The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a senior secondary program designed to provide flexible pathways for young people as they transition from school to further education and work.

VCAL is a recognised senior secondary qualification

VCAL focuses on 'hands-on learning'. Students who do the VCAL are more likely to be interested in: going on to training at TAFE, doing an apprenticeship or traineeship, or getting a job after completing Year 12.

The VCAL pathway program must include Vocational Education and Training (VET) or a School based apprenticeship/traineeship (SBAt). The VCAL's flexibility lets you design a study program that suits your interests and learning needs. You pick from a range of subjects that match the four compulsory strands of study, which are: Literacy and Numeracy Skills, Industry Specific Skills, Work Related Skills and Personal Development Skills. Please refer to our course handbook for more information.

Structure of the VCAL

The principles of Applied Learning heavily focus on a student-centred approach, to embed and further develop employability and life skills. Northern Bay College has three Certificates from year 11 to 12 based upon individual levels.

Students migrate through the levels building a repertoire of skill sets. These are presented in their Portfolio, which is formally showcased at intervals throughout the year.

VCAL units at each level reflect the progression in the development of knowledge, skills and attributes, not necessarily what year level students are enrolled in.

For example:
  • At Foundation level, students learn in a structured environment with high levels of direction. Knowledge and employability skill development is supported by a strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills and preparatory learning.
  • At Intermediate level, learning is reasonably autonomous in regard to planning and work activities in partnership and guided by the teacher. Knowledge and employability skill development leads to independent learning, confidence and a high level of transferable skills.
  • At Senior level, learning is autonomous in regard to planning and work activities facilitated by the teacher. Knowledge and employability skill development leads to a high level of interpersonal skills, independent action and achievement of tasks that require decision making and leadership. It is important that a clear distinction is able to be made between the three VCAL levels.

Link to the 2022 VCAL Handbook

NB In this booklet costs were noted at time of course selection. Please refer to Parent Payment Requests tab on this website and talk with VCAL Coordinators for updated information

VCQAL Handbook cover