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Victorian Senior Secondary Certificate Reform

 

 

 

 

Timeline

2020Release of the Firth Review Recommendations

2021Design and development of new certificates and curriculum
2022Release of final certificate designs and new curriculum
2023First enrolments in the VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate
2025All Victorian schools deliver the fully integrated senior secondary certificate

 

The certificate reforms are now in the accreditation phase, awaiting a decision from the expert education panel of the VRQA as early as possible in 2022.

Delivering improved vocational and applied learning pathways for secondary school students

Victoria is moving to a new integrated senior secondary certificate in 2023, which will be fully integrated by 2025. This will bring together the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) and Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) certificates. These reforms will ensure every student has the skills they need to find rewarding careers and reach their full potential.

Stage 1: Introducing the VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate in 2023

The first stage is the introduction of a new VCE Vocational Major and the new Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) commencing in 2023.

The VCE Vocational Major is a two-year vocational and applied learning program that will be introduced in 2023 to replace Senior and Intermediate VCAL and offer a program that enables successful transitions into apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, or directly into employment.

Find more information about the new VCE Vocational Major

The Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) will also be introduced in 2023 to replace Foundation VCAL. The VPC is designed to support students to transition either to the VCE Vocational Major or to entry level VET or employment. The VPC is suitable for students whose previous schooling experience may have been disrupted for a variety of reasons, including students with additional needs, students who have missed significant periods of learning and vulnerable students at risk of disengaging from their education.

Find more information about the new VPC

Students undertaking these pathways will have access to an enriched curriculum as well as relevant workplace experiences based on their career goals that will develop their real-world knowledge, and technical and transferrable skills that will set them up for further education and employment.

Stage 2: Integrated senior secondary certificate in 2025

From 2025, a fully integrated senior secondary certificate will be introduced across all Victorian schools and senior secondary providers, offering students genuine and identifiable vocational pathways. Under an integrated single certificate, all students will be able to build a program relevant to their specific strengths, interests and future aspirations.

Transition arrangements

In 2022, there are no changes to the existing certificates. Students will still be able to enrol in either the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) or the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE).

Current students completing VCAL units at Intermediate or Senior levels can receive credit into the VCE VM.

The VCAA has developed a program of professional learning to support providers during 2022 as they prepare for the implementation of the VPC and VCE Vocational Major in 2023. Register for professional learning.

Keep an eye out on the VCAA website or subscribe to the VCAA Bulletin for further information on upcoming professional learning opportunities.

For providers seeking to deliver the VCE VM and/or the VPC in 2023, see Apply to deliver the VCE, VCE VM or VPC page for more information.

We are mindful of supporting students, teachers and schools through this period of change. We are partnering with key stakeholders to develop strategies to support educators, students and families as we transition to the new courses in 2023.

Teach-Out and Award of Intermediate VCAL in 2023

The VCE Vocational Major (VCE VM) and the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) are being introduced in 2023. The transition period in 2023 allows Intermediate VCAL be awarded to eligible Year 12 students.

The VCAA has listened to stakeholder feedback regarding the transition period, and after appropriate consultation, Intermediate VCAL will be only awarded to Year 12 students in 2023 who meet the following eligibility requirements.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Year 11 students enrolled in Foundation VCAL in 2022 who will complete Intermediate VCAL in 2023 as their final year.
  • Year 11 students enrolled in Intermediate VCAL in 2022 who will complete Intermediate VCAL over two years.

The following outlines the possible pathways for the award of Intermediate VCAL for Year 12 students in 2023.

2022 Year 11 Foundation VCAL to 2023 Year 12 Intermediate VCAL

2022 Year 11 Intermediate VCAL to 2023 Year 12 Intermediate VCAL

The transition arrangement for the award of Intermediate VCAL for Year 12 students in 2023 is only available to students enrolled in Foundation VCAL or Intermediate VCAL in Year 11 in 2022.

Completion Requirements

The completion requirement for the award of Intermediate VCAL remain unchanged.

