Minister Foley announces opening of Leaving Certificate 2021 Candidate Portal

Published on: 11 March 2021

The Minister for Education Norma Foley TD has announced the opening of the Leaving Certificate 2021 candidate portal where students who are entered for the examinations will indicate whether they wish to sit the Leaving Certificate Examinations or receive SEC Accredited Grades, or both. 

All students who are entered for the 2021 Leaving Certificate must create an account on the candidate self-service portal, to register for examinations and/or SEC Accredited Grades.

School-going and external students will be required to confirm their choice for each subject, and confirm their subjects and levels.

The portal is open from 12 noon on Wednesday 10 March and will close on Tuesday 16 March at 6pm at

To register, students need:

  • their examination number
  • their PPS number
  • a mobile phone number
  • their email address.

A clear guide for students on how to use the portal and the choices that they need to make is available on and has been circulated to schools.

Minister Foley said: “I would encourage all students when creating their account on the portal to examine carefully the options available to them in sitting the written examinations and receiving the SEC Accredited Grades.

“It is also important that students continue to engage with the in-person learning and assessment process which provides further data for teachers to draw from in the process of estimating marks.”

In late April/early May students will be required to access the portal a second time, to confirm their choices.

Schools have been provided with information material for students and their parents/guardians containing key information and dates for the Leaving Certificate and Accredited Grades process. An advertising campaign will highlight the Candidate Portal opening dates.  

The 2021 Leaving Certificate Examinations will take place from 9-29 June with the Leaving Certificate Applied Examinations finishing on 17 June. Timetables have been posted on the SEC website.

Guidance regarding the examinations and SEC Accredited Grades has been issued in the document, A Guide to State Examinations and Accredited Grades for Leaving Certificate 2021 which is available here. Further detailed guidance for schools will be issued shortly.

All aspects of staging the examinations will be guided by public health advice.

The SEC Accredited Grades will be generated using the estimated percentage marks provided by schools. After the national standardisation process, these marks will be converted into SEC Accredited Grades.

Students who have opted for both the Examination and SEC Accredited Grades options will automatically receive the better grade in each of their subjects.

There are no fees to pay for examinations or for SEC Accredited Grades. There is no late application process such as applied in other years through which applicants could pay a late application fee to register for examinations.

In relation to the SEC Accredited Grades process, further details concerning arrangements for students attending recognised schools but studying additional subjects out of school and students studying entirely outside of schools will be available shortly.

It should be noted that in both cases, for reasons of equity and fairness, these students will need to be able to provide substantial evidence of their learning to be eligible for consideration for SEC Accredited Grades.

The Minister urged students in this situation to confirm their entry for the Leaving Certificate Examinations.  There is no guarantee that all of these students can be provided with SEC Accredited Grades.  The evidence that these students provide will need to be considered sufficient in order to provide them with an estimate of their performance in the Leaving Certificate.

Key dates for students

  • The SEC Candidate Portal will open on 10 March at 12 noon and close on 16 March at 6pm
  • LC Oral Examinations – 26 March to 15 April
  • LCA oral Examinations  –  3 May to 12 May
  • LCA practical performance test – 17 May to 21 May.
  • LCA practical coursework interview – week beginning 8 June
  • Written Examinations –  9 June to 29 June


Further detailed information is available at