Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

VCAL is really different to VCE! It is a practical alternative. For the right person, it is empowering.

VCAL is one of the accredited Year 12 qualifications we offer, the other being VCE. Whilst VCE is the pathway to university, VCAL is the pathway into the workforce, or apprenticeship or TAFE.


Listen to this 5 minute video and you will understand our enthusiasm for VCAL!

A Typical VCAL student

  • a practical learner
  • enjoys hands on activities
  • a team player
  • likes to problem solve
  • adaptable and versatile
  • enjoys developing life skills
  • engages well with community projects
  • often works outside of the classroom
  • has a growth mindset to further their abilities

Partnership between student, industry and school

We focus on practically developing key employability skills. These skills represent what employers say they want to see in young people, and underpins how we design the course. If our students have these abilities they ought be better prepared for the complex working world they will inherit.


Employees are looking for these seven specific skills.


Understanding them is a major focus of our program.

How is VCAL structured?

VCAL can be undertaken at a Foundation, Intermediate or Senior level. Students complete the level/s that suit their skills and abilities; taking into account their literacy levels, interpersonal and organisational skills.

The VCAL has four curriculum areas, called strands. These strands are:

  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Industry specific skills
  • Work related skills
  • Personal development skills

Students complete credits that contribute to all four strands. There is great variety in how this can be done, including VCAL units, VCE units, VET units and Structured Work Place Learning. Students are also expected to undertake extended projects that may include competencies from a number of units.

Transition into VCAL

For most students, VCAL starts in Year 11, though some students may be eligible for early advancement whilst still in Year 10.

Every child in Year 7 – 11 begins the next academic year with a Commencement Program (Monday 30 November – Friday 4 December 2020). This is a compulsory transition process. New students enrolled for the following year are expected to participate. Senior students complete tasks over the summer holidays.

The program ends in the following September for Year 12.


Leader  Jacqui Martini  |  02 6043 5699