How to use our website

If you are having any difficulty using our site please read this page first - it may well answer your query. You can also download a quick guide to getting the most out of the site.

If not, contact Prospect's website team by email.



General information about our site, including our terms and conditions

Members-only and reps-only pages

Why do members have to register - why can't we just log in using our membership number?

Are the registration and login systems secure?

Logging in

Problems with the first-time login process?

Forgotten your password?

Problems with the password reminder system?

Can remember your password but are unable to log in?

Accessibility issues

Finding and downloading files from our library

eBranches, eGroups, eNetworks etc

Data protection notice


A cookie is a small text file that your web browser stores on your computer; it can track your movements around a website. Prospect's site uses a temporary cookie which remembers that you have logged in. It enables you to move from members-only content to public content and vice-versa, without being required to log in again. At the end of your browser session, the cookie is deleted. Find out how to enable cookies in your web browser.

The EU e-Privacy directive requires websites to gain user consent for the use of tracking technologies, cookies being an example of such a technology. Since May 2012, websites operating in the UK have had to inform users if they are being tracked with cookies, and to ask for their consent. However, there is an exemption where the cookie is 'strictly necessary.' Prospect's cookie does not track your browsing history in any way, and is a fundamental part of our login system; we believe this means it is covered by the exemption.

General information about our site

Our site is optimised to work with a wide range of recent web browsers. Some pages may not display properly in older browsers, but we have tried to minimise any such problems. Please email our website team if you encounter any browser problems. Please read the full terms and conditions for use of our website.

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Members-only and reps-only content

Some of our content is restricted to Prospect members, and many of our downloadable resources are restricted to specific groups of users, eg reps, members of particular committees. You need to log in to make sure you get access to the full range of content that's available to you.

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Why do members have to register - why can't we just log in using our membership number?

This is for your own security. Once you log into the members' area of the site you get access to your personal profile page - the key details from your membership record. We need to be sure that you are the only person who gets access to this information. Simply logging in with membership numbers wouldn't be secure, because they aren't necessarily private - they are printed on the Profile mailing label for example, so other members may have access to your number.

To register, you enter your surname, membership number and home postcode. Once we've confirmed your identity and your membership status, you set up a personal password which is associated with your membership number and your email address. This is used on future visits to the site. So nobody else could log in with your membership number, because they would also need to know your personal password.

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Are the registration and login systems secure?

Yes. We use SSL technology certified by Thawte to ensure that all the details you submit are fully encrypted.

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Logging in

We recommend that you log in as soon as you visit our site. Many of our pages contain both public and members-only content. If you visit a page before you log in then go back to it, your browser may have stored the public version in its memory or 'cache'. You can avoid this problem by logging in straight away.

If you're a rep, the website should recognise this when you log in, and will display the word 'representative' in the login status box. If you're a rep but you don't see this, your branch may not have notified our membership department that you're a rep - ask them to contact the membership department as soon as possible. Your rep status needs to be logged on your membership record - as well as controlling your level of access to the website, it ensures you receive key correspondence such as our reps' magazine, Report.

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Problems registering to use the members-only area?

ALAE members: if you joined before ALAE became part of Prospect, you were probably issued with a password for the ALAE site. If so, you don't need to go through our first-time login process. You should be able to use the regular member log-in, entering your new Prospect membership number and your old ALAE password. Once you've logged in, please go to 'change your settings,' select the 'password' tab, then add a security question and answer. This will make it much easier to retrieve your password if you forget it.

All other ALAE members need to go through the first-time login on the Prospect site, using their surname, home postcode and new membership number. They then create a password and a security Q&A. 24 hours later, they should be able to log into the ALAE site using the same login details.

Professionals in educational improvement and children's services: please use the separate Aspect group website. At the moment, it's not possible for you to register on the national website.

For all other Prospect members there are two stages to the registration ('first-time login') system.

Stage 1: enter your surname, membership number and home postcode. The website will look for a match for all three fields on our membership database.

If you get taken straight back to the registration screen, please check your browser preferences to make sure that cookies are enabled. Our site uses a temporary cookie which remembers your progress through the registration and login systems.

If you receive an error message saying your record could not be found, please try again, making sure you enter all the details correctly. The details you enter need to match those on your Prospect membership record.

  • If you have a BFPO address, enter this in the 'postcode' box
  • If you've moved house but not informed us, use your old postcode
  • if you live overseas and don't have a postal or zip code, try leaving the postcode field blank.

