In the previous newsletter, it was reported that a revision of the language table, as stipulated in Article 5.2 of the Code of Conduct, was planned. The umbrella organizations (UNL, VH and NRTO) and the National Commission have delegated the task of developing an independent standard and assessment procedure to Hobéon. These instruments are intended to make it possible for language tests from different language test providers to be added to the language table, provided that they meet certain quality standards.
The most recent post on the revision of the language table included information on what the process developed by Hobéon will look like. This process can roughly be divided into five stages, as follows:
- Establishing and approving the system of certification
- Fine-tuning the scope of the assessment framework
- Developing the assessment framework and process
- Validating, finalizing and approving the assessment framework and process
- Embedding the standard and assessment framework in the text of the Code of Conduct
Stages 1 and 2 can already be ticked off. A clear draft standard has been developed and the scope of the assessment framework has also been determined. At the time of writing, Hobéon is finalizing Stage 3: the assessment framework and process. This will be followed by stage 4. Unfortunately, the first two stages took more time than was originally anticipated. This was mainly due to a number of points of principle which had to be agreed upon by the umbrella organizations, including whether or not to open up the language table to language tests developed by the educational institutions themselves, through their language centres, and online language tests. The planning was moved back as a result.
The aim was to have the standard included in the text of the Code of Conduct by 1 October 2023; this date will now move to 1 January 2024. This rescheduling is closely linked to stage 5: embedding the standard and assessment framework in the text of the Code of Conduct. The procedure for amending the text of the Code of Conduct, and the associated Regulations, must be followed in order to undertake this last step. Any amendment of the text of the Code of Conduct requires the consent of all three umbrella organizations and the Commission for the proposal. Each umbrella organization has its own internal decision-making procedure for this, and all the members must agree to the proposed amendment or amendments. We are reliant on the umbrella organizations’ internal procedures for this last stage.
We will keep you informed on progress via the umbrella organizations, the Code of Conduct website and the newsletter. If you have any questions, you can contact the policy adviser responsible in your umbrella organization. If your educational institution is not represented by an umbrella organization, you can email your questions to the NC office.