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Portfolio Enhancement and Presentation – Senior Unit Curriculum

Unit information

The nominal duration is 100 hours – 1 credit


The purpose of the Portfolio Enhancement and Presentation – Senior unit is to enable students to prepare, produce and present a portfolio in the creative industries, in fields such as visual and performing arts, design, photography and music. Using a range of influences and references, students will develop critical-analysis skills to prepare a portfolio and to communicate the purpose of, and the specific pieces included in, the portfolio. Students will also develop an identity and understanding of themselves in relation to the chosen field of study and society.


The Portfolio Enhancement and Presentation – Senior unit is consistent with the aims of the VCAL and the development of knowledge, skills and attributes that assist students to make informed vocational choices and to facilitate pathways to further learning.


The Portfolio Enhancement and Presentation – Senior unit aims to develop knowledge and skills to prepare, produce and present a portfolio for a specific purpose, such as entry into higher education or industry.


The Portfolio Enhancement and Presentation - Senior unit is a single unit at the Senior level of the VCAL. The unit contains four learning outcomes.

This unit will contribute to the VCAL as a general credit.

Satisfactory completion

In order to be credited with the Portfolio Enhancement and Presentation – Senior unit, students must demonstrate achievement in all the learning outcomes.

Wherever possible, all elements within a learning outcome should be achieved in the one assessment task. 

Assessment of learning outcomes

The purpose of assessment in the VCAL is to determine a student’s achievement of a learning outcome by collecting evidence about their performance and making a judgement about whether they have met the requirements of that learning outcome. These requirements are clearly outlined in the elements of each learning outcome.

Teachers should use a variety of assessment tasks that provide a range of opportunities for students to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome.

Evidence of achievement can include, but is not limited to, direct observation, written work, oral presentations, object production and project implementation.

Students must be observed to demonstrate achievement of a learning outcome on more than one occasion and in different contexts to ensure the assessment is valid, reliable, fair, flexible and equitable.

Where a learning outcome requires the completion of numerous assessment activities in a variety of contexts, these activities and their supporting evidence are able to demonstrate achievement of this learning outcome.

An assessment task used to demonstrate achievement of one or multiple learning outcomes in one VCAL unit cannot be used to demonstrate achievement in any other VCAL unit or Vocational Education and Training (VET) unit of competency.

Examples of suitable assessment tasks can be found in the Portfolio Enhancement and Presentation – Senior: Advice for Teachers.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcome 1

Analyse and select works for portfolio presentation consistent with at least one proposed pathway.


The elements are demonstrated when the student can:

1.1 identify audience and the purpose of the portfolio

1.2  research, explore and select a range of styles/genres and themes appropriate for portfolio

1.3 use conceptual knowledge to critically appraise own work

1.4 select work appropriate to audience and purpose

1.5 select work representative of personal style/skills.

Learning outcome 2

Present a portfolio appropriate to the identified purpose and criteria.


The elements are demonstrated when the student can:

2.1 identify and analyse portfolio presentation criteria for selected courses, enterprise or industry settings

2.2 research industry specific criteria for presentation

2.3 apply technical skills to own work

2.4 present works in a manner that demonstrates current industry practice and reflects personal style

2.5 critically evaluate the overall portfolio using knowledge of presentation criteria, and how the portfolio as a whole is a communication device.

Learning outcome 3

Communicate effectively the intention and purpose of own portfolio.


The elements are demonstrated when the student can:

3.1 explain the overall purpose of the portfolio

3.2 discuss influences on selection and individual pieces using knowledge of the chosen field

3.3 discuss a range of social, cultural, contemporary and/or historic influences and references in individual pieces

3.4 explain intention, purpose and concept of individual pieces

3.5 describe technical processes used, including reflective practices throughout the stages of the creative process

3.6 use language appropriate to the chosen field, content of the portfolio and individual pieces.

Learning outcome 4

Communicate effectively personal style and strengths in relation to a chosen field of study.


The elements are demonstrated when the student can:

4.1 explain influences on the creative process, using knowledge of a chosen field of study

4.2 discuss a range of artistic, social, cultural, contemporary and/or historic influences on personal style

4.3 demonstrate effective self-reflection skills in relation to own work and concept development

4.4 demonstrate awareness of ‘the critical audience’ and respond appropriately

4.5 demonstrate visual or aural literacy within the context of a chosen field of study.

Risk management and occupational health and safety (OHS)

Consistent with the VCAL principle to ensure curriculum that builds competence and resilience in individuals, including minimising risk factors and enhancing the promotion of protective behaviour of young people, it is incumbent on VCAL providers to ensure that hazards are identified, risks are assessed and controlled effectively and to develop appropriate risk control strategies as part of project planning and implementation. VCAL providers should ensure student participation in the risk management process.

Risks include:

  • OHS
  • reputation risks (for example, actions by the student that impact negatively on the reputation of the student, the workplace or VCAL provider)
  • relationship risks (for example, actions that impact on client or staff relationships)
  • property damage and financial risks
  • legal risks.

Legislative requirements

The Victorian Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 requires that an employer provides and maintains a working environment that is safe and without risks to the health of employees. Ministerial Order 55 of the Education and Training Reform Actwalso sets out OHS requirements in relation to structured workplace learning arrangements between employers and school principals. It is the responsibility of the VCAL provider to ensure that duty of care is exercised in relation to the health and safety of all students undertaking the VCAL program.

