The ALTE Q-mark is a quality indicator which member organisations can use to show that their exams have passed a rigorous ALTE audit and meet all the core requirements of ALTE's 17 quality standards. The Q-mark demonstrates that ALTE member organisations aspire to consistent standards of quality and excellence in their exams.
The Q-mark indicates that the quality profile of an exam or suite of exams has been thoroughly audited by an ALTE auditor and the outcome of this audit was 'resolved'. The outcome remains valid for a period of five years or until there is a significant change in their validity argument for successfully audited exam(s). The Q-mark is only awarded to the audited exam(s), not to the organisation as a whole.
The Q-mark allows test users to be confident that an exam is backed by appropriate processes, reliable procedures and criteria, and consistent standards.
Only the exams of ALTE members and applicant ALTE Associate Members, meeting certain criteria, can undertake an ALTE audit process.
You can also download a guide to the ALTE Q-mark here.
The PfA (latest version - April 2022) was produced by the QMS Working Group and contains all the detailed procedures for auditors and for organisations being audited.
ALTE QMS Working Group
The ALTE QMS WG reviews and edits the audit procedures. Members of the QMS WG meet usually three times per year, and work in close collaboration with the Standing Committee to discuss and improve current procedures.
ALTE Minimum Standards
ALTE has established a set of 17 common standards for its members’ exams, which cover all stages of the language testing process, and are used in the Q-Mark audit process. These involve:
As a result, exams' users - whether individuals, employers, educational institutions or government bodies - can be confident that the language tests devised and delivered by ALTE members meet strict professional standards and accurately reflect test takers' abilities.
Read the Minimum Standards in the following languages:
Български Català Cymraeg Čeština Deutsch Nederlands English Español Eesti Euskara Français Suomi Gaeilge Galego Magyar Italiano Lietuvių Norsk (bokmål og nynorsk) Polski Português Русский Slovenščina Svenska
The next events related to auditing will be online, via the Microsoft Teams platform, in November 2023 (date tbc),
please see our Events page for more details and to register (please log in into your personal ALTE account to see the event). We run an Orientation session for organisations thinking about having an audit. This is a prerequisite for becoming an ALTE Full Member. Orientation sessions are also suitable for members of staff in existing Full Members who will engage in the ALTE auditing process but have not personally had relevant training before. We also run training for existing auditors to ensure ongoing professional standardisation.