Many VCAL students undertake structured workplace learning as part of their study. They may do this as part of a VET unit/module, as part of Work Related Skills, and, sometimes, as part of a Personal Development Skills unit.

Structured workplace learning is on the job training during which a student is expected to demonstrate a set of skills or competencies, from an accredited VET course or undertaken by Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) students where a work placement is part of the course structure e.g. VCE Industry and Enterprise or VCAL.

Ministerial Order 55 contains information on structured work place arrangements, and the structured workplace arrangement form.

OHS requirements

If a student undertakes structured workplace learning as part of their VCAL learning program, they must complete relevant accredited Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) training prior to starting the structured workplace learning placement.

Some examples:

  • Gerri is a VCAL student. She is enrolled in Certificate II in Automotive Technology Studies and has completed a relevant Occupational Health and Safety unit from the certificate. Because she has completed the unit she can undertake a structured work placement in an automotive environment.
  • Manny is also a VCAL student and has done the OHS unit from the Certificate II in Automotive Technology Studies. However, he would also like to do a structured work placement in an unrelated retail environment. Because the OHS unit he has completed isn't directly related to the retail industry he will need to complete Work Related Skills Unit 1, including the safe@work program before commencing this placement.

Providers using the safe@work OHS program to fulfil part of the requirements of Work Related Skills Unit 1 need to refer to:

Work experience and structured workplace learning arrangements are legally binding arrangements entered into by a principal of a school, parent, student \ and an employer. Schools, students, their parents and employers must comply with the relevant Ministerial Order 55 relating to structured workplace learning when making these arrangements.

Further information

Schools/TAFE/and Learn Local VCAL and VET providers must refer to the Victorian Department of Education and Training's guidelines and manuals on workplace learning

It contains the latest about workplace experience and structured workplace learning as well as links to resources.

Additional information about VCAL and Structured Workplace Learning can be found in VCAL Curriculum Planning Guide: Industry Specific Skills Strand and Work Related Skills Strand, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2013 (see