Benefits of becoming a full member include:
If your organisation is interested in joining ALTE as a Full Member, you will be asked to provide information on aspects of the organisation's examinations such as the levels provided, candidate numbers, how the examinations are set and administered, statistical analyses, and any new examinations planned. A crucial part of the application process is to undergo an ALTE audit of at least one of the organisation’s examinations, and to regularly attend and contribute towards ALTE events. Organisations wishing to become ALTE Members are also required to first join as Institutional Affiliates in order to attend a few ALTE events, meet the other members and learn more about the association. Full Members must be have a legal status in their country of registration (i.e. they cannot be unincorporated).
There are 5 main steps to become an ALTE Full Member, which are further explained below:
1) Become an ALTE Institutional Affiliate (to be approved by the Board of Trustees);
2) Regularly attend ALTE events;
3) Apply for ALTE Full Member status (to be approved by the Board of Trustees);
4) Apply and undergo an ALTE audit (of at least one of the organisation’s examinations);
5) Become an ALTE Full Member (upon successful completion of the audit and regular attendance of ALTE events).
The standard procedure for an organisation to join ALTE requires becoming an ALTE Institutional Affiliate in the first instance. Please visit the page on becoming an ALTE Institutional Affiliate for more information about this step, including the application form.
Before an ALTE Institutional Affiliate 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 conferences.
Attending ALTE events and actively participating in the life of the Association is an important part of being an ALTE Institutional affiliate 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 this organisation:
Together with the ALTE Membership application form (provided upon request by the ALTE Secretariat), the application needs to include a formal letter of intent addressed to the ALTE Secretary-General. The letter should be signed by the legal representative of the organisation. This letter should express the intention to become an ALTE Full member, and include the following information about their examination(s) to be audited:
As a pre–requisite to become an ALTE Full Member, a document confirming the organisation has the ability to enter into contracts with organisations in other countries is also needed. Full Members must have a legal status in their country of registration (i.e. they cannot be unincorporated).
The above documents shall be reviewed by the ALTE Board of Trustees, either during one of the bi-annual Board meetings or by email. 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 can start preparing the documentation in order to undergo the 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. 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 the following aspects of exams:
The above 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).