Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies to enable users to obtain the best experience from the website. In particular, secure encrypted cookies are necessary to allow secure progression through the various elements of the online 'apply' and 'my application' services. Session cookies are deleted automatically when the browser is closed. If you use the CAO interactive handbook or CAO Virtual Assistant, you will be asked to consent to third party cookies.

By continuing to use this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details please see our privacy statement. For more general information on cookies see

CAO aims to deliver a high quality service to all clients. If you have a complaint about the quality of service you have received from CAO please let us know. Write or e-mail us using the contact details above and mark your message "complaints". All complaints will be dealt with promptly, fairly and impartially.

Important: decisions on admissions are made by Higher Education Institutions, not CAO. If you have a complaint about a decision of a Higher Education Instituion you must contact the relevant Higher Education Institution directly.
Independent Appeals Commission:
The CAO has an Independent Appeals Commission (IAC), to which recourse may be had by applicants who believe that they have been treated unfairly by CAO, and whose complaints have not been resolved by CAO.

The role of the Appeals Commission is to ascertain whether or not an applicant has been unfairly treated by CAO.

The CAO IAC considers appeals in a consistent manner under the following set of tests:
  1. Has CAO made an error or omission in instructing the applicant or in processing the applicant's application?
  2. Has the applicant been given clear instructions?
  3. Has the applicant been given reasonable opportunity to provide information correct, complete and on time?
  4. Has the applicant been given reasonable opportunity to correct errors or omissions?
  5. Has some event or circumstance, outside of the applicant's control, prevented the applicant availing of the above opportunities?
Appeals must be made in writing, be signed by the applicant and must describe the alleged unfair treatment. Appropriate supporting documentation should accompany the appeal.

The Appeals Commission cannot set the rules aside for applicants who appeal for special treatment. Appeals should be addressed to: The Secretary, CAO Independent Appeals Commission, c/o Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway, Ireland.
Central Applications Office Ltd. (Universities and other Higher Education Institutions)
Registered in Ireland Number 53983
Registered Office: Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway.