Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme
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 through the provision of additional courses of study in work preparation and enterprise known as the Link Modules.
As part of the recent announcements relating to senior cycle reform the Minister for Education announced that “in schools providing the LCVP, students starting 5th year in 2022 will be able to take the Link Modules without having to meet the subject-specific criteria”
Students taking the Leaving Certificate Examination will follow two Link Modules over the course of the two years.
Link Module 1 – Preparation for the World of Work
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 Module 2 – Enterprise Education
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.
Teaching and learning
The use of active teaching and learning methodologies is encouraged across the LCVP curriculum. Experiences such as work placement, career investigation, mini–enterprise, business and community visits are an integral part of the programme. The Link Modules encourage students to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired through the programme. Vocational relevance is enhanced by putting in place opportunities for students to plan, organise and engage in active learning experiences inside and outside the classroom.
- Conducting investigations – businesses, community enterprises, agencies
- Arranging visits out of school to sites of interest in the context of conducting investigations
- Inviting visitors to the classroom -adults other than teachers as resource visitors
- Working in teams – on projects and investigations
- Organising enterprise activities – setting up projects as vehicles of learning
- Actively preparing for work – career investigation, job search, practice at interviews
- Experiencing the world of work, work experience, work simulation, work shadowing
- Making presentations to adults and peers
- Using information and communications technology – to access, store, communicate and present information
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 of the leaving certificate year. The written examination takes place on the first Wednesday in May of the leaving certificate year. (Changes were made to the assessment process for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, information on these changes is available here). The examination is of two and a half hours duration and consists of three sections which are outlined 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 State Examinations Commission.
A picture of an LCVP visit to Liebherr in Killarney
For more detailed information on the LCVP syllabus click the link below.