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About the State Examinations Commission

General Information: Please click the following links for further information about State Examinations Commission’s.

Basic Role

The State Examinations Commission is responsible for the development, assessment, accreditation and certification of the second-level examinations of the Irish state: the Junior Certificate and the Leaving Certificate. The State Examinations Commission is a non-departmental public body under the aegis of the Department of Education and Skills.

Mission Statement

"To provide a high quality State Examination and Assessment System incorporating the highest standards of openness, fairness and accountability."

Establishment of SEC

The State Examinations Commission (SEC) is a statutory body established by Government in March 2003 under Section 54 of Education Act, 1998. The SEC assumed responsibility for the operation of the state certificate examinations from the Department of Education and Skills from 2003 onwards. It has been established as a public body staffed by civil servants. Its five non-executive Commissioners have been appointed through the Public Appointments Service and on the nomination of the Minister for Education and Skills. The permanent executive of just over 150 staff, led by a Chief Executive Officer, supports the Commission.

The Commission deals with the provision and quality of the Irish State Examinations. The organisation is committed to working in partnership with school authorities and education providers in order to deliver a high quality examination and assessment system that is efficient, fair and accessible and to ensure that the system is operated in an environment of openness, transparency and accountability.


The Commission is responsible for the operation of all aspects of the established Leaving Certificate, Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme, Leaving Certificate Applied and Junior Certificate Examinations including written, oral, aural and practical components and assessed course work in some subjects. Two million components are examined annually. We also organise certain trade and professional examinations. The individual functions involved in the operation of the examinations include:

  • Organising the holding of examinations

  • Preparing examination papers and other examination materials

  • Determining procedures for the conduct and supervision of examinations

  • Recruiting contract staff to draft and mark examination components and to superintend at the examinations

  • Arranging for marking of work presented for assessment and examinations.

  • Issuing the results of examinations

  • Determining procedures to enable the review and appeal of results of
    examinations at the request of candidates.

  • Charging and collecting fees for examinations.

  • Designating places where examinations may be held

Organisational Structure


Senior Management Team Organisational Chart

Senior Management Team Organisational Chart


The Commissioners

The Commissioners are mandated in their duties under the State Examinations Commission (Establishment) Order 2003. The Board of Commissioners appointed for a three year term until 30th November, 2018 are:

Mr Patrick Burke, Chairperson Ms Mary Ryan, Deputy Chairperson
Mr. Patrick Burke
Ms. Mary Ryan
Deputy Chairperson
Prof Teresa O'Doherty Dr Richard Thorn Mr. Martin Sisk
Prof. Teresa O'Doherty Dr. Richard Thorn Mr. Martin Sisk

Statement of Strategy

Pay Grading Structure

Salary of CEO - Financial Statements


State Examinations Commission, Cornamaddy, Athlone, Co. Westmeath, N37 TP65. Tel: 090-644 2700 Fax: 090-644 2744 Email us: Click here link to the Contact Form
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