Introducing VCAL at Avila
of Applied Learning
The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is an alternate, but equal in status, certificate administered by the VCAA which may be undertaken by all students who are enrolled in any vocational course, either at Avila or elsewhere in years 11 and/or 12.
VCAL is a ‘Hands On” vocational pathway. VCAL does not generate study scores or an ATAR ranking.
Areas of Study
At Avila, VCAL consists of three levels of study:
Wherever possible, students undertake Foundation/Intermediate in Year 11 and Intermediate/Senior in Year 12.
VCAL Learning Programs must comprise of the five compulsory Curriculum Strands. The five strands are:
- Work Related Skills
- Industry Specific Skills
- Personal Development Skills
At Avila College students may choose to satisfy the strands in a variety of ways. VCE units may be studied within the program and a Vocational Education and Training (VET) option must be included. A semester of a VCE Technology subject (Studio Arts, Agriculture and Horticulture, Product Design Technology or Second VET Study) must also be undertaken.
The purpose of VCAL assessment is to measure a student’s achievement of a learning outcome by collecting evidence about their performance and making a judgment about whether they have met the requirements of that learning outcome.
These requirements are clearly outlined in the elements of each learning outcome. Evidence of achievement can include, but is not limited to, direct observation, written work, oral presentations, object production and project implementation.
No exams are used to assess VCAL outcomes.
Applied learning is about nurturing and working with a student in a holistic manner, which takes into account their personal strengths, interests, goals and previous experiences.
Applied learning values skills and knowledge that may not normally be the focus of more traditional school curricula. It also means taking into account differences in ways of learning. This focus on a real-life application will often require a shift from a traditional focus on discrete curriculum to a more integrated approach to learning, as students focus on learning and applying the skills and knowledge they need to solve a problem, implement a project or participate in the workforce.
VCAL is a recognised qualification in Victoria and both employers and educational institutes acknowledge its benefits. A VCAL Certification can lead to:
- Apprenticeship or Traineeship
- Further VET study e.g. Certificate IV or Diploma level
- Post Diploma level study pathway to University in some industry areas