Establishing an Effective State or Regional Testing Organization

Get Started

Contact test administrators from across the state or region to see if they would be interested in forming a testing organization. Ask for volunteers to serve on a steering committee to organize the group. Meet with steering committee members to arrange organizational meetings. Then invite all of the interested test administrators to the organizational meetings.

Get Support

Ask your supervisor and your institution's leadership for permission or approval to participate. This support will help make your organization stronger. To help support meeting and conference expenses, your organization should apply for an NCTA grant and seek corporate sponsorships from testing companies.

Determine the Purpose of the Organization

At the first meeting, determine the purpose or mission of the organization. There may be multiple purposes. Some examples are below:

  • Improving communication about testing practices and issues in the state or region.
  • Working with testing companies to provide professional testing services.
  • Promoting membership in the National College Testing Association.

Informal and Formal Organizations

Both informal and formal organizations will need to be considered. Select the format which works best for your group and the elements below.

  • Leadership
    How will the leadership of the organization be determined? Will the leaders be elected, be appointed, or be volunteers? In addition to the leader of the organization, who will serve as an NCTA State Representative?
  • Membership
    Will the membership be limited to college testing personnel, or will testing companies and employees from the state's department of education be included? Will there be institutional memberships, and will there be limited or unlimited memberships from each institution?
  • Meetings/Conferences
    Where will the group meet? How often? What costs are associated with the meeting, and who will be responsible for paying them?
  • Workshops/Training Sessions
    Will there be opportunities for professional development, such as workshops or training sessions? Testing companies are an excellent resource for workshops or training and may also be willing to assist with sponsoring in order to defray the associated costs.

Formal organizations will need to develop

  • Mission and Vision Statements
    Effective statements clarify the purpose of the organization. They will guide the actions of the organization when making decisions.
  • By-Laws
    The internal rules of the organization are described in the by-laws. They define the operation of the organization and outline the procedures for election of officers and other details of the processes and procedures. Use the by-laws from the NCTA and from some of the established state testing organizations as a template.
  • Dues/Other Funding
    If it is determined that some form of dues is necessary to fund the organization, then the organization will need to decide on the type and amount. Will the dues be per institution or per individual?
  • Business status
    Does the organization want to register as a corporation and not-for-profit status?

Set Up Communication Channels

Effective organizations communicate well with their members, so it is important to have channels of communication, such as a website, Listserv, and a file sharing system.


Websites may be sponsored by a member institution or by the organization. It would be helpful to conduct a search to ensure that the domain name the organization has chosen is not already used by another organization or company. Use the websites from Florida and Texas to help you develop one for your organization.

Florida Association of College Test Administrators (FACTA)

Texas Association of Collegiate Testing Personnel (TACTP)

Listserv/Mailing List

A Listserv is an electronic mailing list using the Listserv computer program, which differs from distribution lists used in email programs. With a Listserv, you can create a topic and distribute information or start a discussion with a list of subscribers. Google "how to create a Listserv."

File Sharing System

File sharing is the practice of distributing or providing access to digitally-stored information. A commonly used site is Dropbox.™

It is very important that the state or regional organization stay connected to the NCTA, so one or more of these channels should also provide updates from the NCTA.


The NCTA supports and encourages the foundation of state and regional associations as autonomous, unique, and independent organizations. The NCTA will assist and guide these organizations in their development by providing resources and support. An affiliated title, such as "NCTA Chapter," should not be used in an SRO's title, mission, vision, or other organizational documents.