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WARNING: The HEIs participating in the CAO system reserve the right not to consider applications and to cancel any offers of places in cases where requested information has not been provided or where falsified or misleading information has been supplied. A HEI may require sight of your original documentation before registration can be finalised.
Applications will be assessed on the basis of the information supplied. Neither CAO nor the HEIs will accept any responsibility for any loss or hardship arising from failure to supply correct and complete information at the appropriate time.
CAO: The CAO has an Independent Appeals Commission 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 function of the Appeals Commission is to ensure that the rules are applied fairly. 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.
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.
Appeals relating to missing DARE HEAR application deadlines
Appeals relating to 1 March and 15 March and all other DARE and HEAR application deadlines, i.e. appeals relating to making a valid application, should be directed to CAO Independent Appeals Commission as above. Further information on appeals relating to missed DARE HEAR application deadlines is available on www.cao.ie and www.accesscollege.ie.
Appeals relating to DARE HEAR assessment outcomes
DARE/HEAR uses a Review and Appeals process to ensure that all DARE/HEAR applicants are treated fairly and the assessment criteria have been applied consistently. This process is open to applicants who have made a valid application to DARE/HEAR and received an ineligible assessment outcome. Review and Appeal applications must be made online through the CAO ‘My Application’ facility by the published deadlines. Details on the Review and Appeals process, including instructions on making a Review and Appeal application, deadlines and the grounds for Review and Appeal, are available on www.cao.ie and www.accesscollege.ie.
There is no charge for this service. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your appeal you may make a further appeal to the Office of the Ombudsman.
Office contact hours are 09:30 to 13:00, and 14:00 to 17:00, Monday
The best and most effective way of communicating with CAO is via the Contact form on our website www.cao.ie.
If you have a CAO application number please include it in all communication - this will allow us the opportunity to view your application and reply to your query, usually within one working day. When logged in to your CAO account you can send an email from the Correspondence section. The Correspondence section contains a record of all online correspondence linked to your account
When posting items to CAO you should obtain a certificate of posting from the post office. If you wish to receive confirmation from CAO that your documents have been received, you must include a self-addressed and stamped postcard (you will not require a stamp for the postcard if you are living outside of the Republic of Ireland). CAO will then return this postcard to you if your documents have been received
Top of Form
Central Applications Office, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway,
Ireland, H91 X25V
If your query is in relation to eligibility, exemptions, restrictions and course-related requirements, you should contact the HEIs directly.
- CAO Handbook
- Download CAO Handbook
- Important Changes to CAO Handbook
- Summary of Major Stages of the CAO Application Process
- Applying to CAO
- Late Applications
- Reapplying to CAO
- Categories of Qualifications and Assessments
- Applying for HEAR and DARE
- Applying for a Maintenance Fee Grant (SUSI)
- Introducing your Course Choices
- Sending Supporting Documents to CAO
- Summer 2020 Examination Results
- Interviews and Assessments
- After Applying
- Important Correspondence
- Statement of Application Record
- Change of Mind
- Changes to your Personal and Examination Information
- The Offer Stage
- The Offer Rounds
- Accepting an Offer
- Available Places
- Points Calculation for Leaving Certificate Applicants
- Points Calculation for Other Examinations
- Deferring A Place
- Taking up a Deferral
- The Leaving Certificate Appeals Process
- Registration on your Accepted Course
- Direct Applications and Exceptional Late Applications
- Further Information - Online Resources
- General Principles
- Independent Appeals Commission
- Contacting CAO