To be awarded a VCAL qualification at Intermediate level, students must successfully complete a learning program that contains a minimum of 10 credits. A credit is gained for successful completion of a unit of study. A unit of study can be:

  • one VCAL unit
  • one VCE unit
  • 90 hours of completed VET modules or units of competence and/or General Education modules.

The 10 credits must include:

  • a minimum of one credit in each of the following strands: Personal Development Skills strand, Work Related Skills strand and Industry Specific Skills strand
  • a minimum of two credits for Literacy and Numeracy Skills strand – one for Literacy Skills and one for Numeracy Skills.

Foundation VCAL units completed in 2022 can provide credit into Intermediate VCAL but cannot be delivered in 2023 as Foundation VCAL will be replaced by the Victorian Pathways Certificate.

Transitional credit arrangements – for the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) and/or VCE Vocational Major 2023 (VCE VM)

This section outlines the transition and credit arrangements for students enrolled in the VCAL in 2022 or earlier who will transition to the VCE VM or VPC in 2023.

Please note:

  • Schools may choose to offer VCAL Senior units and/or VCE VM units towards satisfactory completion of the VCE VM in 2023 only.
  • Students may be enrolled in and awarded Intermediate VCAL in 2023 – see Teach-out and award of Intermediate VCAL in 2023.

Completion requirements

Completion requirements for the VPC are described here.

Completion requirements for the VCE VM are described here.

Students who complete Foundation VCAL in 2022

In 2023, students who completed Foundation VCAL in 2022 may enrol in:

Students who partially complete Foundation VCAL in 2022

In 2023, students who partially completed Foundation VCAL in 2022 may enrol in:

  • Intermediate VCAL and receive credit for completed units in accordance with the existing credit arrangements described in Section 2 of the VCE and VCAL Administrative Handbook; or
  • the VPC and receive credit for completed units in accordance with the credit arrangements described in Table 1 (see Credit arrangements); or
  • the VCE or VCE VM with credit for completed units in accordance with the credit arrangements described in Tables 2, 3 and 4 (Credit arrangements) for any completed:
    • VCE units
    • VET units at Certificate II level or above
    • Intermediate or Senior VCAL units.

Students who complete Intermediate VCAL in 2022

Students who complete Intermediate VCAL in 2022 may enrol in the VCE or VCE VM in 2023. They will be eligible for the award of the VCE VM if they satisfactorily complete:

  • a Unit 3–4 sequence from the English group
  • three other Unit 3–4 sequences in VCE or VCE VM studies.

Students in this category do not need to meet any other VCE VM minimum requirements for WRS, PDS, VET and Numeracy.

Unit 3–4 sequences for 2023 can be obtained using unit combinations described in Table 4 (see Credit arrangements) or via any VCE, VCE VM or VCE VET approved Unit 3–4 sequence.

Students who complete Intermediate VCAL in 2022 with Senior VCAL, VCE Unit 3 and 4 and/or VET Unit 3 or 4 units

Students who complete Intermediate VCAL in 2022 with Senior VCAL, VCE Units 3 and 4 and/or VET Units 3 or 4 units may enrol in the VCE or VCE VM with credit for completed units in accordance with the credit arrangements described in Tables 2, 3 and 4 (see Credit arrangements) for any completed:

  • VCE units
  • VET units at Certificate II level or above
  • Intermediate or Senior VCAL units.

VCE Unit 3–4 sequences can be obtained using unit combinations described in Table 4 (see Credit arrangements) or via any VCE, VCE VM or VCE VET approved Unit 3–4 sequence.

VCE and VET Unit 3–4 sequences may be accumulated over one or more calendar years.

Students who partially complete Intermediate VCAL in 2022

Students who partially complete Intermediate VCAL in 2022 may:

VCE Unit 3–4 sequences can be obtained using unit combinations described in Table 4 (see Credit arrangements) or via any VCE, VCE VM or VCE VET approved Unit 3–4 sequence.

