VCAL - The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning


The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands-on option for students in Years 11 and 12. VCAL can lead to apprenticeships, TAFE and training courses, or even get you a job. 

Topics on this page include:

> What is VCAL?
> Choosing VCAL subjects
> What VCAL leads to
> Switching between VCE and VCAL
> Finding a VCAL school
> Who to contact for more information
> Links to helpful resources

What is VCAL?

Like the VCE, the VCAL is a recognised senior secondary qualification. Unlike the VCE, which is widely used by students as a pathway to university, the 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
  • Getting a job after completing Year 12

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Choosing VCAL subjects

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:

  1. Literacy and Numeracy Skills
  2. Industry Specific Skills
  3. Work Related Skills
  4. Personal Development Skills

For more explanation about the four strands, check out:

The best way to make a decision about what subjects to do is to work backwards.

  1. Think about what kind of job you want
  2. Find out what skills or qualifications you’ll need

You can start your research with our Career profiles section.

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What VCAL leads to 

When you complete your VCAL you'll receive a certificate and a Statement of Results.

Your VCAL qualification will be recognised by TAFE institutes and employers, which will help you move straight from school to:

  • An apprenticeship or traineeship
  • Further training at TAFE 
  • Getting a job

For more about these options, check out our Apprenticeships & Traineeships section and our TAFE & Training page.

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Switching between VCAL and VCE

If you change your mind and either want to start or stop doing VCAL, it's completely possible to change from one kind of secondary study to the other.

  • If you're doing VCAL and decide you'd prefer to switch to VCE, any VCE subjects you've successfully completed as part of the VCAL program will count towards your VCE.
  • If you're doing VCE and you decide you want to change to VCAL, any VCE or VET subjects you've completed successfully will count towards your VCAL.

For more information about changing your studies, it's a good idea to talk to your school career counsellor to find out all about the options open to you.

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Finding a VCAL school

The VCAA Schools and Studies Search tool (new window) can help you to find a school near you that offers VCAL studies.

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More information

For more information about VCAL, and to have any questions answered, get in touch with your school careers counsellor or contact the VCAA on 1800 134 197 or

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Links to more information

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