VCAL – Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning
VCAL is a hands on approach using applied learning as its focus. If your main aim is to go to TAFE, get an apprenticeship or take on-the-job training when you leave school, then you should consider completing VCAL. VCAL and VCE are both accredited secondary certificates.
VCAL gives you practical, work-related experience as well as literacy, numeracy and personal development skills. VCAL is offered at three levels: Foundation, Intermediate (usually Year 11) and Senior (usually Year 12).
To be awarded the VCAL certificate, you must successfully complete the following:
- Literacy – this may be VCAL Literacy or some VCE English Unit sequences.
- Numeracy – this may be VCAL Numeracy or some VCE Maths Unit sequences.
- Personal Development Skills – you must participate in community-based projects, voluntary work and / or structured activities that will help develop your self-confidence, teamwork skills and other skills important for life and work.
- Work Related Skills – this includes structured work placement or a School Based New Apprenticeship or part-time work.
- Industry Specific Skills – this will typically be your VET program, but if you enrol in VCAL at Foundation level, you may also include appropriate VCE units under this strand e.g. Food and Technology.
- Some VCE subjects are available for students to select as a part of their VCAL course. Students should look for a subject that will:
- Supplement their skills e.g. an additional English or Maths or
- Support their chosen industry learning e.g. Legal Studies if they are studying VET Justice or
- Assist their entry to a TAFE or other tertiary course after their secondary schooling is complete e.g. a folio based subject from Technology or the Arts that will help a student to develop a portfolio of work in preparation for the interview process in courses.
Some components of the VCAL are completed at the student’s school, while others are at their VETis provider e.g. TAFE or at their industry work placement. Some course outcomes can be supplemented by work or the student’s community involvement outside regular school commitments and hours. Talk to the Senior School Principal for more information.
Once you have completed your VCAL you will have earned credit towards a trade or industry certificate and will have knowledge of areas such as Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S). This prior learning will be recognised and count towards your apprenticeship or traineeship, enabling you to obtain a trade qualification in less time.
If you choose VCAL and then change your mind, it is possible to swap to the VCE; however there are many things to be considered before this takes place and consultation with the Pathways staff and the VCE Educator is essential.
If you require further information about VCAL pathways, you can contact the College Careers Counsellors.