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Acronyms and Glossary

This page provides definitions of acronyms and terms used by VCAA in its operations.

If your term isn't defined here, you might find it on the DET Acronyms and Abbreviations page (www.education.vic.gov.au)





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ACE ‒ Adult Community Education

AQF ‒ Australian Qualifications Framework

AQTF ‒ Australian Quality Training Framework

ATAR ‒ Australian Tertiary Admission Rank

AusVELS ‒ Australian Curriculum in the Victorian Essential Learning Standards

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CCAFL ‒ Collaborative Curriculum and Assessment Framework for Languages

DES ‒ Derived Examination Score

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EAL ‒ English as an Additional Language

FE ‒ Further Education

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GA ‒ Graded Assessment

GAT ‒ General Achievement Test

IB ‒ International Baccalaureate

IP ‒ Industry Pathways

ISS ‒ Industry Specific Skills

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LLEN ‒ Local Learning and Employment Network

LNS ‒ Literacy and Numeracy Skills

LSD ‒ Lost/Stolen/Damaged work

MIPs ‒ Managed Individual Pathways

MOU ‒ Memorandum of Understanding

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NA ‒ Not Assessed

NAP ‒ Code on VASS denoting School-based New Apprenticeship

PDS ‒ Personal Development Skills

PRAS ‒ Post-Results and ATAR Service

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RPL ‒ Recognition of Prior Learning

RTO ‒ Registered Training Organisation

SAC ‒ School-assessed Coursework

SAS ‒ Score Amendment Sheet

SAT ‒ School-assessed Task

SBAT ‒ School-based apprenticeship and traineeship

SCAN ‒ School Coursework Audit Notification

SIAR ‒ School Initial Assessment Return

SIEG ‒ School Indicative Examination Grade

SRF ‒ Study Record Form

SSR ‒ School Status Report

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TAFE ‒ Technical and Further Education

UG ‒ Ungraded

UN ‒ Unavailable

UoC ‒ Unit of Competence

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VASS ‒ Victorian Assessment Software System

VCAA ‒ Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

VCAL ‒ Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning

VCE ‒ Victorian Certificate of Education

VCE VET ‒ VCAA managed VET programs comprised of VCE VET units

VES ‒ Code on VASS denoting VCE VET program

VET ‒ Vocational Education and Training

VFE ‒ Code on VASS denoting VET or Further Education programs

VRQA ‒ Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority

VTAC ‒ Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre

WRS ‒ Work Related Skills





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Accredited course ‒ A course that leads to an Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) qualification or Statement of Attainment that is nationally recognised. The accredited course has been endorsed by either a state or national authority responsible for accrediting courses against agreed principles of accreditation. In Victoria, the statutory authority is the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA).

Accreditation period ‒ The period during which a course or certificate is accredited.

Adult and Community Education (ACE) organisation ‒ A community-based organisation that may be an RTO or recognised VCE or VCAL provider.

Assessing school ‒ The school responsible for providing the assessment (through VASS) for one or more units for a student. The assessing school is usually, but not always, the home school. A student may have more than one assessing schools.

Assessment plan ‒ A set of tasks relating to the assessment of units of competence/modules undertaken in the Unit 3 and 4 sequence of a scored VCE VET program.

Assessment task ‒ A task set by the teacher to assess students’ achievements of unit outcomes for School-assessed Coursework (see also Outcomes).

Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) ‒ The overall ranking on a scale of zero to 99.95 that a student receives, based on their study scores. The ATAR is calculated by VTAC and used by universities and TAFE institutes to select students for courses.

Auspicing ‒ Arrangement that a school can make with an RTO for the delivery of VCE VET, or VET or FE as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding between the school and the RTO.

Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) ‒ The national framework for all qualifications in post‒compulsory education and training.

Australian Quality Training Framework (AQTF) ‒ The nationally agreed set of regulatory arrangements that ensure the high quality of vocational education and training services in Australia.

Authentication ‒ The process of ensuring that the work submitted by students for assessment is their own.

Award level (VCAL) ‒ In the VCAL there are three award levels: Foundation, Intermediate and Senior.

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Chief Assessor ‒ An expert appointed by the VCAA in each study to supervise the marking of the external examination/s in that study.

Coursework audit ‒ As part of an ongoing monitoring and quality assurance program by the VCAA, samples of School-assessed Coursework material are collected from schools each semester. The work collected is used to monitor schools’ administration of School-assessed Coursework and compliance with the accredited VCE study design.

Credit (VCAL) ‒ In the VCAL, students are awarded one credit for completion of accredited curriculum in accordance with the course requirements for VCAL.

Credential ‒ The certificate that the student is awarded on successful completion of all course requirements by the VRQA.

Cumulative Performance Measure (CPM) ‒ VTAC-developed summative instrument, available since 2003, for VCE and Senior VCAL graduates who have completed no more than three and no less than two scored VCE studies.

Curriculum Planning Guide (VCAL) ‒ The VCAL Curriculum Planning Guide provides delivery and assessment advice for the VCAL curriculum strands. It specifies the purpose of the strand, provides guidance on selection of curriculum components for the strand and includes how the students’ work is to be assessed as well as VCAL units that are specifically designed for that strand.

Derived Examination Score (DES) ‒ Provision available for students who have missed an examination or whose examination performance has been impaired due to illness or other personal circumstances.

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Equivalent qualification ‒ The VCAA, on delegation from the VRQA, issues Statements of Equivalent Qualification for recognised qualifications for equivalence to Year 12 level, obtained overseas or interstate. The VCAA also assesses interstate and overseas qualifications for their equivalence to Year 11.

