VCAL at Chisholm

What to expect

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a senior secondary certificate based on applied learning in years 11 and 12.

It is a qualification designed to provide additional pathways for students interested in vocationally orientated career options or moving straight into employment.

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a one or two year Certificate and provides students with a wider range of educational and training pathways.

VET (Vocational Education and Training) is an essential part of VCAL. This is where a student gets to explore work and job interests.

Our aim is to offer as much flexibility as possible and to suit individual needs, abilities and interests.


VCAL can be studied at the Frankston, Berwick TEC and regional campuses.

Who is the VCAL program suited to?

Students who enrol in VCAL are more likely to be interested in:

  • Going on to further training at TAFE
  • Completing an apprenticeship or traineeship
  • Want to complete a Secondary High School Certificate which is recognised nationally
  • May want to go out to work when they finish school
  • Want to develop more confidence in the workplace
  • Want to gain maturity before they take future steps.

VCAL levels

The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is accredited at two levels. At Chisholm we run the following levels:

  • Intermediate
  • Senior.

These levels will ensure that there are achievable learning targets for a range of students.

At TAFE, we run the same VCAL qualification as secondary schools but in a different setting.

Commitment to the program

VCAL students need to be committed to their individual program. Teachers, Students, Parents, VET Departments and workplaces work together for the program to be successful.

Students need to turn up to every class, complete their assessments and participate in all activities to ensure they successfully complete their full VCAL certificate. This includes participating in group activities, excursions and day-to-day classes.

As part of becoming work ready and showing commitment to the course, students must contact their VCAL teachers if they are going to be away or absent from classes.

VCAL programs and units

VCAL learning programs comprise of the following curriculum strands:

  • Literacy
  • Numeracy
  • Work Related Skills
  • Personal Development Skills
  • Vocational Education Training (VET).

The units and modules selected in each Curriculum Strand could comprise units for VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education), VET (Vocational Education and Training) and Further Education and VCAL units accredited by VCAA (Victorian Curriculum & Assessment Authority).


This unit is designed to develop knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to reading, writing and oral communication in areas of family, employment, further learning and community and to provide pathways to further study and work. Students will undertake learning in areas of:

  • Self-Expression
  • Knowledge
  • Practical Writing
  • Public Debate.


This unit is designed to develop knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to the practical application of numeracy in the contexts of home, work and the community. Students will undertake learning in areas of:

  • Numerical Skills and Processes
  • Financial Literacy
  • Planning and Organising
  • Measurement, Representation and Design
  • Applied Numeracy and Industry-Bases Projects.

Work related skills

This unit is designed to develop knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to employability skills, career investigation, planning for employment, occupational health and safety and working in teams.

It may also include part-time work, apprenticeships, traineeships, or structured workplace.

Personal development skills

This unit is designed to develop skills, knowledge and attitudes that lead towards self-awareness, improved health and wellbeing, commitment to, and achievement of personal goals, as well as social and community awareness.

Students will participate in activities such as local and community-based projects, voluntary work and structured activities to help develop self-confidence, teamwork and other skills important for life, employment and active citizenship.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

As part of the VCAL program, students are required to participate in Industry Skills, which is done through the VET program. This is designed to develop key knowledge and skills in a vocational (work) context that assists the students in making informed choices regarding further learning and/or employment. It provides vocational experiences relevant to student interest and abilities.

At Chisholm we offer a variety of VET programs including (but not limited to):

  • Automotive (Mechanical)
  • Beauty Services
  • Building and Construction (Bricklaying or Carpentry)
  • Community Services
  • Computer Assembly and Repair
  • Design Fundamentals (Graphics or Photography)
  • Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Electrotechnology
  • Engineering (Fabrication or Mechanical)
  • Furniture Making
  • Health Services Assistant
  • Horticulture
  • Hospitality (Front of House)
  • Information Digital Media And Technology (Games Design or Cyber Security)
  • Kitchen Operations
  • Makeup
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Plumbing
  • Salon Assistant
  • Screen And Media
  • Sport And Recreation
  • Visual Arts.

Structured Workplace Learning

VCAL students will complete one week of Structured Workplace Learning as part of their program. We also encourage students to complete one day per week where their timetable allows it. Students who are enrolled in a themed program such as Business & Enterprise or Health & Recreation will completed a two-week placement.

The work arrangement should be initiated and made by the student with the support of the teacher.

Part-time work

Students should inform their teacher, transition facilitator or VCAL coordinator if they are in part-time work arrangements. There are occasions when part-time work can contribute to credit towards the VCAL or VCE. Each case is different and needs to be individually assessed.

How are students assessed?

There are no exams in VCAL. This is why it is very important to attend all your classes and activities that have been organised. Each VCAL program is designed

with students’ interests in mind and sometimes your assessment will be particularly tailored to you as an individual.

There are a number of ways in which VCAL students are assessed. These include:

  • Observation
  • Demonstration
  • Written work
  • Projects
  • Oral presentations
  • Folio work
  • Attending excursions
  • Structured Workplace Learning
  • Team work
  • Peer review/feedback
  • Digital evidence.

Achieving your VCAL Certificate

Students must complete 10 credits / 1000 hours of training in order to complete their Intermediate or Senior VCAL.

(1 credit = 100 nominal hours) to receive their full certificate. The credits are made up of:

  • VCAL Units
  • VET Units
  • Credits from VCE.

Students must complete Literacy and Professional Development Skills units at the appropriate VCAL level in order to receive their full certificate. For example, if you are studying Senior VCAL you must complete Senior Literacy and Professional Development Skills.

At the end of the year a student will receive either:

  • A completed VCAL Certificate which lists a statement of results for VCAL and VET Units
  • A Statement of Attainment which lists the units you have completed.

Your VCAL qualification will be recognized by TAFE institutes and employers, which will help you move straight from school to work, an apprenticeship or traineeship or further training at TAFE.

Need more information?

The VCAL department at Senior Secondary and Pathways Program are happy to discuss any further queries you may have regarding our VCAL courses or processes.


Kate Turner
(03) 9238 8140

Berwick TEC and Cranbourne

Jenni Sanders
(03) 9212 4619

Register for a VCAL Information Session

See our VCAL courses