The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning is a qualification that skills students in preparation for further training and or apprenticeships traditionally in trade.

Industry Specific Skills

The VCAL pathway program must include Vocational Education and Training (VET) or a School based apprenticeship/traineeship (SBAt)reflecting industry specific skills to support each stands units of competency. However, you are not required to focus on or complete any single VET qualification. For example, you can choose to undertake various units of competency from a range of VET qualifications to meet the VCAL requirements, and gain experience in a range of vocational areas. The range of VET options is extensive with recognised training packages available from industries including Automotive, Engineering, Building and Construction, Hospitality, Music industry, Retail cosmetic services, Nail technology, Hair and beauty, Sort and recreation, to name a few. Alternatively a school based apprenticeship/Traineeship (SBAT) is required to obtain a VCAL certificate. Please refer to 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. At Northern Bay we adopt the approach of developing and fine tuning deep learning using the competencies and student voice to devise theme project based learning. Northern Bay College has three Certificates from year 11 to 12 based upon individual levels. We integrate curriculum, based on student choice and needs which reflect the relevant frameworks. Students migrate through the levels building a repertoire of skill sets reflecting their best pieces of evidence in their Portfolio which is formally showcased, in intervals through the duration of the year. We pride our program on teamwork and communication amongst staff and students to collaborate a dynamic program.

VCAL units at each level reflect the progression in the development of knowledge, skills and attributes, Year level does not necessarily depict what level certificate students are entered into. For example:

  • At Foundation level, students learn in a structured environments with high levels of direction. Knowledge and employability skills 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 skills 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 skills 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.