The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a Senior Secondary Qualification which provides Year 11 and 12 students with an alternative to VCE.
VCAL prepares students for further studies in vocational education and training and for employment. It provides teachers with the opportunity to individualise learning programs based on each student’s interests and strengths, focusing on the practical application of work skills. VCAL students do not sit exams and usually do not receive graded assessments. Instead, they experience competency-based assessments.
Unlike VCE, VCAL is a one-year certificate, which can be achieved at three different levels (Foundation, Intermediate and Senior levels). Most Year 11 VCAL students achieve their VCAL certificate at Intermediate Level, and most Year 12 VCAL students achieve their VCAL certificate at Senior Level.
There are three compulsory components of every VCAL program:
School (3 days each week)
Training (an approved VET course 1 day each week)
Work Placement (1 day each week in an industry related to the student’s career goal)
VCAL Students do not choose their own school subjects. During three days of the week, students attend school to study Literacy, Numeracy, Personal Development Skills, and Work Related Skills. One day a week VCAL students undertake their chosen VET course and on another day they go to work to attend a Work Placement.
VCAL gives students a practical application of the skills necessary to extend pathways from school to training and employment. Students can attain a VCAL certificate or statement of attainment at the conclusion of both years of study, and it recognises the attainment of these skills and competencies.
NOTE: No ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank) is generated from a VCAL course, so students will not be able to apply for entry to most University courses.
Year 11-12 Curriculum Guide 2021 - VCAL
For comprehensive information on VCAL subjects and requirements, please download the Year 11-12 Curriculum Guide here and go to SECTION 3 – VCAL on page 58.
VCAL is a select entry course, and students are accepted only if they meet the specific criteria established by the College. Applicants are interviewed to assess their suitability for the program. Each applicant’s readiness for work and vocational training is assessed, as well as their classroom behaviour, effort and attendance.
The College expects all VCAL students to participate in a VET course 1 day per week each year – students who complete a VET study in year 11 will need to begin a new VET course if they are returning in year 12.
The session is 60 minutes long and is designed to be run as an open forum for discussion. This allows parents to ask Elevate Study Skills Experts any questions they have about being the parent of a Se..