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HomeFarming NewsCAO deadlines that you need to know about
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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CAO deadlines that you need to know about

The CAO has urged applicants who have not yet completed their application to “do so immediately”.

The Central Applications Office (CAO) has confirmed a raft of application deadlines for various courses and pathways.

CAO’s head of communications, Eileen Keleghan, asks potential applicants, who have not yet started their application, to carefully read the CAO Handbook and go to the CAO website and click on ‘Apply’ to start their application.

She stated that it is important that applicants start their application “well in advance” of the final deadline to avoid any issues which may arise if they leave their application to the last minute.

Key CAO 2023 deadlines:

  • CAO Normal Application Deadline is February 1st at 5pm.
  • CAO Change of Course Choices Facility opens on February 3rd and closes on March 1st at 5pm – a fee of €10 applies;
  • HEAR and/or DARE applicants must apply to CAO by February 1st at 5pm;
  • HEAR and/or DARE applicants have until March 1st at 5pm to complete their online HEAR or DARE form;
  • HEAR and/or DARE applicants must submit their supporting documentation to CAO by March 15th at 5pm.
  • The CAO Late Application facility closes on May 1st at 5pm – restrictions apply.
  • The CAO Change of Mind Facility opens on May 5th and closes at 5pm on July 1st – this facility is free of charge. In general, restricted courses cannot be added using this facility and some mature applicants may encounter restrictions when using this facility.
How to apply:
  • This first step in the application process is very straight-forward;
  • Applicants need to provide their identification and contact details;
  • Then, select the qualifications and assessments sections that are relevant to them;
  • Pay €45;
  • Applicants will then receive their CAO application number following completion;
  • Applicants are not required to enter course choices in order to obtain their application number;
  • From there, you can log in to your CAO account via the My Application facility to edit your application, provide additional information required to support your application, and to add course choices.


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Applicants often rely on third parties to provide information to support their application, particularly in the case of the HEAR and DARE schemes.

If an applicant is considering applying for a restricted course, they should make sure to include the course details in their application before this deadline (or by March 1st, 2023 for a fee of €10).

Mature applicants

Mature applicants should also ensure they have their course choices included by February 1st, 2023, deadline to avoid any restrictions.

The mature section of the CAO application form must be completed by March 1st, at 5pm, and supporting documentation must be supplied to CAO within ten days of making an application.

Change of mind

The CAO Change of Mind facility opens on May 5th and the free facility allows applicants the opportunity to add, remove or change the order of their courses as many times as they like right up to July 1st at 5pm, however, it is important to note that restrictions apply.

Applicants are reminded that they should list their course choices in genuine order of preference.

Applicants, who do not process their application in advance of the deadline, can make a late application at an increased fee of €60 for an online application.

This facility opens on March 6th and closes at 5pm on May 1st – restrictions apply – see CAO website for more information.

Guides and supports

The CAO website contains a number of guides and supports for applicants which should make the application process easy to navigate, including a ‘Demo Application Facility’ and step-by-step video guides talking applicants through the process of obtaining their CAO application number and editing their CAO account.

Applicants who have already made a CAO application have up to 5pm on February 1st to add, remove or re-order courses free of charge.

See our Career Focus and Student Focus series.

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