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.
• At least five Leaving Certificate subjects plus the Link Modules, one of which must be Irish
• Two of the above subjects must be selected from one of the designated Vocational Subject groupings
• Two Link Modules: Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education
• 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 can 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.
If a student is exempt from Irish for the Leaving Certificate they are automatically exempt for the LCVP and students should replace Irish with another subject.
Vocational Subject Groupings (VSGs)
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.
Vocational Subject Groupings (VSGs) 2012/2013
1. Construction Studies; Engineering; Design and Communication Graphics; Technology - Any Two
2. Physics and Construction Studies or Engineering or Technology or Design & Communication Graphics
3. Agricultural Science and Construction Studies or Engineering or Technology or Design & Communication Graphics
4. Agricultural Science and Chemistry or Physics or Physics/Chemistry
5. Home Economics; Agricultural Science; Biology - Any Two
6. Home Economics and Art - Design Option or Craft Option
7. Accounting; Business; Economics - Any two
8. Physics and Chemistry
9. Biology and Chemistry or Physics or Physics/Chemistry
10. Biology and Agricultural Science
11. Art - Design Option or Craft Option and Design & Communication Graphics
12. Engineering or Technology or Construction Studies or Design & Communication Graphics and Accounting or Business or Economics
13. Home Economics and Accounting or Business or Economics
14. Agricultural Science and Accounting or Business or Economics
15. Art Design or Craftwork Option and Accounting or Business or Economics
16. Music and Accounting or Business or Economics
The Link Modules
Students taking the Leaving Certificate Examination from 2004 onwards will follow two Link Modules over the course of the two years.
Link Module I – 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 II – 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.
Typical LCVP Students
Typically, LCVP students take seven Leaving Certificate Subjects plus the Link Modules
Information and Communications Technology
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
• Access and use relevant information from CD Roms and the Internet
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 their Vocational Subjects and in other areas of their Leaving Certificate. 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 the 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 written examination takes place 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 & Science.
Link Modules - Portfolio of Course Work
Optional Items: (any two)
Diary of Work Experience
Report on My Own Place
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.
Grades for the Link Modules are as follows:
80% – 100%
65% – 79%
50% – 64%
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
* Source NCCA website.