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Certified Association Executive Program

What is the CAE?

70% of CAE test takers report enhancing knowledge, improving advancement opportunities, and elevating their status in their current position as their motivation.

The Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and identify association professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of association management. Founded in 1960, the CAE Program stands as a mark of excellence and has evolved to reflect what it takes to manage an association in today's challenging climate. The CAE Program was accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies in 2010.

Learn about eligibility | Get exam dates | Find out what’s covered in the exam (PDF) 

Who is it for?

The CAE Program is geared towards association management practitioners, who have a vested interest in advancing their profession and the industry. Is CAE for me? | Read profiles of current CAEs

What are the benefits?

Earning the CAE credential is the hallmark of a committed association professional. It helps drive professional self-confidence, opens doors, creates connections, and offers widespread value and recognition for certificants. CAE Program Overview  

How can I obtain the CAE?

Earning and maintaining the CAE is a three-part process. Candidates must first meet eligibility requirements and submit an application. The next step is to sit for and pass the CAE exam. Once a candidate has earned the credential they must maintain it by fulfilling certification renewal requirements every three years.

What’s new?

The CAE Commission is pleased to announce an updated Exam Content Outline and expanded eligibility requirements for 2015.

The CAE Exam Content Outline is updated every five years and is based on research and subject matter expert input for a job analysis study conducted in 2013-2014. The updated outline will apply to CAE exams for 2015 through 2019. The updated exam outline reflects the increasing sophistication of association executive considerations, including a broadening of business models beyond membership, as well as increased competencies in brand management, diversity and globalization.

In response to the changing landscape of employment in association management, the CAE Commission determined that an alternate pathway should be provided to the employment experience requirements. As a result, the CAE Commission has adopted a two-tier alternative to the current employment experience requirement: “Ten years paid service as an employee, independent contractor, or consultant who has demonstrated professional involvement within the association community by providing services as defined by the CAE exam content outline or five years of such service if substantially all of their work is devoted solely to qualifying organizations.” More information can be found in the eligibility requirements section.

Contact Us

Lori Furtado, CAE
Senior Director, Credentialing