New to the role of careers practitioner?

[This short introduction will soon be published on the VTAC Careers Practitioners website. If you’re an experienced careers practitioner with any other advice to share for those who are new, please comment below or email Schools Liaison.]

Welcome to your new role!

Keeping up to date

VTAC’s primary means of communication with careers practitioners is our Careers Practitioners Blog. You can subscribe by email, which means that you will receive notification each time a new post is added. Subscriptions to the blog are self-managed: enter your email address in the box on the right side of the page to subscribe. To unsubscribe, follow the link at the bottom of any email from the blog.

We will also send occasional emails to schools. These emails are sent to the primary CourseLink user for each school, so it is important to keep your contact details up to date in CourseLink.

CourseLink

VTAC CourseLink is our secure portal for secondary education providers. Any provider which delivers an Australian senior secondary curriculum (or the IB within Australia) can register for access. CourseLink provides details of students’ applications, including preferences and offer information to assist with course and careers counselling.

For access to CourseLink, use the Request for access to VTAC CourseLink form.

VTAC workshop for new careers practitioners

VTAC runs an annual all-day workshop for those new to the role. This is normally held in central Melbourne in late July, prior to the opening of applications for each year. The workshop is free-of-charge, however only those new to the role are eligible to attend.

We also run shorter briefing sessions in Melbourne, regional Victoria, and some interstate locations each year. The shorter sessions are designed for all practitioners, regardless of experience level, and focus on policy updates and new procedures.

Information about VTAC briefing sessions and how to register is posted to the Careers Practitioners Blog during Term 1 each year.

The application process in Victoria

VTAC processes applications on behalf of all Victorian universities, and many TAFE institutes and independent tertiary colleges. Students create a VTAC account only when they are in the final year of secondary schooling prior to tertiary study (i.e. in Year 12). Course information for the following year is published online through VTAC CourseSearch in late July, which includes course requirements such as prerequisites. A printed course guide is no longer published in Victoria. Account creation and applications open in August, with timely applications closing in late September. Applicants can list up to eight course preferences. A single application fee (which is discounted for current Year 12 students) applies, including unlimited changes of preference. Selection decisions are made by course authorities, not VTAC. Refer to the VTAC Year 11 & 12 Guide for a comprehensive overview.

Getting help

VTAC runs a dedicated enquiry service for careers practitioners. You can telephone the Schools Liaison team on (03) 9926 1020 (option 2) or email our dedicated Schools Liaison email address. Please do not CC or otherwise give out this email address to students or parents, as it is exclusively for practitioner use. Emails from students or parents will not be responded to; they are welcome to use our general enquiry services instead.

If reporting a technical issue by email, it is often useful to attach a screenshot of the issue.

Other VTAC resources

The Careers Practitioners website provides forms and other static resources for practitioners. VTAC’s publications are all free of charge to download from the Publications section of the VTAC website. The Reports and Statistics section provides technical documents that may be of use in counselling.

To assist students with senior secondary subject selection, prerequisite information is published two years in advance via the Prerequisite and Course Explorer.

External resources

The role of a careers practitioner generally involves a lot more than just the VTAC application process. The Career Education Association of Victoria (CEAV) is the peak body for careers practitioners in Victoria, and provides a number of services including online and in-person training. Those new to the role may be interested in the Introduction to Career Development Practice workshop which “provides intensive training in all operational aspects of delivering a quality career development service and career education programs in a range of settings”. Many careers practitioners in Victoria choose to join the CEAV as a member, which provides discounts on training in addition to many other benefits and resources.

Careers Groups

There are 32 regional careers practitioner groups operating throughout Victoria. Groups meet regularly throughout the year and provide a forum for practitioners in the area to network and share experiences. Meetings are often attended by representatives of tertiary institutions who provide course and other updates. To find regional careers groups in your area, speak to your colleagues at nearby schools or contact the CEAV.

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