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VCAL is an applied learning course designed for students

Students have the option of undertaking one or more Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses as a part of their Senior School program. IIn addition, our VCAL students continue training at TAFE, commence apprenticeships or go onto employment after completing Year 12.


The VCAL is a ‘hands-on’ option for students that provides them with practical work-related experience, who intend to seek either full time employment, or employment with a training component on completion of the course. Like the VCE, VCAL is an accredited secondary certificate. The VCAL is a qualification that is recognised by TAFE institutes and employers. VCAL can help students move from school into work, an apprenticeship or traineeship and/or further training at TAFE. University study is possible through a TAFE pathway. The principles underpinning the VCAL include tailoring a program to suit students’ interests, personal development, and development of work related and industry specific skills.


The minimum requirements for satisfactory completion are set by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).

There are four compulsory strands in the VCAL program:

  • Literacy & Numeracy Skills
  • Work Related Skills
  • Industry Specific Skills, including 1 day a week work placement over the two years
  • Personal Development Skills


Students at Heywood and District Secondary College also complete VCAL studies with 1 VCE subject and a VET course. Students attend South West TAFE or Hamilton Skills Centre for one day a week to study a VET (Vocational Education and Training) course.