15 February, 2019 - Ministers McHugh and Mitchell O’Connor welcome earlier date for Round One CAO offers

Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh T.D. and Minister for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor T.D. have today (15 February, 2019) welcomed confirmation that Round One offers from the Central Applications Office (CAO) will be issued this year on the earlier date of Thursday, 15 August 2019.

The accelerated CAO timeline confirms the commitment announced on 1 November 2018 following fundamental changes to the system for Leaving Certificate examination appeals.The move will see CAO Round One offers being made four days earlier than in previous years.

The new schedule will allow the State Examinations Commission (SEC) to offer quicker appeals. The fast-track timeline sets the ground for the release of Leaving Certificate appeal results in the week beginning 16 September 2019.

Minister McHugh said: “All the players involved in facilitating this accelerated timetable, including the SEC, the CAO and the Higher Education Institutions deserve huge credit.

“The accelerated timeline is a significant step in improving the Leaving Certificate appeals and college entry process for the benefit of students. 

“We are helping to put the best interests and wellbeing of students first.

“We have learnt from past experiences and I hope faster offers and appeals will help to ease one layer of anxiety around progressing to third level.”

Minister Mitchell O’Connor said: “Students who appeal their leaving certificate results and are subsequently offered a place in higher education will now be in a position to start their course without undue delay.  The higher education institutions and the CAO have worked closely with their colleagues in the State Examinations Commission to deliver these changes and the partnership approach to improving student experience must be welcomed.”

The changes to Leaving Cert appeals mean students who challenge an exam result will be informed of the outcome of their appeal by the SEC earlier than in previous years.

In turn this will allow students, in most cases, to take up a course in the current academic year, rather than have their offer deferred by a year.

The Higher Education Institutions (HEI) will also strengthen the structured supports provided for appeal students who begin a course shortly after first year has begun to ensure that they are not disadvantaged.

This year no first year undergraduate academic classes in HEIs will start earlier than the second week of September.  

Notes to Editors

The re-engineering of the appeals process includes a combination of earlier releases of provisional results of the Leaving Certificate and of CAO Round One offers.

These moves bring forward the process whereby students are able to view their examination scripts in advance of deciding to submit an appeal.

The new appeals system also involves examiners marking scripts on a full-time basis rather than only at evenings and weekends.

The streamlined timeline moves the issuing of provisional results of the Leaving Certificate forward by one day, to Tuesday 13th August 2019.

This will be followed by the release to students of CAO Round 1 offers at 14:00 on Thursday 15th August, four days earlier than previous.

This year, the results of the Leaving Certificate appeals will be released to students in the week beginning 16th September. This is a full three weeks earlier than the normal timeframe (Wednesday 10th October in 2018).

The appeals process used in previous years took approximately eight weeks from the date provisional results were issued until appeals results were notified. The new measures being introduced reduce that process to five weeks.

In the longer term it is anticipated that the planned movement from a paper-based marking system to an online model over the next three years could further improve the appeals timeframe.

The CAO have also advised that the acceptance date for Round One offers will be Friday 23 August at 17:15.

Round Two offers will issue on Wednesday 28 August 28 at 10:00. The acceptance date for Round Two offers will be Friday August 30 at 17:15.

Round One points data will be published on the CAO website on August 15 at 14:00 and will be circulated to the media and other stakeholders under embargo on August 15 and in advance of the 14:00 publication.