The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) is an intervention designed to enhance the vocational dimension of the Leaving Certificate (established). The programme was introduced in 1994 in response to the challenge placed on Ireland’s education system by a changing work and business environment. The LCVP combines the academic strengths of the Leaving Certificate (established) with a new and dynamic focus on self–directed learning, innovation and enterprise. This two-year programme is part of an expanded provision that aims to cater for the diversity of participants’ needs at senior cycle.

The primary goal of the LCVP is to prepare young people for adult life by ensuring that they are educated in the broadest sense, with an ability to cope and thrive in an environment of rapid change. Participants in the programme are encouraged to develop skills and competencies fundamental to both academic and vocational success.

Throughout the programme students are encouraged to:

·       Be innovative and enterprising
·       Take responsibility for their own learning
·       Adapt to changing circumstances
·       Evaluate data and devise solutions to problems
·       Communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively
·       Work with others as part of a team
·       Investigate and plan career options
·       Use information and communications technologies
·       Investigate local businesses and community enterprises
·       Learn from their experiences

These skills and qualities are equally relevant to the needs of those preparing for further education, seeking employment or planning to start their own business.

The strong vocational focus of the LCVP is achieved by arranging Leaving Certificate subjects into Vocational Subject Groupings (VSGs) and through the provision of additional courses of study in work preparation and enterprise known as the Link Modules.

Programme Requirements

Programme Requirements for students:

·       At least five Leaving Certificate subjects, one of which must be Irish plus the Link Modules
·       Two of the above subjects must be selected from one of the designated Vocational Subject Groupings
·       Link Modules: Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education ( in addition to Five subjects)
·       A recognised course in a Modern European Language other than Irish or English:

What is a recognised Modern European language course for LCVP students?

The school has the discretion in this case – there are various options open to students.

They may take a language at Junior Certificate level or they can follow one of the FETAC language modules or the language teacher can devise a school programme in the language.

Students must take the language class for a minimum of one class period per week or equivalent over the two years of the programme within school time. It is not assessed externally and the school can decide how to assess the course for modern languages.

If a student is exempt from Irish for the Leaving Certificate they must still comply with the requirement to present a minimum of five subjects in the Leaving Certificate.  

Subject Groupings

Two subjects are selected from one of the Vocational Subject Groupings. These subjects provide students with a focus for developing vocational skills and exploring their career options.

The Specialist Groupings consist of subjects which complement one another naturally. The Services Groupings comprise subjects which complement one another in a commercial context.

Students taking the Leaving Certificate Examination will follow two Link Modules over the course of the two years

Link Modules 1

Students will research and investigate local employment opportunities, develop job seeking skills such as letter writing, CV presentation, interview techniques; gain valuable practical experience of the world of work; interview and work shadow a person in a career area that interests them.

Link Modules 2

Students will be involved in organising visits to local business and community enterprises; meet and interview enterprising people on site and in the classroom; plan and undertake interesting activities that will build self–confidence, creativity, initiative and develop teamwork, communication and computer skills.

Benefits of Link Modules

·       Prepares students for the world of work.
·       Makes students aware of local businesses and enterprises
·       Students become more aware of voluntary and community organizations
·       Students experience the world of work and they partake in visits in, visits out and they visit an enterprise.
·       Cross curricular links knowledge of other subjects are enhanced. E.g. English, Geography, Business, History
·       Students are more focused on their chosen careers.
·       Studying Link Modules gives students the necessary skills to enable them to research jobs and effectively prepare for job interviews.
·       The ability to plan, organise and evaluate various activities.
·       Self-evaluation and reflection is greatly improved.
·       Business and the world of work literacy is also improved

Students taking the LCVP will have an opportunity to develop and apply their IT skills. Students should also have an opportunity to use audio-visual equipment and computer presentation packages for recording and presentation purposes. During the course of the programme students will develop skills to:

·       Enter, edit, store, retrieve and print information
·       Word process CVs, letters, reports and create illustrated documents
·       Send and receive e–mail messages

Assessment of Link Modules

LCVP students follow the same subject syllabi and are assessed in the same way as their peers in the Leaving Certificate. For the Link Modules they are assessed by Written Examination (40%) and by Portfolio of Coursework (60%). 

The Portfolio of coursework must be submitted on the first Wednesday in March. The written examination takes place the first Wednesday in May of the Leaving Certificate Year.  The examination is of two and a half hours duration and consists of three sections which are outline below.

The structure of the Written Examination is as follows:

Section A Audio Visual Presentation
Section B Case Study (received in advance by students)
Section C General Questions (4 out of 6)

The Portfolio of Coursework accounts for 60% of total marks. Students assemble the portfolio over the two years of the programme and it is assessed at the end of the final year of the Leaving Certificate.  The Portfolio and Written Examination are externally assessed by the Department of Education & Skills.



Curriculum Vitae
Career Investigation
Enterprise/Action Plan
Summary Report


Diary of Work Experience
Enterprise Report

Recorded Interview/Presentation
Report on My Own Place

Over 15, 600 students participate each year and interestingly over 80 percent of students use their LCVP as their  best sixth subjects for points.


LCVP students receive the same certificate as other Leaving Certificate students but their Certificate includes an additional statement of the results of the Link Modules.

The Link Modules are recognised for points purposes by the Institutes of Technology and the Universities. The points are allocated as follows:


Universities and Institutes of Technology Award

66 points
46 points
28 points


Click on the picture below for detailed information about completing the portfolio.

Further information can be found here and here.