WHAT IS VCAL?
The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a practical option for Year 11 and 12 students. VCAL gives students practical work-related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills that are important for life and work. It can be commenced in Year 11 or 12 at the level best matched to the student’s needs and abilities. Students are at school three days per week, while completing a VET certificate and a day of work placement on the remaining two days.
Fully accredited modules and units are selected for four compulsory strands, including:
- Literacy and Numeracy Skills
- Industry Specific Skills
- Work Related Skills
- Personal Development Skills
The VCAL is accredited at three levels: Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (Foundation), Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (Intermediate), Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (Senior).
The three qualification levels cater for a range of students with different abilities and interests. They also provide a progression of skills, knowledge and attitudinal development.
At this level the focus is on knowledge and employability skill development, supported by a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills and preparatory learning. Foundation students receive a high level of teacher support.
At intermediate level, the focus is on knowledge and employability skills development that leads to independent learning, confidence and a higher level of transferable skills. Intermediate students receive some teacher support but there is an expectation that students will demonstrate independent learning.
At this level the focus is on knowledge and employability skills that lead to a high level of interpersonal skills, independent action and achievement of tasks that require decision making and leadership. The demonstration of knowledge and skills which apply directly to the workplace or further training is also important. Senior students are expected to work as independent, self-directed learners.
Students who choose VCAL are most likely to go on to training at TAFE institutes, start an apprenticeship or get a job after completing school, rather than applying for university, although a move into the VCE is not out of the question for students who change their mind. Any VCE units or intermediate or senior VCAL units completed as part of VCAL may count towards VCE completion. If your child wants to move in the opposite direction, satisfactory completion of any VCE units can be credited towards VCAL.
The VCAL curriculum is based on outcomes (like VCE), but is assessed by demonstrating competencies (rather than exams). These competencies are assessed through projects and practical applications at school and within industry training.