eVALA May 2020 No 1    VALA

Current advice from the VCAA regarding the VCAL

As published at


accessed on May 5, 2020

Focus of VCAL in Term 2

In Term 2 you should focus on ensuring that students remain connected to their learning, peers and providers.

We encourage you to pay particular attention to students who are expected to complete their schooling this year, regardless of the VCAL level they are completing. Students who are returning to study next year can access mid-year certification, if required. Information on mid-year certification will be provided in 2021.

Ensuring VCAL students are enrolled in an eligible program

To ensure a student is enrolled in an eligible program, you must run a VCAL student eligibility report in VASS. This will help to ensure that you are delivering a VCAL program that matches the student’s level of enrolment. For further information, refer to the Using the Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) webpage. For support in interpreting an eligibility report, contact the VCAL unit on 03 9032 1725 or vcaa.vcal@edumail.vic.gov.au.

Carry forward of credit from last year

While you are encouraged to deliver broad programs for all students, the qualification rules state that students must have completed a total value of ten credits, with six credits being at the level of the VCAL award in which they are enrolled or above. This means that students can either:

  • carry credit from a VCAL level completed the previous year, as long as it is one level below that of the student’s current enrolment. For example, a student currently enrolled in Senior level VCAL and who completed an Intermediate level VCAL last year, can carry four Intermediate credits (units) into this year’s Senior VCAL enrolment
  • enrol in a VCAL level, for example Senior level, but opt to do four of the units at the level below, that is, Intermediate.

It is important that you run an eligibility report to ensure that the rest of the qualification requirements are met. For more information, consult the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook.

VET requirement for VCAL students in 2020

The VET requirement for VCAL students remains the same as in previous years. At the Intermediate and Senior VCAL levels, students must complete a minimum of 90 hours of units of competency to meet the Industry Specific Skills (ISS) Strand. Foundation VCAL students have the additional option of completing selected VCE units to meet the ISS Strand requirement. You are encouraged to:

  • identify the VET needs of individual students by running an eligibility report. Many students may be able to carry forward their ISS credit and, therefore, do not need to complete additional VET units this year
  • review the use of VET in VCAL outside the ISS and Work-related skills strand (WRS) requirements. If you normally use additional VET hours to contribute towards the 10 credits in VCAL, you may need to reconsider this approach and use other curriculum options to make up the ten VCAL program credits
  • consider reviewing the VET units in which students are enrolled. Students may need to change units to ones that can more easily be completed through remote learning or that are more theoretical.

For more information, consult the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook. For specific questions about VET, contact the VET unit on (03) 9032 1737 or vet.vcaa@edmumail.vic.gov.au.

Inability to complete Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) in 2020

SWL is not a mandated part of VCAL. If a SWL arrangement is being used to meet some of the learning outcome requirements of a VCAL curriculum unit, and is unable to be completed, it is recommended that schools either:

  • use other assessment tasks and activities to meet those learning outcomes, or
  • defer completion of the learning outcomes until such a time it can be conducted.

Student demonstration of key VCAL skills during remote learning

It may be difficult for students to demonstrate certain key skills, such as teamwork and developing community projects, while they are learning remotely. Encourage them to focus on aspects or skills that can be developed at home, such as planning, organising, and carrying out a simple activity. Ask students to keep a log of these activities so they can answer future authentication questions. Engage them in preparatory work, research and other learning activities to prepare them to demonstrate the key skills at a later stage, when classroom learning resumes. For example:

  • Ask students to start a project, either individually or in a small online group, by developing a business plan and outlining the purpose of the project, requirements and intended outcomes. This planning stage would present opportunities to demonstrate their negotiation and teamwork skills.
  • Explore a range of current environmental, social or cultural issues, providing opportunities to discuss the current learning situation and the broader impacts of the global pandemic. Activities and projects connected to these issues could be further developed when students return to class.

The home as ‘workplace’

Given that most people are working from home, we encourage students and teachers to consider the home as a workplace. This will support learning across several curriculum areas and will provide a practical solution to location-based learning. Examples may include:

  • Conduct an OH&S audit of the home, developing a report on the findings and offering solutions.
  • Assist in preparing and cooking meals at home, including investigating what constitutes healthy eating and exploring individual dietary issues, such as diabetes and lactose intolerance.
  • Use an advertising catalogue to calculate the savings on simple discount values.

For further examples, refer to the advice for teachers documents for both the Literacy and Numeracy skills strands, available via the VCAL Curriculum webpage.

Modifying VCAL learning and teaching

Given the flexibility of VCAL delivery and the diversity of contexts where VCAL is delivered, there is no one approach to modifying learning and teaching that will meet the needs of every student or each context. You may need to consider:

  • using alternative approaches if students do not have access to online learning facilities, such as providing hardcopy resources
  • extending the completion of a Semester 1 VCAL unit over the year
  • seeking out or establishing VCAL networks for support and to share ideas and resources.

Quality Assurance (QA) program in 2020

We are currently reviewing the QA process for 2020 and will consult with panel leaders in Term 2 to develop a plan for the remainder of the year.