If you still can't get beyond the first stage of the registration process and have checked that cookies are enabled in your browser preferences, please email quoting your name, membership number and home postcode.

Stage 2: if the website successfully matches your details you will be taken to a second screen. This asks you to set up a website password (no more than 16 characters; it's not case-sensitive, ie it doesn't matter whether you use upper or lower case characters), plus a security question and answer.

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Already registered but forgotten your password?

Our site has an automated password reminder system. You'll be taken to a page where you enter your membership number and surname, or your registered email address. Then choose whether to be asked your security question on-screen or have your password emailed to you. If you have problems using the password reminder system, see below for further guidance.

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Problems with the Prospect password reminder system?

If you choose the email reminder option, the password will be sent to whichever address you nominated as your 'preferred' address when you first registered, so make sure you're checking the correct mailbox. The reminder should arrive within a few minutes. If it doesn't, we either have an incorrect email address for you, or our automated reminder has been blocked by a firewall or spam filter. This is outside our control, so please try again and use the security question option. 

If the security Q&A system doesn't work, make sure you're submitting your answer in the exact format you used when you first registered, especially if the answer to your security question is a date. The website does not recognise the date itself, simply the string of characters. So if you originally recorded the answer as '28 February 2001', but enter 28/02/2001 in response to the reminder question, the website will not accept this. When you first register we encourage you to use the format dd/mm/yyyy, and we provide a note to this effect on the reminder page.

If you are absolutely sure that you're entering the correct answer to your security question but it's not being recognised, check that cookies are enabled in your browser preferences. When the system reveals your password on screen it will automatically log you into the site. It can't do this if you have cookies disabled (see below).

ALAE members: if you joined before ALAE became part of Prospect, your old ALAE login details were transferred to the Prospect site, but these didn't include a security question and answer. So when you use our password reminder system, your only option is to have the password emailed to you. Once you've successfully logged in, please go to 'change your settings,' select the 'password' tab, then add a security question and answer. This will make it much easier to retrieve your password in the future.

Connect sector members: if you originally registered on the old Connect website, you will not have a security Q&A on the Prospect website, so the email password reminder is the only option. Once you've retrieved your password and logged in, go to 'change your settings' on the member welcome page, select the 'password' tab, and add a security Q&A.

If you try all these options but still have problems, please email quoting your name, membership number and home postcode.

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Already registered and can remember your password but are unable to log in?

Check that cookies are enabled in your browser preferences. Our site uses a temporary cookie - this simply remembers that you've logged in, enabling you to move between members-only and public pages then back again without being challenged to log in for a second time. If cookies are disabled, you may get stuck in a loop where you constantly get taken back to the login screen.

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Accessibility issues

Our site has been designed with accessibility in mind. We use cascading style sheets, and users can override the style sheets by changing their browser preferences. All our text is scaleable, so users can increase or decrease the size by using their browser's 'view' options. We will be having an accessibility audit of the site carried out in 2012. In the meantime, please email the website team if you have any accessibility problems with it.

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Downloading files from our library

Our library contains a range of files in PDF format. Some are restricted to logged-in members, other to reps only.

You will need Adobe Reader software to view these files. Adobe Reader is free - it comes with most web browsers, and can be downloaded from the Adobe website ( 

You can browse through the library's contents by document type, subject area etc, or you can use the built-in search facility. Where possible, we also include document lists on many of our web pages - so in the health and safety area of the site you will find lists of H&S documents from the library.

When you click on a document title, you'll be taken to the document's summary page in our library. This displays a range of information such as the full description, creation date and audience (eg members only, reps only). So you can find out more about the document before choosing to download it. However, in some of our document lists you will see a green arrow icon:
quick download icon

This is a 'quick download' option. Where it's displayed, you can click on this icon to download a document without first being taken to its summary page. 

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eBranches, eSections, eNetworks, eSectors

Our eStructures are mini websites for specific groups of members. Any of our branches and sections can have their own eBranch or eSection, and their members automatically get access to the content when they log in. 

If your branch has its own eBranch, you'll see a direct link to it when you log into our site - look in the login status box on the right-hand side for a link to 'your eBranch'. This will take you to your eBranch home page, and on the left-hand side you'll see links to all the eBranch content.

Some of our networks, groups and sectors also have their own eStructures. You can find links to them on the left-hand side of our site. If you're part of a network, group or sector you will automatically get access to their full content once you're logged in.

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Data protection

Prospect's data protection notice sets out the terms on which we hold and process members' data.

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