Students will be undertaking project work in workplaces where there may be a range of OHS risks, therefore the VCAL provider will have a shared responsibility with the workplace owner/occupier to ensure OHS legislation is complied with. This responsibility applies both to any risks generated by the VCAL project/activity and OHS risk exposure generated by the workplace.

Risk assessment

If the project is to be conducted within a workplace, then the employer must have appropriate controls in place to mitigate OHS risk to a level that is acceptable to the school or VCAL coordinator. A written risk assessment should be completed for all projects and activities prior to commencement to identify any potential physical or psychological OHS risks or hazards and ensure appropriate controls are implemented. Risk controls should be based on the hierarchy of control.

The Hierarchy of Control

diagram explaining the hierachy of control with effectiveness resulting from the procedures of elimination, substitution, engineering, administrative and personal protective equipment outlined in the table below this image
EliminationCompletely remove the hazard, e.g. removal of hazardous substance from the workplace.
SubstitutionChange a work practice, substance or piece of equipment to provide a safer environment, e.g. substitute old, non-adjustable office chairs with ergonomic chairs to reduce the risk of injuries.
EngineeringModify the design of the workplace or plant and/or environmental conditions, e.g. the use of a fume extraction system to remove fumes generated by hazardous substance use in laboratories.
AdministrativeDevelop procedures and systems to control the interaction between people and hazards, e.g. reducing the time of exposure to noise by requiring people to be remote from equipment during operation, providing manual handling training to persons so they are better able to identify/report/control/avoid hazards in the workplace.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)Implement PPE to prevent physical contact between a person and a hazard, e.g. appropriate footwear, gloves, etc.


The school or VCAL coordinator should consult with the supervisor regarding risk controls, and where the risk level is considered unacceptable by the school, an alternative project or activity should be selected.

OHS induction and safe work procedures

The workplace should provide a site-specific OHS induction to the student, and training in documented safe work/operating procedures to ensure that those involved in, or exposed to, an activity or process are equipped to conduct work activities in accordance with OHS requirements. Students should be observed in following the safe work procedure and assessed as competent in the procedure. Safe work/operating procedures shall include (but are not limited to):

  • a description of the activity or process with appropriate training undertaken
  • the person or position that has supervisory responsibility for the activity or process
  • a clear explanation of the steps or stages in sequential order
  • details of potential hazards
  • safety controls to minimise potential risk from any identified hazards
  • health and safety precautions to be exercised in the course of carrying out work activities.

The Department of Education and Training (DET) OHS management system provides relevant OHS procedures, forms and guidance, including a generic safe work procedure and risk management form for this purpose.

Guidelines for government schools are also provided in the School Policy and Advisory Guide.

Other VCAL providers must ensure duty of care is exercised in relation to the regulations covering their particular sector.

Participants in VCAL programs must demonstrate safe working practices and comply with all relevant OHS requirements applicable to their learning environment.

VCAL providers and assessors must also ensure all learning and assessment environments and activities conform to current OHS and environmental legislation, regulatory requirements and structured workplace learning guidelines produced by the DET.

Duty of care

The delivery of accredited curriculum within a school setting is governed by legislative and regulatory responsibilities.

Government schools that are VCAL providers must comply with all DET rules and regulations for schools. These include circulars sent to principals and school council presidents as well as the guidelines for delivery and implementation of curriculum as outlined in:

  • the relevant Ministerial Order
  • structured workplace learning manuals produced by the DET
  • Education (Workplace Learning) Act
  • the School Policy and Advisory Guide.

Guidelines for schools for delivery and implementation of structured workplace learning are outlined in Ministerial Order 55. Further information on workplace learning arrangements is available from the DET website.


In Victoria, workplace OHS and WorkSafe are governed by the following Acts and regulations:

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

Dangerous Goods Act 1985

Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012

Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013


The Acts are linked to copies held at Victorian Law Today.

Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004

Dangerous Goods Act 1985

Equipment (Public Safety) Act 1994

Mines Act 1958

Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013


Regulations set out mandatory requirements under the Acts and are linked to copies held at Victorian Law Today.

Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017

Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2011

Dangerous Goods (HCDG) Regulations 2005

Dangerous Goods (Storage and Handling) Regulations 2012

Dangerous Goods (Transport by Road or Rail) Regulations 2008

Equipment (Public Safety) Regulations 2007

Department of Education OHS resources

Useful web links

Legislation – where you can download copies of the legislation such as the OHS Act 2004.

Safe Work Australia – the federal body that looks at policy, gathers and collates OHS statistics.

WorkSafe Victoria – website that is specifically designed for Health and Safety Representatives. Students and teachers can subscribe to the newsletters

The Worksafe Victoria website also includes:

  • daily updates regarding OHS
  • videos of advertisements and other campaigns on YouTube
  • Health and Safety topics for Young Workers
  • Controlling OHS Hazards and Risks – A Workplace Handbook
  • basic information about consultation on Health and Safety
  • Employee Representation (explains HSRs)
  • Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS)
  • Workplace Bullying
  • Injury Hotspots (various industries including education sector)
  • OHS in Schools – A practical guide for school leaders (for the teacher rather than the student)
  • A page about workplace inspections with videos of inspectors talking

Officewise – useful for those working in an office environment

Job Watch Employment Rights Legal Centre

Workplace Health and Safety Resource for Young Workers and Teachers