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How SWL works

The VCAA has determined that Structured Workplace Learning (SWL) is an appropriate and valuable component of all VCE VET programs. SWL involves on-the-job training in which students are required to master a designated set of skills and competencies related to VCE VET programs.


SWL experiences help students relate theory to a real world work environment while developing their skills.


SWL complements the training undertaken at the school and the Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and provides context for:

  • enhancement of skills development
  • practical application of industry knowledge
  • assessment of units of competency/modules, as determined by the RTO
  • increased employment opportunities.

VCE VET program publications contain information relating to the SWL requirements. In all cases, SWL is strongly recommended.

The VCAA mandates SWL under the following situations:

  • where a period of work placement is mandated for the award of the qualification, or

  • where the Assessment Conditions from a Unit of Competency contains a statement regarding the requirement to demonstrate skills in a workplace.

The SWL requirements are expressed in hours and weeks, and where possible should be spread across the duration of VCE VET programs.

It should be noted that industrial agreements may stipulate the length of a working week in a particular industry and this may differ from the VCAA recommendation. The industry requirements are to be adhered to.

For the VCAA's recommendations for SWL in VCE VET programs, see SWL summary for VCE VET programs in 2021 (published February 2021).

Workplace health and safety

The appropriate occupational or workplace health and safety unit of competency in each program must be undertaken prior to SWL, as outlined in Ministerial Order 55.

For more information on SWL, including Ministerial Order 55 visit the Department of Education and Training website.