VCAL is another way for students to complete their secondary schooling.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) has been designed by the Victorian Qualifications Authority (VQA) to meet the needs of students who do not wish to receive an ATAR score, required for University entrance. It is also for students who prefer, or need, to learn in a more practical and hands on way.

The VCAL is accredited and issued at three award 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 in the development of skills, knowledge and attributes.


The VCAL program covers four main areas of study, all of which must be met in order to be awarded a certificate.

Literacy & Numeracy Skills
  • VCAL Numeracy Units or VCE Foundation Maths,
  • VCAL Reading and Writing and Oracy Units
Work Related Skills
  • VCAL Work Related Skills Units
Industry Specific Skills
  • VET Course e.g.: Hospitality, Building, Hairdressing, Community Services, Engineering, Automotive delivered by TAFE or other provider.
Personal Development Skills
  • VCAL Personal Development Skills Units.

Students will be off-campus for up to 2 days each week completing TAFE and/or Industry Work Placement. The work placement must be related to the student’s VET & chosen career pathway.

Students must attend and have satisfactory performance in their school-based program, VET course and work placement to be eligible for their VCAL certificate. The commitments and requirements of VCAL will be discussed in detail during a course counselling appointment.

There will be a charge for the Certificate Training provided by TAFE (or other registered provider of the course). Should the course not run, money will be fully refunded. A student is fully committed to a VET program by week 4 of the VET program.

Example pathways
  • Apprenticeships
  • Traineeships
  • General Employment
  • Building Industry
  • Land care (farming)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Carpentry
  • Retail
  • Further TAFE Study

This is a guide only, please see the careers team for pathway planning advice.

Students need to complete an expression of interest form for Foundation VCAL and an application form for the VET component of VCAL – for all VCAL levels.

Students are also required to attend an interview to assess eligibility for the program.

VCAL Assessment
To achieve a VCAL qualification at any certificate level, students must satisfactorily meet all outcomes across 10 units from four compulsory strands:
  • Literacy & Numeracy Skills.
  • Industry Specific Skills (e.g. VET).
  • Work Related Skills.
  • Personal Development Skills