Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Sign In Skip to Content

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
2023First enrolments in the VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate
2025All Victorian schools deliver the fully integrated senior secondary certificate


The certificate reforms are now in the accreditation phase, awaiting a decision from the expert education panel of the VRQA as early as possible in 2022.

Delivering improved vocational and applied learning pathways for secondary school students

Victoria is moving to a new integrated senior secondary certificate in 2023, which will be fully integrated by 2025. This will bring together the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) certificates. These reforms will ensure every student has the skills they need to find rewarding careers and reach their full potential.

Stage 1: Introducing the VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate in 2023

The first stage is the introduction of a new VCE Vocational Major commencing in 2023. This is a two-year vocational and applied learning program that will replace Senior and Intermediate VCAL and offer a program that enables successful transitions into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, or directly into employment.

Find more information about the new VCE Vocational Major

A new Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) will also be introduced in 2023 to replace Foundation VCAL. The VPC is designed to support students to transition either to the VCE Vocational Major or to entry level VET or employment. 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 undertaking these pathways will have access to an enriched curriculum as well as relevant workplace experiences based on their career goals that will develop their real-world knowledge, and technical and transferrable skills that will set them up for further education and employment.

Stage 2: Integrated senior secondary certificate in 2025

From 2025, a fully integrated senior secondary certificate will be introduced across all Victorian schools and senior secondary providers, offering students genuine and identifiable vocational pathways. Under an integrated single certificate, all students will be able to build a program relevant to their specific strengths, interests and future aspirations.

Transition arrangements

In 2022, there are no changes to the existing certificates. Students will still be able to enrol in either the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) or the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).

Current students completing VCAL units at Intermediate or Senior levels can receive credit into the VCE VM.

Further information will soon be available. The arrangements will ensure that every student will receive credit for units successfully completed. This will include a range of common scenarios which can be applied to individual students in each provider.

The VCAA has developed a program of professional learning to support providers during 2022 as they prepare for the implementation of the VPC and VCE Vocational Major in 2023. Register for professional learning.

Keep an eye out on the VCAA website or subscribe to the VCAA Bulletin  for further information on upcoming professional learning opportunities.

For providers seeking to deliver the VCE VM and/or the VPC in 2023, see Apply to deliver the VCE, VCE VM or VPC page for more information.

We are mindful of supporting students, teachers and schools through this period of change. We are partnering with key stakeholders to develop strategies to support educators, students and families as we transition to the new courses in 2023.

Vocational and Applied Learning Pathways Review

The certificate reforms are 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.

The Firth Review found that we need to do more to make vocational and applied learning in schools consistently high quality, relevant to the needs of students and employers, and accessible to all students across the state. Key recommendations were to create a new vocational and applied learning pathway within the VCE and a new foundation certificate.

In 2021, the VCAA worked with students, families, educators, and the broader community on the development of the new pathways and curriculum. Consultation included school visits, online forums and interactive webinars, stakeholder meetings and expert panels.

A summary of stakeholder feedback on the VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate and curriculum is available to view online:

Following accreditation by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority in April 2022, the VCAA has released the VCE Vocational Major curriculum. The Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) will soon be accredited, and the curriculum will be released upon accreditation.

Find out more

To learn more about the senior secondary pathway reforms, please visit the Department of Education and Training website.

You can also email your questions to the VCAA’s Senior Secondary Certificate Reform team or sign up to receive the monthly VCAA Bulletin