Students who complete Senior VCAL in 2022

Students who complete Senior VCAL in 2022 may enrol in the VCE or VCE VM in 2023. They will be eligible for the award of the VCE VM if they satisfactorily complete:

  • a Unit 3–4 sequence from the English group that has not been undertaken in the previous VCAL qualification
  • three other Unit 3–4 sequences in VCE or VCE VM studies that have not been undertaken in the previous VCAL qualification.

Students in this category do not need to meet any other VCE VM minimum requirements for WRS, PDS, VET and Numeracy.

Students who have completed Senior VCAL cannot use the same units, including VET units of competency, to complete the VCE or VCE VM.

Students who partially complete Senior VCAL in 2022

Students who partially complete Senior VCAL in 2022 may enrol in the VCE or VCE VM in 2023 and receive credit for completed units according to the credit arrangements described in Tables 2, 3 and 4 (see Credit arrangements). These students must complete the minimum satisfactory completion requirements of the VCE VM.

Unit 3–4 sequences for 2023 can be obtained using unit combinations described in Table 4 (see Credit arrangements) or via any VCE, VCE VM or VCE VET approved Unit 3–4 sequence.

Deemed completion of mandatory VCE VM requirements

In 2023 only, students who have met the Intermediate or Senior VCAL strand requirements will be deemed to have met the mandatory VCE VM unit requirements in Numeracy, WRS, PDS and VET.

These students will still need to meet the minimum requirement for satisfactory completion of the VCE as described under ‘3.1 Minimum requirement’ in Section 1 of the VCE Administrative Handbook.

For example:

  • A student who completes Intermediate VCAL Numeracy in 2022 will receive one VCE credit at unit 1 and 2 level and will meet the VCE VM Numeracy requirement.
  • A student who completes Intermediate VCAL PDS in 2022 will receive one VCE credit at unit 1 and 2 level and will meet the VCE VM PDS requirement.
  • A student who completes Intermediate VCAL WRS in 2022 will receive one VCE credit at unit 1 and 2 level and will meet the VCE VM WRS requirement.
  • A student who meets the VCAL Industry Specific Skills Strand requirement at Intermediate or Senior level in 2022 by completing 90 nominal hours of VET will receive one VCE credit at unit 1 and 2 level and will meet the VCE VM VET requirement.

Credit arrangements

In 2023, students will receive VCE VM or VPC credit for VCAL, VCE and VET units they have completed in or prior to 2022.

Students who have received credit towards the VCE VM for completed Intermediate or Senior VCAL units cannot count the corresponding VCE VM units described in Tables 2, 3 and 4 towards satisfactory completion of the VCE.

Overview of VCAL to VPC and VCE credit arrangements

This table describes the Overview of VCAL to VPC and VCE credit arrangements
2022 VCAL level

2023 VPC and VCE credits

Foundation VCAL creditVPC credit
Intermediate VCAL creditVCE Units 1 and 2 credit
Senior VCAL creditVCE Units 3 and 4 credit

For further information please contact the Senior Secondary Certificate Reform team.

Table 1: Foundation VCAL credit into the VPC

Students who have completed Foundation VCAL units in or prior to 2022 will receive VPC credit for the corresponding unit as follows:

This table describes the Foundation VCAL credit into the VPC
Foundation VCAL 2022 VPC 2023
Foundation: Literacy Reading and Writing unitVPC Literacy unit
Foundation Literacy Oral Communication unitVPC Literacy unit
Foundation: Numeracy unitVPC Numeracy unit
Foundation: PDS unit VPC PDS unit
Foundation: WRS unit VPC WRS unit
90 nominal hours of VET at Cert I or above1 x VPC unit

Table 2: Intermediate VCAL credit into the VCE VM

Students who have completed Intermediate VCAL, VCE or VET units in or prior to 2022 will receive VCE VM Unit 1 or 2 credits for the corresponding units detailed below.