Examinations ‒ External assessments set and marked by the VCAA. All VCE Unit 3 and 4 studies have at least one examination. Most written examinations are held in October and November, with a small number in June. Performance examinations and oral components of Languages examinations are held in October.

External Reference Score ‒ A common measure of performance in external assessments against which the schools’ School-assessed Coursework scores for a particular study are statistically moderated. It is formed from the students’ examination scores for each study and, for some studies, the component scores from the GAT.

Further Education (FE) ‒ Qualifications that provide training in adult literacy and basic education, access and preparatory education and English as an Additional Language. Further Education certificates are accredited under the AQTF.

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General Achievement Test (GAT) ‒ A test of knowledge and skills in writing, mathematics, science and technology, humanities and social sciences and the arts. All students enrolled in a VCE Unit 3 and 4 sequence must sit the GAT. It is used by the VCAA to check that schools are marking School-assessed Tasks to the same standard, as part of the statistical moderation of School-assessed Coursework and as a quality assurance check on the VCAA’s marking of examinations and School-assessed Tasks.

Graded Assessment ‒ All VCE studies have three Graded Assessments for each Unit 3 and 4 sequence, except for scored VCE VET programs, which have two. Each study includes at least one examination, most have School-assessed Coursework, and some have School-assessed Tasks.

Higher Education Studies ‒ First-year university studies recognised by the VCAA for contribution to the ATAR for students who are academically very able.

Home school ‒ Refers to the main school of the student. Only the home school may enter and change a student’s personal details through VASS. A student can only have one home school at a time. The home school is usually, but not always, the assessing school.

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Key competencies ‒ Generic competencies that are essential for effective participation in the workplace. Generally, key competencies refer to the Mayer Key Competencies.

Languages ‒ Formerly known as Languages Other Than English (LOTE).

Learning Program (VCAL) ‒ Curriculum selected for delivery by the VCAL provider to meet each student’s interest and abilities and to meet minimum VCAL course requirements.

Local Learning and Employment Networks (LLENs) ‒ Networks established across Victoria to support young people’s connections with local education and training organisations, employers and community groups.

Mapping ‒ In the VCAL, mapping refers to aligning the content of locally developed programs and activities to the learning outcomes of a VCAL unit.

Module ‒ A distinct component of the vocational training curriculum, comprising specified learning outcomes, assessment criteria and other information to support the delivery of training and conduct of assessment. Modules are identifiable as ‘UoC’ on VASS.

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Nominal hours ‒ The scheduled hours required for the delivery and assessment of vocational training as determined by Skills Victoria (formerly OTTE).

Outcomes ‒ What a student must know and be able to do in order to satisfactorily complete a unit as specified in the VCE study design or VCAL unit.

Post-Results and ATAR Service (PRAS) ‒ A free telephone enquiry service provided by the VCAA after the release of the VCE results.

Principal ‒ Refers to principals, college principals of multicampus schools, headmasters, headmistresses and directors.

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Strand ‒ The VCAL contains four curriculum strands; literacy and numeracy skills, industry specific skills, work related skills and personal development skills.

Student number ‒ The unique number assigned to each student enrolled in VCE, VCE VET and VCAL. From 2003, the Student Number replaces all references to Candidate Number and VCAA Candidate Number in this and other VCAA publications.

Studies ‒ The subjects available in the VCE.

Study design (VCE) ‒ A study design for each VCE study is published by the VCAA. It specifies the content for the study and how students’ work is to be assessed. Schools and other VCE providers must adhere to the requirements in the study designs.

Study score ‒ A score from zero to 50 which shows how a student performed in a VCE study, relative to all other Victorian students enrolled in that same study in a result year. It is based on the student’s results in school assessments and examinations.

Training package ‒ A document that sets out the training framework determined by industry for an industry sector. National competency standards, assessment guidelines and national qualifications form the endorsed components of training packages. Assessment materials, learning strategies and professional development materials may support these as non‒endorsed components.

Training plan ‒ A program of training and assessment which is required under an Apprenticeship/Traineeship Training Contract.

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Unit of competency (UoC) ‒ The specification of knowledge and skills and the application of that knowledge and skills to the standard of performance expected in the workplace. The RTO assesses competence.

Units (VCE) ‒ The components of a VCE study that are a semester in duration. There are usually four units in a VCE study, Units 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Units (VCAL) ‒ VCAL units contain accredited learning outcomes that enable content to be developed and/or planned at the local level.

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VASS administrator ‒ School-based personnel who enter all school information into VASS.

Victorian Assessment Software System (VASS) ‒ The Internet-based system used by schools to register students and enter VCE and VCAL enrolments and results directly onto the VCAA central database.

Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) ‒ An accredited senior secondary school qualification undertaken by students in Years 11 and 12.

VCAL or VCE Certificate ‒ The certificate awarded to students who meet the requirements for graduation of the VCAL and/or VCE. See also Statement of Results.

VCAL learning program ‒ A program of accredited curriculum that leads to the award of a VCAL Certificate.

VCAL provider ‒ A school or other organisation authorised to offer the VCAL.

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) ‒ An accredited senior secondary school qualification.

VCE provider ‒ A school or other organisation authorised to offer the VCE.

Vocational Education and Training (VET) ‒ Nationally recognised vocational certificates. These certificates may be integrated within a VCE or VCAL program.

VCE VET ‒ VET certificates developed into full programs of study within the VCE and contributing to satisfactory completion of the VCE under the same recognition arrangements as for VCE studies.

Victorian Tertiary Admissions Centre (VTAC) ‒ VTAC acts on behalf of universities, TAFEs and other providers facilitating and coordinating the joint selection system. VTAC calculates and distributes the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR).