The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a senior school certificate designed to sit alongside the VCE, providing additional pathways for Years 11 and 12 students seeking vocationally oriented career options such as apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training or moving on to employment.

Students cannot complete the VCE Certificate while undertaking VCAL.

Those considering VCAL are:

  • Students who are seeking a vocational pathway on completion of school
  • Students who learn best where learning is practical, experiential, 'hands-on' or 'applied'
  • Students who are less suited to academic learning

VCAL provides students with a more flexible approach to their education and training. It aims to provide the skills, knowledge and attitudes to enable students to make informed choices regarding work and further education. Personal development and the use of individual student interests are important components of the VCAL.

For further information regarding VCAL – please contact the Director of Pathways Education.

VCAL Levels

VCAL has 3 levels, Foundation, Intermediate and Senior. Parade offers both the Intermediate Level (at Year 11) and the Senior Level (at Year 12) of VCAL.

The Edmund Rice Pathways Program is a pathway beginning at Year 10 Preston Campus to VCAL only. Students will not be able to choose a VCE program after Pathways. It is an alternative, vocationally orientated program for Year 10 students. Students are able to openly apply for this program. In addition, House Leaders in consultation with a range of interested parties will identify potential students and invite them to apply for a place. The program is limited in its intake.

The Edmund Rice Pathways Program and VCAL program at Year 11 and 12 take advantage of the excellent facilities both within and nearby the Parade College Preston Campus.Students are also able to access training through the Edmund Rice Trade and Training Centre located at the Bundoora campus.

House Leaders in consultation with a range of interested parties including Tutor teachers, classroom teachers, Director Pathways Education and Student Support Services will identify potential students and invite them to apply for a place. In addition, an information night will be held in June each year, during which parents can also enquire about applying.

The program has a limited number of places for students at Year 10.

For further information regarding Edmund Rice Pathways program, please contact our Director of Pathways Education


ERPP Course Structure

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Community Action Based Religious Education
  • Work Education/Vocational Preparation
  • VET Certificate 111 Sport and Recreation (Some units)
  • VET Certificate 11 Building and Construction (Carpentry)
  • One of either VET Bricklaying or Furniture Making Pathways

VCAL Curriculum Strands & Selection

VCAL has 4 strands to ensure balance and state-wide consistency:

  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Industry specific skills (VET training)
  • Work related skills
  • Personal development skills

1. Literacy and Numeracy Skills

Students undertake VCAL school based units in Literacy and Numeracy in both the Intermediate and Senior VCAL.

2. Industry Specific Skills

Students choose from:

VCE VET Certificates offered at Parade College in: Furniture Making Pathways, Hospitality (Kitchen Operations), Music Industry (Spind Production), Sport and Recreation, Building and Construction (Carpentry), Electrotechnology (Career Start), Plumbing, Building and Construction (Bricklaying), Floor and Wall Tiling, Information and Digital Technology, Business and Media. VCAL requires a minimum 90 nominal hours of VET training. Parade students do considerably more than the minimum.

External programs other than those listed can be accessed through the Northern Melbourne VET Cluster including Visual Arts, Automotive, Engineering, Community Services, and Allied Health. Details can be obtained from Director Pathways Education

3. Work Related Skills

Students undertake Work placement and VCAL work related units. Students’ part time work can become a recognised part of the VCAL. Students engaged in school based apprenticeships or traineeships have recognition under VCAL.

Students will complete a school based VCAL Work Related Skills at both Intermediate and Senior levels which will specifically prepare students for the world of work. Central to this will be extended work placement within the broad industry of student interest. Both school and students will be involved in a process of being placed in a suitable placement up to 8 weeks over the year.

4. Personal Development Skills

Students undertake Units in Personal Development skills which can include community involvement and community based projects all designed to develop teamwork skills, self-confidence and life skills. Student’s own involvement in the community can be recognised e.g. CFA; voluntary work, outside coaching; leadership and involvement in a range of activities can be recognised in the VCAL.

All students in VCAL undertake a VET Certificate II Small Business as a compulsory part of their program

* There will be strictly limited places in this certificate. Any student who has any inclination towards university entrance beyond school should not apply for the VCAL. An application process, selection criteria, student interview, parent interview and availability will determine whether you can enrol in the VCAL.

Edmund Rice Trade and Training Centre (ERTTC)

The Edmund Rice Trade and Training centre at the Bundoora campus offers training in a variety of building-related Vocational and Educational Training (VET) programs. There will be limited availability for Year 10 students - both mainstream and ERPP - to apply for up to two of the following VET courses:

  • Certificate II Building and Construction (Bricklaying)
  • Certificate II Building and Construction (Floor and Wall Tiling)
  • Certificate II Building and Construction (Carpentry)
  • Certificate II Plumbing (Pre-vocational)
  • Certificate II inFurniture Making Pathways
  • Electrotechnology (Career Start)
  • Students can also access VET training from the Bundoora campus in Cert lll in Sport and Recreation, Cert lIl in Kitchen Operations, Cert lll in Music Industry (Sound Production) and Cert lll in Screen and Media as a part of their VCAL program. Certificate ll in Electrotechnology can be accessed at both Bundoora and the Preston campus. VET training in Certificate ll in Plumbing is accessed at the Preston campus

Please note that students accessing VET offerings are required to pay a VET levy Currently the levy is $445. The one levy is applied irrespective of the number of VET programs accessed.

All VET courses for Bundoora students at the ERTTC will run from 7.30am - 11am or 1.30pm - 5.30pm or 3.30pm - 5.50pm.

Preston students in VCAL or the Year 10 Edmund Rice Pathways Program will access the ERTTC from 7.30am-1.00pm, 7.30am-3.15pm or the times allocated to Bundoora students above.

VCAL Intermediate Codes

  • Literacy skills (Intermediate): 1vLS & 2vLS
  • Numeracy skills (Intermediate) : 1vNS & 2vNS
  • Work related skills (Intermediate) : 1vWR & 2vWR
  • Personal development skills (Intermediate) : 1vPD & 2vPD
  • Certificate II of Business: 1vBC & 2vBC
  • VET Certificate or Industry-specific training

VCAL Senior Codes

  • Literacy skills (Senior): 3vLS & 4vLS
  • Numeracy skills (Senior): 3vNS & 4vNS
  • Work related skills (Senior) : 3vWR & 4vWR
  • Personal development skills (Senior) : 3vPD & 4vPD
  • Certificate II/III of Business: 3vBC & 4vBC
  • VET Certificate or Industry-specific training