Victorian Certificate 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.


At Avila, VCAL consists of three levels of study: Foundation, Intermediate and Senior. 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:

  • Literacy

  • Numeracy

  • Work Related Skills

  • Industry Specific Skills

  • Personal Development Skills

More details about each strand can be found here.

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 (Product Design and Technology or Food Studies) 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.

  • Apprenticeship or Traineeship

  • Further VET study e.g. Certificate IV or Diploma level

  • Post Diploma level study pathway to University in some industry areas

  • Employment



Certificate II | Creative Industries


This certificate allows students to explore a variety of areas in the arts and creative industries field. Depending on the interests of the class group a range of outcomes will be chosen to best reflect their interests and staff expertise.


Core units include:

  • Work effectively with others

  • Develop and apply creative arts industry knowledge

  • Apply work and health safety practices

Elective units may include but are not limited to:

  • Deliver a service to a customer

  • Follow a design process

  • Undertake routine front of house duties

  • Usher patrons

  • Develop basic lighting skills and knowledge

  • Process financial transactions

  • Assist in a basic camera shoot

  • Develop digital imaging skills


Assessment is the process of collecting evidence and making judgments on whether competency has been achieved to confirm that a student can perform to the standard expected in the workplace. This will comprise of classwork, teacher observation and attendance and participation at school events which may be outside regular school hours.


Completion of this course provides knowledge and skills to assist students in pursuing a range of pathways including: Graphic Design, Media editor, Media Producer, Photographer, Publisher, Digital Designer, Retail Assistant and Event Manager.


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Certificate II | Hospitality


This qualification may prepare individuals with a defined and limited range of hospitality operational skills and basic knowledge. Graduates typically provide routine and repetitive tasks and work under direct supervision.


  • Work effectively with others

  • Source and use information on the hospitality industry

  • Use hospitality skills effectively

  • Interact with customers

  • Show social and cultural sensitivity

  • Use hygienic practices for food safety

  • Participate in safe work practices

  • Prepare and present simple dishes

  • Clean kitchen premises and equipment

  • Use food preparation equipment

  • Prepare and present sandwiches

  • Provide responsible service of alcohol

  • Prepare packaged foodstuffs



Students are required to achieve six core and at least six elective competencies.

Certificate 11 Hospitality must be studies for both semesters.


Pathways may include employment into various workplaces within the hospitality industry such as restaurants, hotels, motels, catering operations, clubs, pubs, cafes and coffee shops. Typical roles include bar attendant, cafe attendant, catering assistant, food and beverage attendant, front office assistant, porter and room attendant.



External Vocational Education Training | VET


Students have the opportunity to select this option in order to attend an external VET provider and pursue an area of interest not offered within the campus. Choosing this option will ensure students have Wednesday afternoons free to attend external classes and to have a number of studies undertaken in the library to complete VET homework and/or catch up on other work.

Students will be assisted to enrol in VET Designed for Secondary School Students courses at either government TAFEs or private providers.

To find out what certificates are available at each provider please look for the VETis or VETDSSS link on their websites. Please see staff in the careers Hub for further information. You can also search for courses on the Skills Gateway website.

The chosen certificate will have a range of outcomes the student must complete over one or two years. Some VET courses can contribute to a VCE program and be used in the ATAR calculation.

The cost of these courses is in addition to the Avila College yearly fees although a generous rebate from Catholic Education Melbourne is applied for to help offset the cost.


This option is open to students regardless of which senior school pathway they undertake. All studies at certificate 111 level can contribute to ATAR calculations.

Certificate 11 studies may contribute depending on the area of study and also satisfy all VCAL requirements.


A diverse and large range of pathway options exist for student on completion of VET studies. They may use their studies to continue through the certificate and diploma VET pathway or as a means of accessing university studies. Some certificate 111 level studies can also lead directly to employment.