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Overview of the Victorian Pathways Certificate - VPC

Watch further senior secondary pathway options in 2023 videos.

The Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) is an inclusive Year 11 and 12 standards-based certificate that meets the needs of a smaller number of students who are not able or ready to complete the VCE (including the VCE Vocational Major). It provides an enriched curriculum and excellent support for students to develop the skills, capabilities and qualities for success in personal and civic life. 

The VPC is an accredited foundation secondary qualification under the Education and Training Reform Act 2006. It aligns to Level 1 in the Australian Qualifications Framework. While the VPC is not a senior secondary qualification, it can be a pathway to the VCE.

The VPC is designed to develop and extend pathways for young people, while providing flexibility for different cohorts. The VPC is suitable for students whose previous schooling experience may have been disrupted for a variety of reasons, including students with additional needs, students who have missed significant periods of learning and vulnerable students at risk of disengaging from their education. Students will gain the skills, knowledge, values and capabilities to make informed choices about pathways into a senior secondary qualification, entry level vocational education and training (VET) course or employment.

The curriculum accommodates student aspirations and future employment goals. VPC learning programs connect students to industry experiences and active participation in the community. Through participation in the VPC students will gain necessary foundation skills to allow them to make a post-schooling transition.

Find out more about the VPC in the VPC Administrative Handbook 2023.

Find out more about the VPC professional learning available for providers.

Victorian Pathways Certificate enrolment suitability

When enrolling a student into the VPC, the individual needs of the student must be considered. Discussions about the VPC’s suitability for a student should be conducted between the VPC provider, the student and their family.

VPC Suitability guidelines have been developed to inform decision making regarding the appropriateness of the VPC for individual students before they are enrolled in the certificate.

Completing the Victorian Pathways Certificate

To be eligible to receive the VPC, students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 12 units, including:

  • at least two units of VPC Literacy (or units from the VCE English group including VCE Vocational Major Literacy)
  • at least two units of VPC Numeracy (or units from the VCE Mathematics group including VCE Vocational Major Numeracy)
  • at least two VPC Personal Development Skills units
  • at least two VPC Work Related Skills units.

Students can also include units from VCE studies, VCE Vocational Major studies, and VET units of competency. VPC students can receive VET credit for 90 nominal hours at the Certificate 1 or above level and receive structured workplace learning recognition. Many students will undertake more than 12 units over the VPC.

The VPC is designed to be delivered in Year 11 and 12 and has a flexible duration depending on a student’s individual learning plan and the delivery setting. The VPC may be completed in a minimum of 12 months. All VPC units can be completed in any order and in any year. The units can be delivered in a flexible manner and do not have to be delivered sequentially.

VPC units have been designed to align to the VCE VM units to enable providers to deliver the VCE VM and VPC within the same classroom where required.

Vocational and applied learning in the Victorian Pathways Certificate

New curriculum in VPC Literacy, Numeracy, Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills has been developed by panels of current applied learning practitioners. The new curriculum is engaging, based in real life and gives students in-demand skills needed for the future world of work.

Applied learning teaches skills and knowledge in the context of ‘real life’ experiences. Students apply what they have learnt by doing, experiencing and relating acquired skills to the real-world. It enables flexible, personalised learning where teachers work with students to recognise their personal strengths, interest, goals, and experiences.

This is a shift from the traditional focus on discrete curriculum to a more integrated and contextualised approach to learning. Students learn and apply the skills and knowledge required to solve problems, implement projects or participate in structured workplace learning.

Enrolling in Victorian Pathways Certificate studies

There are no formal entry requirements for VPC studies. The VPC has been designed to accommodate flexible entry and exit. Students can enter VPC studies at a time that best suits their learning needs, abilities and interests.

Parameters for entry and exit in schools are determined by school regulations and enrolment guidelines. Flexible entry and exit points of non-school VPC providers are determined by the policies and regulations of that education provider.

The VPC has been designed to be flexible, enabling the individual needs and capacity of students to be recognised. Some students with particular needs may require additional resources to enable the successful completion of the learning program and some students may require additional time to achieve learning goals.

Identified students may start the certificate in Year 10 if they require additional time to complete the course. It is not recommended that the VPC be delivered in Year 10 as a standalone program.

Assessment and certification of the Victorian Pathways Certificate

Assessment of VPC studies

Each VPC unit of study has modules with specified learning goals. A VPC unit can only be satisfactorily completed once all modules within that unit have been completed. The VPC studies are standards-based. All assessments for the achievement of learning goals are school-based and assessed through a range of assessment activities and tasks. Schools will report a student’s result for each module to the VCAA as S (Satisfactory) or N (Not Yet Complete).

There are no external assessments of VPC studies. VPC studies do not contribute to the ATAR.

Certification

Upon successful completion of the VPC, students receive a certificate and a Statement of Results.

Successful completion of VET units of competency are recognised by additional statements of attainment or certificates provided by the Registered Training Organisation.

General advice on the VPC Curriculum and Assessment Audit

All schools will be annually audited for one VPC study. Schools will be notified regarding the study for which they have been selected for audit in Term 2, 2023. Further information about the Curriculum and Assessment Audit for VPC studies will be published in Term 3 this year.

Victorian Pathways Certificate students and the General Achievement Test

All students studying at least one Unit 3 and 4 VCE subject (or a scored VCE VET subject) are expected to sit all or a section of the General Achievement Test (GAT). There is no requirement for VPC students to sit the GAT unless they are enrolled in VCE units 3 or 4 or a scored VET subject.

Transition from VCAL to the Victorian Pathways Certificate

Teach-Out and Award of Intermediate VCAL in 2023

Provision of the Victorian Pathways Certificate

Providers currently registered by the VRQA and authorised by the VCAA to offer and deliver VCE and VCAL (all levels) will transition under the Education and Training Reform Act to be able to offer and deliver the VCE (current VCE studies and VCE VM studies) and the VPC. Providers not currently registered and authorised to deliver VCAL but seeking to deliver the VPC in 2023 can find information at Apply to deliver the VCE, VCE VM or VPC page.