VCAL at Copperfield College

Copperfield College has an award winning Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) program and has high expectations for all VCAL students to achieve successful outcomes. Copperfield’s VCAL has been developed since 2003 at its Senior Campus located at Delahey.

What is the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL)

The VCAL gives you practical work related experience, as well as literacy and numeracy skills and the opportunity to build personal skills important for life and work. Like the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE), the VCAL is a recognised senior secondary qualification. The VCAL has three levels – Foundation, Intermediate and Senior. Your teacher or careers counselor will help you decide which level is most appropriate for your needs. Students who do the VCAL are likely to be interested in going on to training at a Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institute, starting an apprenticeship, or getting a job after completing school.

At Copperfield College, students also complete Skills for further study (SFFS) during their senior year. The VCAL’s flexibility enables you to undertake a study program that suits your interests and learning needs. Fully accredited modules and units are selected for the following four compulsory strands:

  • Literacy and Numeracy Skills
  • Work Related Skills
  • Industry Specific Skills
  • Personal Development Skills

 If you successfully complete your VCAL, you will receive a certificate and a Statement of Results that details the areas of study you have completed.

Why would I choose to do the VCAL?

While the VCE is a good option for students who would like to go on to further education at university, you might feel that this is not the right option for you.

The VCAL is an accredited senior secondary qualification undertaken in Years 11 and 12. The VCAL is based on hands-on learning, also known as applied learning.

If you choose to do the VCAL, you will gain practical experience and employability skills, as well as the skills you will need to go on to further training in the workplace or at TAFE.

What do I get after successfully completing the VCAL?

If you successfully complete your VCAL program, you will receive a VCAL certificate at either the Foundation, Intermediate or Senior level, depending on the VCAL level you chose to complete. You will also get a Statement of Results listing all VCAL, VCE and Vocational Education and Training (VET) units.

What do I study?

With the help of your teacher or careers counselor, you can develop a VCAL program that suits your particular learning needs and interests. You can select units and modules for each of the following four compulsory VCAL strands.


Your VCAL program must include literacy and numeracy subjects. These can be selected from VCAL literacy skills and VCAL numeracy skills units and/or VCE English and Mathematics units or selected further education studies such as the Certificate in General Education for Adults.


Your VCAL program at the Intermediate and Senior levels must include components of nationally recognised VET qualifications. However, you are not required to focus on, or complete, any single VET certificate. For example, you can choose to complete various units of competency from a range of VET certificates to meet the VCAL requirements and gain experience in a range of vocational areas. The range of VET options is extensive.


In order to develop employability skills, VCAL gives you the choice of undertaking a structured work placement, or a part-time apprenticeship/traineeship, or part-time work. You can also study units and modules that will help prepare you for work, for example occupational health and safety or job interview skills.


As part of your VCAL program you will participate in projects and activities in your community or school that will help develop your teamwork skills, self-confidence and other skills important for life and work. For example, your school may work with the local council to enhance parklands. The learning you gain from being involved in such a project can be counted towards the VCAL

Skills for Further Study

The purpose of this unit is to enable students to develop knowledge and skills for further study that will prepare and assist them to pursue diverse and higher level education and training pathways in a range of settings.

The unit focuses on developing:

  • Time management skills
  • Strategies for learning
  • Research skills
  • A pathway plan
  • Portfolios and applications


Our wonderful Community Partners