The Examination Authority of the Irish Dancing Commission (Ireland) has established 12 grades though which Irish dancers can progress. These grade examinations are similar to the grade exams offered in piano and ballet.
During the examination, dancers receive a written assessment of their performance and a certificate for each passing grade. Examinations are conducted by an examiner appointed by the Irish Dancing Commission.
This program is entirely optional. The advantage of taking the grade exams is that dancers have goals to work towards on an individual basis and will benefit from the positive reinforcement received in the written assessments. Working towards exams requires dancers to improve technique and style. Dancers will also have the feeling of accomplishment of progressing through each grade and receiving their certificates.