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If you enjoy applied learning and want to go to TAFE 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 provides a study program that suits your interests and learning needs in settings such as schools, TAFEs and adult community education centres.

Changes to VCAL

Next year there are no changes to VCAL. You can enrol in Foundation, Intermediate or Senior VCAL, if VCAL is offered at your school.

In 2023, Intermediate and Senior VCAL will be replaced by a new two-year vocational specialisation within the VCE and a new two-year foundation pathways certificate will replace Foundation VCAL. Many of the original VCAL subjects will be retained and updated to ensure they meet your needs.

In 2023, you will transition with credit into the second year of the new certificate and, upon successful completion, become eligible to be awarded the VCE Vocational Specialisation or foundation pathways certificate. Keep reading for more information on the VCAL transition arrangements.

Quick explainer

The VCAL is the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning. It is a senior secondary certificate of education usually completed in Years 11 and 12.
The VCAL has three levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Senior.
In 2022, you can enrol in VCAL and in 2023 you will transition into a vocational specialisation within the VCE or a foundation pathways certificate.

Where do I start?

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

In 2022, you can start your VCAL at the level that matches your needs and abilities. Your teacher or careers counsellor can help you make this choice.

If you meet satisfactory completion requirements, you can complete your VCAL in 2022 or you can transition with credit into one of the new certificates.

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 program that suits your learning needs and interests.

How do I achieve my VCAL in 2022?

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

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

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 subjects in your VCAL, refer to the VCE section of this guide for more information on assessment.

You can find VCAL providers in the schools and study search.

How will I receive my results?

You will receive a Statement of Results from the VCAA, listing all the 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/VCE Vocational Specialisation so you can plan the rest of your program.

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

If you have an S result for a 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.

Transition from VCAL to the VCE Vocational Specialisation or the foundation pathways certificate

As Year 10 students in 2021, you will be the first cohort to be eligible to complete the VCE Vocational Specialisation Certificate or foundation pathways certificate when you finish school. These changes are part of the Victorian Government’s reforms to school-based vocational education in schools.

In 2022, if you:

  • start your Intermediate VCAL, you will transition into the Vocational Specialisation in 2023. You will receive credit for the studies you completed in 2022 and will complete Senior VCAL subjects in 2023
  • partially complete your Foundation VCAL, you will transition into the foundation pathways certificate in 2023. You will receive credit for the studies you completed in 2022
  • complete your Foundation VCAL, you can transition into the Vocational Specialisation in 2023.

You can also transfer to the VCE if you change your mind. The diagram shows how your pathway will transition to the new certificate over the next two years. All students will be supported with the transition process, so you can feel comfortable in planning your course.