The leaving certificate applied was introduced to schools in order to cater for students whose needs were not served by the established leaving certificate. The established leaving certificate remains the main qualification needed for entry to third level education.
However, leaving certificate applied graduates may proceed to study at institutes of technology by obtaining relevant NCVA level 2 qualifications at the end of a post leaving certificate, PLC, course.
Surveys commissioned by the NCCA, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, show that in 1998 22% and in 1999 23.3% of leaving certificate applied graduates proceeded to PLC courses. A number of these went on to study at third level, but to date no survey has been carried out on these numbers.