Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning, VCAL

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands-on option for students in Years 11 and 12. The VCAL gives you 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. Like the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), VCAL is an accredited secondary certificate.

Students studying the VCAL at Foundation level undertake a two-year course of competency based study. Students are required to demonstrate skill acquisition and understanding through functional application both at school and in the community. Decisions on the structure of a students’ program are based on individual needs, academic assessments and the considered view of teaching staff based on their knowledge of students and prospective programs.

The four strands of VCAL are:

  • Literacy and Numeracy
    • The purpose of the VCAL Literacy & Numeracy Skills units is to develop literacy skills and knowledge that allow effective participation in the main social contexts in which we function in Australian society, such as family, work, education and community settings.
  • Personal Development (Units 1 and 2)
    • As part of the VCAL program students participate in projects and activities at school and in the wider community developing team work skills, self-confidence and other skills important for life and work.
  • Work Related Skills (Units 1 and 2)
    • In order to develop employability skills, VCAL offers the choice of undertaking work experience and structured work learning placements.
  • Industry Specific Skills
    • The VCAL learning program includes Vocational Education and Training (VET) units of competency. Students can choose from a wide range of VET subjects.

Vocational Education and Training, VET

Vocational Education and Training (VET) program is delivered to secondary school students to expand their opportunities and pathways from school. VET is an elective that students can undertake from year 10 and is delivered to industry standards via compliance with our external Registered Training Organisation, RTO. The program highlights the relevance of VET in the changing world of work and potential pathways to further education, training or employment

Certificates available:

  • Certificate I in Information, Multimedia and Communications, ICT
  • Certificate I in Vocational Preparations
  • Certificate I in Transition Education
  • Certificate II in Information, Multimedia and Communications
  • Certificate II Furnishing
  • Certificate II in Horticulture
  • Certificate II in Business Studies
  • Certificate II in Creative Industries
  • Certificate II in Public Safety, Fire Fighting

Work Experience and Work Placement

After completing the mandatory 40-hour, A Job Well Done OHS certificate, VCAL students undertake individual work experience or supported work placements through a variety of employers at different settings. Partnerships will local businesses community groups and provide our students with experience in many different fields. Students begin work on their Career Action Plan in Year 9 and this supports students to set goals with their families and teachers for commencement of their work experience placement during Year 10 and is designed to create an individual pathway to employment or further studies.

School Based Apprenticeships and Training, SBAT

Eligible students must be aged 15 years or over and enrolled in VCAL. An SBAT offers students the option of combining a senior secondary program with part-time employment and training. The program is undertaken under a Training Contract with an employer. A Training Plan signed by the school is formally lodged with the Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN). It leads to a nationally recognised qualification. An SBAT is an integral part of the student’s senior secondary learning program and study timetable. Regular school attendance is combined with a minimum of one timetabled day a week of employment and/or structured training. The time requirements of work and training for the SBAT are undertaken at an average of 13 hours a week over each four-month period each year. The VRQA is responsible for regulating the minimum hours per week for employment and training for SBATs.

SBATs accessed by SMRSS are Certificate II in Business, Certificate II in Floristry, Certificate II in Hospitality, Certificate III in Information and Multimedia and Communication Technology, Certificate III in Retail and Certificate III in Plumbing

The full policy can be accessed at:

Links to community providers

Ticket to Work, TTW

Ticket to Work believes that every young person has the right to an employment pathway. Our mission is to ensure that young Australians with disability have the opportunities to exercise that right. Ticket to Work prepares young people for the world of work and provides them with an open employment pathway in their transition from school.

Pathways to Employment, P2E