The Leaving Certificate Applied is a self-contained Leaving Certificate programme. The programme is pre-vocational by nature and is designed for those students who do not wish to proceed directly to higher education or for those whose needs, aptitudes and learning styles are not fully catered for by the other two Leaving Certificate programmes. Participants in the Leaving Certificate Applied are mainly engaged in work and study of an active, practical and student-centred nature.
As learners complete their course work they collect credits. It is possible to collect a total of 200 credits. A certificate is awarded at three levels: Distinction (170-200 credits): Merit (140-169 credits); Pass (120–139 credits). Students who accumulate fewer than 120 credits receive a Record of Experience.