VDSS Core Offering

The Vocational Education and Training (VET) delivered to school students (VDSS) Core Offering is a set of certificates grouped into 12 pathways. The 12 pathways are organised into 6 priority pathways and 6 flexible pathways. Schools are encouraged to work towards providing students access to a choice of 8 certificates from within the VDSS Core Offering – at least 6 from the priority pathways and at least 1 certificate from 2 of the flexible pathways.

The 6 priority pathways include VET certificates that lead to skills and employment in Victoria’s growth industries and government priorities. The 6 flexible pathways include additional VET certificates that are aligned to students’ interests, regional demand, and community needs.

All 41 certificates in the VDSS Core Offering are within the VCE-VET programs developed by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA).

These certificates have been chosen because they are most suitable for school-aged students to develop the skills and knowledge required for specific industries and align to the requirements of VCAA.

The VDSS Core Offering will be reviewed regularly to reflect shifts in Victoria’s economy and any changes in the VET certificates available to school students.

Priority VDSS pathways


  • Certificate II in Health Support Service
  • Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance (partial completion) incorporating Certificate III in Health Services Assistance*^

Community Services and Early Childhood Education

  • Certificate II in Active Volunteering
  • Certificate III in Community Services incorporating Certificate II in Community Service*^
  • Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care (partial completion)^
  • Certificate II in Applied Language
  • Certificate III in Applied Language

Building and Construction

  • Certificate II in Construction Pathways^
  • Certificate II in Building and Construction Pre-apprenticeship (partial completion)^
  • Certificate II in Plumbing (Pre-apprenticeship)^
  • Certificate II in Civil Construction^

Digital Media and Technologies

  • Certificate II in Applied Digital Technologies
  • Certificate III in Information Technology*^
  • Certificate II in Integrated Technologies (Pre-vocational)*^


  • Certificate II in Hospitality*^
  • Certificate II in Cookery (previously Certificate II in Kitchen Operations)*^

Clean Energy and Engineering

  • Certificate II in Engineering Studies*^
  • Certificate III in Laboratory Skills*^
  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology (Career Start)^
  • Certificate II in Electrotechnology Studies (Pre-vocational)^

Flexible VDSS pathways


  • Certificate II in Automotive Vocational Preparation^

Agriculture and Environment

  • Certificate II in Agriculture^
  • Certificate II in Horticulture^
  • Certificate II in Conservation and Ecosystem Management^
  • Certificate II in Animal Care^

Hair and Beauty

  • Certificate II in Retail Cosmetics
  • Certificate II in Salon Assistant
  • Certificate III in Beauty Services^
  • Certificate III in Make-Up^

Creative Industries

  • Certificate II in Creative Industries
  • Certificate III in Screen and Media*^
  • Certificate II in Apparel, Fashion and Textiles (previously Certificate II in Applied Fashion Design and Technology)^
  • Certificate II in Music
  • Certificate III in Music (Performance)*^
  • Certificate III in Music (Sound Production)*^
  • Certificate III in Dance*^

Sport and Recreation

  • Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation
  • Certificate II in Sport and Recreation
  • Certificate III in Sport, Aquatics and Recreation (previously Certificate III in Sport and Recreation) *^


  • Certificate II in Workplace Skills
  • Certificate III in Business*^
  • Certificate II in Small Business (Operations/Innovation)^

* Scored pathway available

^ Unit 3 and 4 sequence available

VET Cluster Framework

A VET cluster is a network of schools in an area that collaborate, often with the support of a Local Learning and Employment Network (LLEN), to improve student access to VET Delivered to School Students (VDSS).

The department’s VET Cluster Framework ensures all schools have access to an effective VET cluster. The Framework:

  • applies to all government schools as well as Catholic and independent schools that choose to participate in VET clusters with government schools
  • outlines the functions of VET clusters
  • provides guidance as to recommended governance and operational structures.

The department will support clusters to implement the Framework. Clusters can adapt the Framework to suit their local needs.

VET cluster transition funding is available to both new and existing clusters to support their implementation of the framework. For new clusters, it will support the employment of dedicated cluster coordinators through the LLEN. For existing clusters, this funding will be available in partnership with the LLEN to support enhanced functionality of the cluster.

The process of applying for VET cluster transition funding will also be supported by Jobs Skills and Pathways Managers.

A critical function of VET clusters once functioning is to support schools to collaborate on provision planning.

VDSS Provision Planning in 2024

Provision planning is the process that schools and clusters use to estimate their students’ demand for courses in the following school year and to identify suitable modes of delivery and providers that can provide these courses.

Key activities in the provision planning process

Schools and clusters are encouraged to consider the following activities as part of their provision planning.

The activities may be undertaken by either individual schools or as a cluster.

All activities are a guide, and schools and clusters can implement and adapt the activities based on their context, including their cluster’s level of maturity.

Schools can plan for the provision of VDSS by:

  • conducting career counselling with students. Schools may use career counselling, including Morrisby and Career Action Plans to ensure students are aware of available VET opportunities
  • exploring providers and program selection. Schools must assess the type of VDSS programs their students are interested in and explore how these may be facilitated. When researching providers’ course offerings, schools can consider factors such as proximity to the school, previous experience with providers or the suitability of a mode of delivery. Schools may use the previous year’s provision to inform these decisions
  • selecting an RTO. Schools must select their preferred providers based on planning activities and conversations with providers and clusters. Schools may contact local TAFEs and other providers as a first step to communicate their training needs and request offers in response. TAFEs and other providers will continue to work with schools to match demand and supply of courses
  • running engagement activities within the school. Schools can organise various engagement activities, such as information nights, discovery days, open days, and taster programs, to promote and gauge interest in VDSS.

Clusters can plan for the provision of VDSS by:

  • inputting planning estimates. It is recommended that schools within the cluster document planning estimates by pathway/certificate and share this data with the cluster to assist in assessing demand
  • planning course offering collaboratively. It is recommended that clusters work together to assess demand using a data-driven approach and combine students to create and maintain viable class sizes
  • collaborating with providers. It is recommended that clusters work together with providers to resolve problems and gain insights into future provision opportunities. This can be done by raising issues through a dedicated Cluster Coordinator.

Other information and support

Schools may seek further advice and assistance regarding clusters and provision planning from their local Job, Skills and Pathways Manager.

Schools may seek policy advice from the department on all aspects of VDSS provision via the VET mailbox:

There is no further guidance for this topic. For more information, refer to Resources tab

Reviewed 27 May 2024

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