This table describes Intermediate VCAL credit into the VCE VM
Intermediate VCAL 2022 VCE VM 2023
Intermediate: Literacy Reading and WritingVCE VM Literacy Unit 1 or 2
Intermediate Literacy Oral Communication VCE VM Literacy Unit 1 or 2
Intermediate: NumeracyVCE VM Numeracy Unit 1 or 2
Intermediate: PDS VCE VM PDS Unit 1 or 2
Intermediate: WRS VCE VM WRS Unit 1 or 2
90 nominal hours of VET at Cert II or above1 x VCE VM Unit 1 or 2

Table 3: Senior VCAL credit into the VCE VM

Students who have completed Senior VCAL, VCE or VET units in or prior to 2022 and in 2023 will receive VCE VM Unit 3 or 4 credits for the corresponding units in table 3.

This table describes Senior VCAL credit into the VCE VM
Senior VCAL 2022 or 2023 VCE VM 2023
Senior: Literacy Reading and WritingVCE VM Literacy Unit 3 or 4
Senior Literacy Oral Communication VCE VM Literacy Unit 3 or 4
Senior: NumeracyVCE VM Numeracy Unit 3 or 4
Senior: PDS VCE VM PDS Unit 3 or 4  
Senior: WRS VCE VM WRS Unit 3 or 4
Skills For Further Study1 x VCE VM Unit 3
Portfolio Enhancement Unit1 x VCE VM Unit 3

Table 4: Senior VCAL, VCE or VET units that may be used to form a VCE VM Units 3–4 sequence

Students who have complete the following Senior VCAL, VCE or VET units in or prior to 2022 or in 2023 will receive a VCE VM Units 3 and 4 sequence in accordance with the following table.

This table describes Senior VCAL, VCE or VET units that may be used to form a VCE VM Units 3–4 sequence
Senior VCAL VCE VM Units 3 and 4 sequenceNote
Senior: Literacy Reading & Writing and Senior: Literacy Oral CommunicationVCE VM Literacy Units 3 and 4 sequence
*
Numeracy Skills Senior Units 1 and 2  VCE VM Numeracy Units 3 and 4 sequence*
Numeracy Skills Senior Units 1 or 2 and Advanced Numeracy Skills Senior  VCE VM Numeracy Units 3 and 4 sequence*
Senior: PDS Units 1 and 2 VCE VM PDS Units 3 and 4 sequence  *
Senior: WRS Units 1 and 2VCE VM WRS Units 3 and 4 sequence*
Any Senior VCAL Numeracy unit and 90 nominal hours of VET at AQF Level II or aboveVCE VM Numeracy Units 3 and 4 sequence
Senior VCAL WRS Unit 1 or 2 and 90 nominal hours of appropriate VET training at AQF Level II or aboveVCE VM WRS Units 3 and 4 sequence
Senior: VCAL PDS Unit 1 or 2 and 90 nominal hours of VET at AQF Level II or aboveVCE VM PDS Units 3 and 4 sequence

Note:

* Unit 3 and 4 sequences that may be completed across multiple years.

† Unit 3 and 4 sequences that MUST be completed by a Year 12 student in 2023 only. To create these combinations a student MAY NOT carry forward left over VET credits from 2022 or prior.

Vocational and Applied Learning Pathways Review

The certificate reforms are part of a suite of 38 recommendations from the review into vocational and applied learning pathways for senior secondary students (the Firth Review), led by former VCAA Chief Executive Officer, John Firth.

The Firth Review found that we need to do more to make vocational and applied learning in schools consistently high quality, relevant to the needs of students and employers, and accessible to all students across the state. Key recommendations were to create a new vocational and applied learning pathway within the VCE and a new foundation certificate.

In 2021, the VCAA worked with students, families, educators, and the broader community on the development of the new pathways and curriculum. Consultation included school visits, online forums and interactive webinars, stakeholder meetings and expert panels.

A summary of stakeholder feedback on the VCE Vocational Major and Victorian Pathways Certificate and curriculum is available to view online:

Following accreditation by the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority in April 2022, the VCAA has released the VCE Vocational Major curriculum and the Victorian Pathways Certificate (VPC) curriculum.

Find out more

To learn more about the senior secondary pathway reforms, please visit the Department of Education and Training website.

You can also email your questions to the VCAA’s Senior Secondary Certificate Reform team or sign up to receive the monthly VCAA Bulletin