Online services

In order to deal efficiently with your queries we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the online services website, we advise you to read them first. If you need further help, please email

This list is being updated on an ongoing basis.

How do I sign up for Arts Council online services?
  1. Go to the online services website -
  2. You will see a section on the page that says: New user? Sign up.
  3. Click on the Sign up button to enter the registration process.
  4. You will be asked to identify yourself as either an individual or organisation/group.
  5. You will then be asked to enter: your name, tax details (PPS is mandatory if you are an individual), contact details, communication channels, and spam filter.
  6. Click ‘Register’.
  7. Your registration will be queued and your details verified by the Arts Council. This may take up to five working days.
  8. When your details have been verified and your account is set up you will be sent an email with log-in instructions.

What are the technical requirements for using online services?

Your computer and internet browser will need to meet the following requirements to use online services successfully:

Windows XP or higher
Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher OR
Firefox 2.0 or higher

Mac - Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard or higher
Safari 3.1 or higher OR
Firefox 2.0 or higher

NB: You will also need to have Microsoft Word or OpenOffice installed to complete the actual application form. OpenOffice is free software which you can download here:

If you do not have access to a computer meeting the above requirements, please contact the Arts Council as far as possible in advance of the deadline to ensure that we can support you with making your application in time for you to meet the deadline.

I have managed my payments using online services. Do I have to sign up to make an online application?

No. If you have already used online services to manage payments you do not need to register again. You can log in to the system using your existing details and create applications from your account.

I know my ARN and I applied online before. Do I have to sign up to make an online application?

Yes, if your online application was prior to 03 February 2010 then you must sign up with online services and obtain a new password.

Why? Because online services is new website with additional new services. Previously, Arts Council online funding applicants could only email an application form for certain funds.  The new system allows you to:

  • create a account (with contact, banking and tax details) that can be reused for other applications;
  • upload your application form and up to 20MB of supporting material;
  • manage and schedule any subsequent payments.

As online services will now be storing confidential information (such as banking and tax details), for security reasons, we are obliged to ask you to register and obtain a new password.

What if I forget my password for online services?

If you are a registered user and you forget your password, click on the ‘Forgot/request password’ link on the online services log-in page and enter your ARN and the email address you provided when you registered. You will receive an email with a new temporary password. You can change this once you are logged in.

Please note that we do not keep records of existing passwords. You must request and use a temporary password to log in.

I signed up to use online services but I have not received a response. How long does it take to register?

It may take a number of days to process your registration depending on volume. Registration tends to be busier in advance of deadlines so you are advised to register as early as possible if you wish to make an application.

If you have registered but have not received an email confirmation, check your spam filters as automated emails may be directed there.

How do I know my ARN?

If you are a registered user your ARN is provided in the registration email sent to you by the Arts Council. Your ARN is also listed on all correspondence relating to applications you have made to or funding you have received from the Arts Council.

If you do not know your ARN but have used the online services system since March 2010, please contact us. You do not need to sign up again.

Why is there an error when I enter the password I requested and received by email?
  • The passwords for online services are complex (a random mixture of letters, numbers and cases). The easiest way to enter them successfully is to copy the password from the email and paste it into the password field.
  • When copying and pasting, take care that you have copied only the password and not any other characters around it e.g. a full stop. You can paste the password first to a Word document, for example, to check this.
  • Have you changed the password since you logged on? If so the password contained in your email will no longer be valid. If the password has been changed and you cannot remember it, request a new password.
  • If you are typing the password, make sure that you are typing it exactly as it appears in the email.
  • Make sure that you are entering the password into the password field and not any other log-in information like your ARN or email address.
  • Make sure that you are entering the correct ARN. Some users have a personal ARN and one for an organisation with which they are associated. Make sure you are using the correct combination of ARN and password.

Why is there an error when I enter my ARN and email address to request a password?

There are a few possible reasons for this:

  • You do not have an online services account. Even if you have an ARN from prior contact with the Arts Council, you may need to register for an account if you have never made an online application, or if you have, but it was prior to March 2010. If you are in doubt about whether you have an online services account, please contact us.
  • The email address you entered is not the one associated with your online services account. This is usually the email address you provided when you registered.
  • You have entered your ARN and/or email address incorrectly. If in doubt about your ARN and/or the email address associated with your account, please contact us.
  • Some users have both a personal ARN and one for an organisation/group with which they are associated. Check that you are using the right combination of ARN and email address.

What are the steps in making an online application?

The process for applying online is as follows:

  1. If you have not already done so; register and keep a note of your ARN and password.
  2. Log in to your account.
  3. Choose the appropriate funding type.
  4. Follow the prompts and fill in the required fields.
  5. Download the application form and save it to your computer.
  6. Complete the application form and save it.
  7. Return to the online site, log in and go to your home page.
  8. Browse for and upload your application form.
  9. Browse for and upload your supporting material.
  10. Review your application. Applications cannot be amended or added to once submitted (see FAQ below).
  11. Hit the Submit button (we will not receive your application until you press 'submit').

