ALTE Full Members take a full, active part in the life of the association and have at least one of their tests audited through the Quality Management System resulting in a Q-Mark.
In order to be a Full Member, organisations must:
1. The language of the country/region where they are sited is usually a language that has some sort of official recognition as such. This may be a spoken or signed language. The Board of Trustees will work with the organisation in question to determine if the language fulfils this criterion.
2. Or was a member of ALTE EEIG before the introduction of the Q-Mark in 2008 and is working towards fulfilling the requirements of the quality audit; ALTE Framework will only display tests that have the Q-Mark. Members that have had a resolved audit for a test in the language of their country/region may also request quality audits for any tests they create of other languages.
3. In recognition of ALTE’s support for lesser-used or minoritised languages and cases where there will never be as many as 500 candidates a year, the Board of Trustees will consider including members who provide such tests for full membership, if a successful audit is achieved.
Benefits of becoming a full member include:
There are 5 main steps to become an ALTE Full Member:
The standard procedure for an organisation to join ALTE requires becoming an ALTE Associate Member (previously an 'Institutional Affiliate') in the first instance. Please visit the page on becoming an ALTE Associate Member for more information about this step, including the application form.
Organisations should be an Associate Member for a period of one year before applying for full membership.
Before an ALTE Associate Member can submit their application to undergo an ALTE audit and become an ALTE Full Member, they need to attend at least two ALTE events (conferences, SIG meetings, courses), and at least one of them needs to be one of the biannual ALTE meeting and conference.
Attending ALTE events and actively participating in the life of the Association is an important part of being an ALTE Associate Member and this will be taken into account by the Board of Trustees when reviewing the applications to become ALTE Full Member. Furthermore, it is not possible to start the procedure to apply for ALTE full membership, as per point 3 below, until at least one of the representatives of the organisation has attended the Orientation to ALTE Audit System session – failure to attend the ‘Orientation to the ALTE Audit System’ session will delay the process of applying for the ALTE audit, which is a pre-requisite to become an ALTE Full Member.
Before any organisation can apply for ALTE Full Membership status, the Board of Trustees will check that the organisation fulfils the requirements listed above. Please check that your organisation fulfils these criteria, and then request the ALTE Full Membership application form from the ALTE Secretariat.
Complete the application form, and write a formal letter of intent addressed to the ALTE Secretary-General. The letter should be signed by the legal representative of the organisation (the person with legal authority to enter into contracts). More details of what to include in the letter will be found in the ALTE Full Membership application form.
The above documents shall be reviewed by the ALTE Board of Trustees, during one of the bi-annual Board meetings. (Please check with the ALTE Secretariat if you wish to know when the Board meeting will take place). The Board of Trustees will decide if the organisation is suitable to join the Association as ALTE Full Member and undergo an ALTE audit.
If the application is approved by the Board of Trustees, the organisation becomes a candidate for full membership, but is not yet a Full Member. It can start preparing the documentation in order to undergo the quality (Q-Mark) audit, assisted by the ALTE Secretariat. In the next section, there is some general information about the ALTE audit system and some links to related documents to help with the organisation and familiarisation with the ALTE audit system.
A crucial part of the application to become an ALTE Full Member is to undergo an ALTE audit for at least one of the organisation's exams. See the information about the Q-Mark. Detailed information on the ALTE auditing process and its different stages is available in the ALTE Procedures for Auditing.
The ALTE Quality Assurance checklists (available in Resources) may also be helpful as they cover aspects of exams audited - test construction; test administration; marking, grading and results; test analysis and post-examination review. The checklists can be used as a self-assessment tool and it is recommended that they are completed by all organisations who consider applying for ALTE audits (the information about this part of the process can also be found in Section 5 of the PFA document mentioned above).
Once the ALTE audit is completed with the outcome ‘Resolved’, the organisation will need to complete all the legal procedures and sign the Membership Agreement to officially become an ALTE Full Member. The ALTE Secretariat will provide detailed information beforehand about all the legal requirements and documents needed.
After signing the Membership Agreement, the new ALTE Full Member is allocated a unique Q–mark reference and logo. This is the quality indicator which member organisations can use to show that their examinations have passed an ALTE audit. For full details on how the Q–mark can be used, please refer to the Q-Mark Guide.
The organisation will then be invited to prepare a small presentation about their own organisation during the following ALTE meeting and conference. This will help other ALTE members understand better how the new organisation works and the type of language exams that they work with. The organisation will also need to provide a short description of the institution to include it in the ALTE website.
The annual fee for ALTE Full Members is €2,250. The ALTE annual subscription fees are payable each January upon receipt of the invoice from the ALTE Secretariat.
If you have any queries about this procedure or any of the steps above, please contact the ALTE Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Note: transfer of membership is usually not permitted - however see the Rules on Transfer of Membership.