Setting  Standards

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: 

  • test construction; 
  • administration and logistics; 
  • marking and grading; 
  • test analysis; 
  • communication with stakeholders.

These are available for download in a range of languages on the Resources page.

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.

The ALTE Q-mark

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 Institutional Affiliates, meeting certain criteria, can undertake an ALTE audit process.

If you would like to confirm whether an exam has the Q-mark, please refer to the ALTE Framework

You can also download a guide to the ALTE Q-mark here

ALTE Auditing Process

Before becoming ALTE Members, organisations need to submit at least one of their examinations for an ALTE Audit. The audit looks at how institutions meet the different quality standards. If all the 17 minimum standards are met, the audit is considered successful and the examination is awarded an ALTE Q-mark. 

You can download a guide to the ALTE auditing process here, or contact the ALTE Secretariat for further information.

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. The Chair of the QMS WG is Julia Todorinova, who is also a member of the Standing Committee.

Learn more about the Standing Committee and the work that the QMS WG is currently doing. 


AUDITS - Upcoming Training and Events

The next events related to auditing will be in Salamanca, Spain, in November 2018.

We run training for current auditors only; and introductions to the ALTE auditing system for new auditors or auditees.

© ALTE 2018

Dutch Translation © CNaVT 2018

Swedish Translation  © Stockholm University 2018

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