL learning program, selected curriculum components must closely align with the purpose statement of the appropriate curriculum strand.
VCAL learning programs must be designed to meet the VCAL course requirements.
Each learning program should be designed to allow students to achieve the required credits and meet all course requirements, and be at the appropriate level.
To ensure that students are eligible to receive a VCAL certificate, providers should consult the table in section 3.1 and run the eligibility report in the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) as soon as possible.
VCAL program components
A VCAL learning program must contain a minimum of two VCAL units and may also contain:
- Additional VCAL units
- VCE studies
- VET units of competency
- FE units of competency.
Locally developed non-accredited curriculum, structured workplace learning programs, and community and youth programs provide the context for the achievement of VCAL units. Delivery strategies for units should be consistent with the VCAL delivery principles and requirements outlined in accredited course documents, VCE study designs or VCAL curriculum documents on the VCAL webpages.
1.2 VCAL units
A VCAL unit contains learning outcomes that are generic by nature and enable content to be developed and/or planned at the local level to suit the individual needs of students.
Each VCAL unit is 100 nominal hours in length, and each unit that is successfully completed contributes one credit towards the VCAL at the appropriate award level. The nominal hours include both scheduled and unscheduled time.
VCAL units are available at the three VCAL award levels (Foundation, Intermediate and Senior) to cater for the different needs, abilities and experiences of students.
2 Entry to VCAL studies
There are no formal entry requirements for VCAL studies. The VCAL has been designed to accommodate flexible entry and exit. Students can enter at the appropriate VCAL level to suit their learning needs, abilities and interests. Parameters for entry and exit in schools will be determined by school regulations and enrolment guidelines. If a provider that is not a school delivers the VCAL, flexible entry and exit points will be determined by the policies and regulations of that education provider.
Students with particular needs may require additional resources to enable the successful completion of the learning program. Some students may require additional time to achieve outcomes. Students can gain more than one VCAL qualification in their senior secondary education program, depending on their abilities and learning goals.
3 Eligibility for award of the VCAL
3.1 Course requirements
To be awarded a VCAL qualification at any level students must successfully complete a learning program that contains a minimum of 10 credits,
The 10 credits must include:
- a minimum of one credit in each of the following strands: Personal Development Skills Strand, Work Related Skills Strand and Industry Specific Skills Strand
- a minimum of two credits for Literacy and Numeracy Skills Strand – one for Literacy Skills and one for Numeracy Skills.
When planning a learning program, the following requirements should be taken into account:
- Six credits must be at the award level attempted or above. Of these six credits one must be for Literacy Skills and one must be for Personal Development Skills.
- A minimum of two VCAL units must be included, one of which must be a Personal Development Skills unit, at the award level or above.
- Only VCAL Personal Development Skills units can meet the strand requirement for Personal Development Skills. Either Personal Development Skills units at the award level or above meet the strand requirement.
- One VCAL or VCE unit is equal to one credit.
Students may carry credit forward from the previous award level into the level in which they are currently enrolled. However, credits allocated at Foundation level cannot contribute to Senior Level.
VCAL providers can include additional curriculum, such as the VCAL Literacy Skills Oral Communication units, other VCE units and VET accredited curriculum in a VCAL learning program, to meet the requirement for a minimum of 10 credits.
At the VCAL Intermediate and Senior levels, the learning program must also include accredited VET curriculum components to the value of a minimum of one credit in the Industry Specific Skills strand (see ‘VCAL learning requirements’ table). One credit is awarded on successful completion of 90 nominal hours of accredited VET curriculum. One credit is awarded on successful completion of 90 nominal hours of accredited FE/VET curriculum, or on successful completion of a VCE unit. No credit is awarded for incomplete units.
Upon successful completion, students will receive a VCAL certificate and a Statement of Results. Successful completion will be certified in July or December in each enrolment year. Additional Statements of Attainment or certificates will be provided by the registered training organisation (RTO) for successful completion of VET curriculum. Students who commence a VCAL program but do not complete it will receive a Statement of Results at the completion of each year of study.
Curriculum options for meeting the VCAL strand requirements
The ‘VCAL Strand requirements: Curriculum options’ table presents curriculum options that are available for meeting the satisfactory completion requirements of each VCAL strand. This should not be confused with satisfactory completion of the VCAL. The following information needs to be considered when reading the table.
All VCE units will provide credit into the VCAL. Some units will meet a VCAL strand requirement, for example a VCE English unit (at the appropriate level) will meet the Literacy component of the Literacy and Numeracy Skills Strand requirement. Other VCE units will contribute as a general credit to the overall 10 credits required.
If a provider plans to offer VCE units, they must be authorised to deliver the VCE.
General Education qualifications are different in style and structure to VET qualifications. If units of competency within General Education courses are used to contribute to VCAL strand requirements, these are allocated at certificate level only. This includes VET units that have been imported into General Education courses.
Completion of VET Certificates
While individual VET units of competency may be selected for inclusion in a VCAL learning program, completion of the entire VET qualification is not a necessary requirement.
The relevant registered training organisation (RTO) will provide advice on the selection of appropriate accredited units of competency/modules in accordance with the selected training package or curriculum document requirement.
Any curriculum components that are included within a student’s VCAL program but which do not meet the purpose statement of any of the VCAL curriculum strands may contribute towards the overall minimum total credits required and/or minimum credits required at the award level.
The units Skills for Further Study – Senior and Portfolio Enhancement and Presentation – Senior contribute to the Senior VCAL as general credits.
Providers should check the Curriculum Strand Report and run eligibility reports in VASS to determine if or how units contribute to a VCAL strand (or overall credit) and to ensure that the minimum requirements of the VCAL qualifications have been met.
Eligibility reports should be run as early as possible at the commencement of the academic year and every time a student’s enrolment is changed.
Individual student eligibility can be checked on VASS when students are enrolled in the learning program.
VCAL Strand requirements: Curriculum options
4 Atypical VCAL programs
4.1 Students with credit from the VCE
Any VCE unit that has not already contributed to the satisfactory completion of the VCE may contribute to satisfactory completion of the VCAL.