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If you like applied learning and want to go to a TAFE institute or university, do an apprenticeship or traineeship, or start a job when you finish school, the VCAL may be a good choice for you.

The VCAL provides you with practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills that are important for life and work.

Like the VCE, the VCAL is a senior secondary qualification and a pathway to many careers and future education.

The course is flexible and enables you to undertake a study program that suits your interests and learning needs in a variety of settings, including schools, TAFE institutes and Adult Community Education centres.

How do I achieve my VCAL?

You must complete 10 units of study that includes at least five units from four compulsory strands:

  • Literacy and Numeracy Skills
  • Industry Specific Skills
  • Work Related Skills
  • Personal Development Skills.

Where do I start?

The VCAL has three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Senior.

You can start and complete your VCAL at the level that matches your needs and abilities. Your teacher or careers counsellor can help with making this choice.

What can my VCAL program include?

A VCAL program can include:

  • VCAL units
  • VCE units
  • VET units of competency.

Your VCAL learning program must include:

  • a minimum of two VCAL units
  • at least one Literacy unit
  • at least one Numeracy unit
  • at least one unit from the Industry Specific Skills strand. At the Intermediate and Senior levels, this must include at least 90 hours from a VET qualification
  • at least one unit from the Work Related Skills strand
  • at least one unit from the Personal Development Skills strand
  • six credits at the attempted VCAL level (Foundation, Intermediate or Senior) or above. One of these credits must be for Literacy Skills and one must be for Personal Development Skills.

Your teacher or careers counsellor can help you develop a VCAL program that suits your learning needs and interests.

How will I be assessed for VCAL?

All units in your VCAL program are assessed by your teacher and/or registered training organisation (RTO).

If you include VCE studies in your VCAL, refer to the VCE section of this booklet for further information on assessment.

VCAL providers are listed on the VCAA website.

How will I receive my results?

You will receive a Statement of Results from the VCAA, listing all the VCAL, VCE and VCE VET units you were enrolled in and completed.

You will also receive a Full Qualification or Statement of Attainment from the RTO for completed VET studies.

I’ve already started a VET certificate. Will it count towards my VCAL?

Yes. Speak to your teacher or careers counsellor to work out how much of that study counts towards your VCAL so you can plan the rest of your VCAL program.

I’ve already done a VCE study. Will this count towards my VCAL?

If you have an S result for the VCE unit, it may count towards your VCAL. Your teacher or careers counsellor can tell you whether you are eligible for this credit.

Can I switch to the VCE if I change my mind?

Yes. If you decide to take this option, you should discuss it with your teacher or careers counsellor.

Can I complete a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship as part of my VCAL program?

Yes. The VET certificate that you study can meet two of the four VCAL curriculum strand requirements: Industry Specific Skills and Work Related Skills.

Can part-time work count towards my VCAL?

Part-time work may contribute to your VCAL. Other work activities that may contribute to your VCAL include:

  • a school-based or part-time apprenticeship or traineeship
  • voluntary work
  • structured workplace learning (SWL) placements.

Excellence and awards

The VCAL Achievement Awards are available for high-achieving VCAL students who demonstrate commitment to community service. The awards provide opportunities to further your VCAL studies and your personal development.

The awards also acknowledge the achievements of teachers and partner organisations. Find out more about the VCAL Achievement Awards.