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Victorian Senior Secondary Certificate Reform





2020Release of the Firth Review Recommendations
2021Design and development of new certificates and curriculum
2022Release of final certificate designs and new curriculum in early 2022
2023First enrolments in the Vocational Specialisation and Foundation Pathways Certificate
2025All Victorian schools deliver the fully integrated senior secondary certificate

Delivering improved vocational and applied learning pathways within the VCE

The Government is introducing significant reforms to vocational education in schools, including a new integrated end-of-school certificate that will give students the opportunity to develop the skills needed to succeed in life. A new pathways certificate to replace Foundation VCAL will also be created to formally acknowledge student achievement and facilitate clear pathways to the reformed senior secondary certificate.

Vocational and Applied Learning Pathways Review

The reform is part of a suite of 38 recommendations from the review into vocational and applied learning pathways for senior secondary students (the Firth Review), led by former VCAA Chief Executive Officer, John Firth.

Released in November 2020, the Final Report of the Firth Review recommended the creation of a new specialist vocational pathway in the VCE, transitioning over time to an integrated senior secondary certificate. The new certificate will give students flexibility to combine senior secondary units in line with their interests, strengths and career aspirations.

An enhanced statement of results will also form part of the integrated senior secondary certificate, allowing students to record additional completed skill sets to provide a full picture of their capabilities and achievements when they finish school.

Timelines and transition arrangements

The move to a single certificate will occur in stages. The first stage is the introduction of a new vocational specialist pathway within the VCE, commencing in 2023. The next stage will see a fully integrated senior secondary certificate rolled-out across all Victorian schools and senior secondary providers by 2025.

All students commencing a senior secondary certificate in 2023 will be enrolled in the new VCE or pathways certificate. Transition arrangements for existing students are being developed and more information will be announced shortly.

Students, schools, families and training providers will be given plenty of notice about what the changes mean for them.

Stakeholder Consultation

The VCAA is consulting with students, schools, training providers, employers and peak bodies on the design and development of the new vocational specialist pathway within the VCE and the new pathways certificate in preparation for the 2023 roll-out.

Specialist curriculum and assessment review panels have been established to support certificate design and curriculum development work in 2021.

A draft design of the certificates will be released for feedback and consultation mid-way through 2021, with the final designs expected to be announced in early 2022.

Find out more

To learn more about Victoria’s senior secondary certificate reform, you can email the Senior Secondary Reform team or sign up to receive the VCAA Bulletin.