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CAO Handbook
Page 12 of 23

Please Note: There are particular requirements for Section C of the SIF when applying for alternative admissions schemes in relation to the Medical Consultant/Specialist who must verify your disability, the age limit on reports and the documentation required. Please see for more information about what these requirements are.

Instructions for submitting supporting documents to CAO can be found on the back cover of this handbook. .

You are not obliged to disclose a disability and/or specific learning difficulty unless you are applying for an alternative admissions scheme (e.g. DARE or another scheme offered by HEIs operating admission schemes for school-leavers with disabilities). If you do not wish to disclose your disability and/or specific learning difficulty on the application form, you may do so at any time on entering a HEI and reasonable accommodation will be made at that stage if possible. Please note that disclosure of a disability and/or specific learning difficulty will not adversely affect your application in any way.

Carrying forward DARE eligibility

If you were deemed eligible for DARE in 2020 it carries forward for one year provided that you apply to CAO by the 1 February 2021 at 5:15pm and indicate that you wish to apply to DARE by 5:15pm on 1 March 2021; disclose your disability by 5:15pm on 1 March 2021 in your CAO application; and fully and correctly complete Section A of the Supplementary Information Form. Indicate that you wish to be considered for the DARE scheme by indicating this on Section A of the fully completed SIF by ticking 'Yes' to Question 1 and enter your correct CAO 2020 application number at Question 1(b) of the SIF by 5:15pm on 1 March 2021. You are still required to complete all relevant sections on Section A of the 2021 SIF form, however you do not need to supply supporting documents as part of your application.


When you apply online, instructions about the submission of any additional documentation (if required) will appear on screen. Such documents must arrive in CAO within 10 days of registering online with CAO.

In respect of examinations already completed, you must supply to CAO certificates for all qualifications which you mention on your application form:

  • Certificates/transcripts should be supplied in their original language and should show dates, subjects and results.

  • They should NOT be originals (except for Graduate Medicine where original transcripts of results for all years are required); they should be A4 photocopies, certified typically by a school stamp, a HEI Admissions Office stamp, or by a notary. (CAO will not return original documents.)

  • A certified English translation is required in the case of qualifications not issued originally in English or Irish, in addition to the certified A4 photocopies of the documents themselves.

  • If your documentation is in a different name from the name used on your application, then a certified copy of your official name change document must also be provided.

  • If English is not your first language you must provide evidence of English language competence and details of the English Language Qualification(s) that you hold – contact the HEIs directly for requirements.

CAO will not check that the documents supplied meet with the requirements of the institutions.

DARE and/or HEAR applicants should refer to pages 10 - 12 of this handbook for instructions on the submission of supporting documents to CAO by 15 March at 5:15pm.

Instructions for submitting supporting documents to CAO can be found on the back cover of this handbook. .