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Whether you’re in school or have chosen to complete year 12 after a few years in the work force, deciding to do VCAL or VCE is an important decision. Knowing which one is right for you means having some idea of what you want to get out of the qualification as each are more suited to different pathways.


The Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) is a hands-on approach to learning, which gets you ready for entry into TAFE, starting an apprenticeship or the work force. It is an accredited qualification that is certifies your completion of Year 12. VCAL also allows for students to work part-time and complete their qualification.

There are 3 award levels

  1. Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (Foundation)
  2. Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (Intermediate)
  3. Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (Senior).

With each award level curriculum comprising of literacy and numeracy skills, industry specific skills, work related skills and personal development skills. Furthermore, each award level takes approximately 1 year to complete.


The Victorian Certification of Education (VCE) is also an accredited qualification that is typically completed with the intention of further study at university. It is the main senior secondary certificate achieved by students in Victoria.

VCE completion typically takes 2 years to complete as there are generally 16 to 24 units to complete. Students results are calculated through ranked assessment and examinations. There are currently 128 VCE subjects that students can study, from science, language, humanities to business. Each subject comprises of 4 units, these units typically correspond with schooling semesters, with unit 1 being the most basic to unit 4 being the most advanced.

VCE is awarded upon successful completion of

  • 3 units of an English subject, 2 of which must be from unit sequence 3 and 4
  • Three additional Unit 3/4 subjects
  • Pass with a satisfactory of at least 16 units out of the normal 20-24 units

Both of these pathways provide you with excellent opportunities, choosing which one is right for you depends on if you want to go to TAFE or university, start an apprenticeship or enter the workforce. There is no wrong or right answer.

By completing your VCAL or VCE at a Learn Local you’ll have more flexible study options and is less formal than traditional schooling. Approximately half of Learn Local providers offer accredited training in VCE and VCAL as they are registered training organisations.