The VCE provides students with a certificate that demonstrates their readiness for post-school/tertiary studies, allowing access to many different pathways. It is awarded when students have demonstrated satisfactory knowledge of a program of studies as determined by the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA). The VCE is a two year, full-time, program that consists of 22 units. At the end of Year 12, students who complete their VCE for a score will receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) which can be used for university, tertiary and further education (TAFE) entry requirements.

Students need to satisfactorily complete a total of no fewer than 16 units over the two years of VCE study. Three of these units must be from the common study of English (1, 2, 3, and 4), English Language, or Literature. They also need a further three sequences of Units 3 & 4 studies other than English to gain their VCE certificate.