VCE Vocational Major Personal Development Skills (PDS) takes an active approach to personal development, self-realisation and citizenship by exploring interrelationships between individuals and communities. PDS focuses on health, wellbeing, community engagement and social sciences, and provides a framework through which students seek to understand and optimise their potential as individuals and as members of their community.

This study provides opportunities for students to explore influences on identity, set and achieve personal goals, interact positively with diverse communities, and identify and respond to challenges. Students will develop skills in self-knowledge and care, accessing reliable information, teamwork, and identifying their goals and future pathways.

PDS explores concepts of effective leadership, self-management, project planning and teamwork to support students to engage in their work, community and personal environments.

Through self-reflection, independent research, critical and creative thinking and collaborative action, students will extend their capacity to understand and connect with the world they live in, and build their potential to be resilient, capable citizens.

Development Skills
Unit 1


Healthy Individuals


This unit focuses on the development of personal identity and individual pathways to optimal health and wellbeing. It begins with concepts of personal identity and the range of factors that contribute to an individual’s perception of self and individual health and wellbeing.

  • Students will use these findings to enhance an understanding of community cohesion, community engagement and how sense of identity may affect outcomes in different contexts.
  • Students will investigate the elements of emotional intelligence and begin to develop an awareness of interrelationships between communities and the health and wellbeing of individuals.
  • Students will investigate local health-promoting organisations and resources and play an active, participatory role in designing and implementing activities or mechanisms to improve health and wellbeing.

This unit highlights the importance of critical and creative thinking and clear communication as individuals explore personal identity and the role of community.

  • Students will examine relationships between technologies and health and wellbeing, and develop tools for analysing the reliability, validity and accuracy of information and the efficacy of health messages.

Development Skills
Unit 2


Connecting with Community


This unit focuses on the benefits of community participation and how people can work together effectively to achieve a shared goal.

It begins with definitions of community and different types of communities at a local, national and global level. Students will look at the relationships between active citizenship, empathy and connection to culture, and individual health and wellbeing.

  • Students will investigate the barriers and enablers to problem solving within the community.
  • In the topic of community engagement, students will seek to understand different perspectives on issues affecting a community.
  • They will reflect on relationships between community issues, social cohesion, and health and wellbeing, and the importance of clear information and communication.
  • Students will investigate how communities may be called upon to support individual members and identify effective strategies for creating positive community change.
  • They will plan, implement and evaluate an active response to an individual’s need for community support.

Development Skills
Unit 3


Leadership and Teamwork


This unit considers the role of interpersonal skills and social awareness in different settings and contexts. Students will examine leadership qualities and the characteristics of effective leaders and how these qualities can be applied to the achievement of goals within personal and community contexts.

  • They will explore key components of effective teamwork and reflect on how to lead and contribute within a team context through a collaborative problem-solving activity.
  • Students will evaluate individual contribution as well as the overall effectiveness of the team.

Development Skills
Unit 4


Community Project


This unit focuses on student participation in an extended project relating to a community issue. Students will identify environmental, cultural, economic and social issues affecting the community and select one for an extended community project.

They will look at past approaches to the selected issue in Australia and elsewhere, consider how they will research information, and formulate an objective to achieve.

  • Students will reflect on how community awareness of a selected issue can be improved. Students will engage in a process of planning, implementing and evaluating a response to a selected community issue.
  • They will conduct research, analyse findings and make decisions on how to present work.
  • Students will consider the key elements (such as emotional intelligence and effective team practices) and considerations (such as safety and ethics) when implementing a community project.
  • Students will present project to an appropriate audience of peers or community members and evaluate the effectiveness of chosen response to the issue.