If your organisation is interested in joining ALTE as a Full or Associate 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.
There are 5 main steps to become an ALTE Full/Associate Member, which are further explained below:
1) Become an ALTE Institutional Affiliate (to be approved by the Executive Committee);
2) Regularly attend ALTE events;
3) Apply for ALTE Full/Associate Member status (to be approved by the Executive Committee);
4) Apply and undergo an ALTE audit (of at least one of the organisation’s examinations);
5) Become an ALTE Full/Associate Member (upon successful completion of the audit and regular attendance o ALTE events).
The standard procedure for an organisation to join ALTE requires becoming an ALTE Institutional Affiliate in the first instance. Below are the steps you need to take:
1. Complete the ALTE Institutional Affiliate application form and prepare a supporting document with background information regarding the organisation, the work in relation to language testing, and the areas you hope to develop in the future through to your participation in ALTE.
2. The above documents shall be reviewed by the ALTE Executive Committee, either during one of the bi-annual Executive Committee meetings or by email. The Committee will decide whether the organisation is allowed to join ALTE as an Institutional Affiliate. The Executive Committee's decision is final.
3. If the Executive Committee accepts your organisation, you will be asked to complete and sign the ALTE Institutional Affiliate status agreement.
4. Upon receipt of the document (duly completed and signed by the legal representative of the organisation), the Secretariat will issue an invoice to pay the annual subscription fee for Institutional Affiliates (€500). The subscription fee is payable at the beginning of each calendar year. If the organisation signs the ALTE Institutional Affiliate status agreement on or after 30th June, they will only be invoiced for half the amount of the annual fee (€250) for that year, and the full annual fee from the year after.
5. The annual fee must be paid timely according to the terms of the invoice. Delays in payment may affect your affiliation with ALTE and/or your chances of being re-accepted again in the future.
Before an ALTE Institutional Affiliate can submit their application to undergo an ALTE audit and become an ALTE Full/Associate 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 Executive Committee when reviewing the applications to become ALTE Full/Associate Member. Furthermore, it is not possible to start the procedure to apply for ALTE full/associate 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/Associate Member.
Before any organisation can apply for ALTE Full/Associate Membership status, the Executive Committee 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/Associate member, and include the following information about their examination(s) to be audited:
As a pre–requisite to become an ALTE Full/Associate Member, a document confirming the organisation has the ability to enter into contracts with organisations in other countries is also needed. This is because, as a member of ALTE, the organisation will be expected to pay the annual subscription to the association and share any liabilities.
The above documents shall be reviewed by the ALTE Executive Committee, either during one of the bi-annual Executive Committee meetings or by email. The Committee will decide if the organisation is suitable to join the Association as ALTE Full/Associate Member and undergo an ALTE audit.
If the application is approved by the Executive Committee, 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.
Crucial part of the application to become an ALTE Full/ Associate 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 Deed of Adherence to officially become an ALTE Full/Associate Member. The ALTE Secretariat will provide detailed information beforehand about all the legal requirements and documents needed.
After signing the Deed of Adherence, the new ALTE Full/Associate 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€, and for ALTE Associate Members the fee is 1,125€. 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).