Why is the funding I want to apply for not listed on online services?

There are a few possible reasons for this:

  • Applications for most funding types are accepted during a specific application window, which opens a number of weeks in advance of the deadline. The opening date is usually given on the information page for that particular funding type in the ‘Financial support’ section of this website.
  • Funding is not necessarily available in every artform in every round. For example there could be two rounds of Project Awards in one year but applications in Music might only be accepted in one of the rounds.
  • Particular funding types may be open to either individuals or organisations/groups, but not both. The online services system recognises the type of account you have and lists the currently available funding for which you are eligible to apply. The guidelines for each funding type specify who is eligible.
  • Some funding is administered on behalf of the Arts Council by other organisations. Where this is the case, applications are not accepted via online services. See the information page for the funding type in the ‘Financial support’ section of this website for details.

How do I download and fill in my application form?

Download the application form to your computer, where you can fill it in offline and save.

The application form can only be filled in using either Microsoft Word or the free open-source software OpenOffice

Do not use any other program to complete this form as you will be unable to submit your application and you will have to redo your application using the correct software. 

Do not change the format of the document you download. Only application forms saved as .doc or .docx can be submitted.

Click here to download OpenOffice for free

Click on the link below for a step-by-step guide to using the form with OpenOffice.

How do I submit supporting material for my online application?

For most funding applications, all supporting material must be uploaded and submitted electronically through the Arts Council’s online services website.

There are some very limited exceptions for specific supporting materials related to particular funding types. You should refer to the guidelines specific to the funding application you are making for these. Where hard copy material is accepted, this material must be received before the application deadline.

Other than the specific exceptions in the funding guidelines, any supporting material received in hard copy will be disregarded and not assessed as part of your application.

What types of supporting material can I submit online?

You can upload a wide range of materials including images, videos and sound files (up to a total combined limit of 20MB).

The file types that can be accepted are listed below. The file extension (letters after the dot in the filename) indicates the file type.

  • image files - (.jpg/.gif/.tiff/.png)
  • sound files - (.wav/.mp3/.m4a)
  • video files - (Quicktime/.avi/.mov/.mp4)
  • text files - (.rtf/.doc/.docx/.txt)
  • Adobe Reader files - (.pdf)
  • spreadsheets (.xls/.xlsx)

How much supporting material can I submit online?

You can submit up to 40MB of material online.

This is an overall limit so you should check the size of each file you intend to upload to ensure that altogether the files do not total more than 40MB.

Can I provide a link to my supporting material on the web?

Yes, you can upload links to URLs. This means you can provide us with links to certain other web sites that house sound or video clips.

The only URL that will be viewed as part of the assessment process are those that are hosted on Links to material hosted at other web sites will not be viewed.

To submit a link to a URL you must write it into a Word document or equivalent, and then upload the document as a piece of supporting material.

How can I ensure supporting material I provide via the web is not publicly available?

As mentioned in the previous FAQ - the only URLs that will be viewed as part of the assessment process are those that are hosted on either In order to ensure that your material is not publicly available on either of these sites, we recommend the following:

  • YouTube: In the video's settings, tick the 'Unlisted' option in the Privacy section. This will allow only those with a direct link to the video to view it. The video will not appear in search results or on your YouTube channel (if you have one). Do not tick the 'Private' option as this may prevent us from viewing the video during the assessment process. Further information here.

Why is my application taking so long to upload?

This is usually due to slow broadband upload speeds.

Upload speed is the measure of how fast content is delivered when you send files from your computer or local area network to others using the internet.

In order to check or measure your upload speed we advise that you go to the following page on the Commission for Communications Regulation website, where you will be directed to sites where you can measure your broadband speed.

Can I change or add to my application once I have submitted it?

No, it is not possible to do this. If you wish to amend or add to a submitted application you will have to submit a replacement application, before the deadline, including all of the material you wish to be considered. You must also confirm in writing, quoting the application number/s, which application you wish to be assessed. You can do this via email to the relevant artform team e.g. Music, or to online services support at the address above.

How do I know you have received my application?

Once you click the Submit button:

  1. A message will appear on-screen indicating that the application has been submitted;
  2. You will receive an initial email confirming that the application has been submitted;
  3. You will receive a second email containing your application number. You should refer to this if you need to contact us regarding your application;
  4. On your homepage the application will have a status of ‘Submitted’.

Note that the confirmation emails are automated, so they may be directed to your spam/junk folders. Please check these folders if you have not received them.

I am trying to confirm my bank details but when I re-enter my password as prompted it is not accepted. Do I use a different password?

The password to confirm your bank details is the same as your log-on password. However if you copy and paste the password into the confirmation field it may include spaces, which will cause the system not to recognise your password. If this happens, type your password directly into the field rather than pasting it.

The Last of the Trees, (oil on canvas) - Norah McGuinness, 1972, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.
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The Last of the Trees (oil on canvas) - Norah McGuinness, 1972, Arts Council Virtual Gallery.