Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

If your chosen career pathway requires workplace links and VET Certificates then this may be the program for you!


VCAL is the vocational alternative to VCE and is specifically designed for students wishing to make a transition to full time work, apprenticeships, traineeships or further training like TAFE.

VCAL provides an accredited program of studies at each level in the following four compulsory strands:

    • Literacy and numeracy: includes the study of English and Maths at an appropriate level for the student, aiming to provide skills that enable a progression to work or further traini

    • Work related skills: develops skills, knowledge and behaviours that are valued by all employers and includes work placement. School subjects could include Industry and Enterprise, Design and Technology – Wood or Metals – Food Technology.   

    • Industry-specific skills: develops skills and behaviours that are related to industry and which enable progression to further learning and to the world of work.  This normally encompasses a VET part time program  

    • Personal development: aims to develop skills, knowledge and behaviour that provide improved self-confidence, increased self-esteem and community development.       


VCAL develops and extends pathways for young people from school to work, training, VCE or further education. Successful completion of VCAL will provide students with skills that are important for life, work and further training. Students gain a VCAL Certificate and/or Certificate of Attainment.  It provides an alternative to the VCE, while still allowing students the opportunity to study some VCE/VET units.

Central to VCAL is the requirement that each student has an individual pathway plan, which best suits the student’s career pathways – work and/or further training.  Each student will undertake extended work placement one day per week for Terms 2-4.


Students who want to use their final years at school preparing for work rather than further study, and who prefer to be more practical in their approach to learning, would be the sort of student who would select to do VCAL. All aspects of the course relate directly to skills and competencies that are recognised in the workplace.


The program will be undertaken at Newcomb, taught by Newcomb teachers, but with some outside agencies assisting in delivering the program.


All students will undertake the same program as shown on the following page. Some modification may be available, depending on a student’s individual pathway.

VCAL Requirements

  • Students must satisfactorily complete:
  • 10 credits.  A credit represents 100 nominal hours of accredited curriculum. In general one credit represents a single semester subject, or unit, eg a VCE/VET unit or VCAL unit.
  • At least one unit from each of the four required strands.
  • At each level this must include one Literacy and one Numeracy unit/credit.
  • Two VCAL units – selected from the Work Related Skills and/or Personal Development Skills strands.