CAE Renewal Requirements

CAE Recertification Requirements

CAEs are required to renew their certification every three years. To be eligible to renew your CAE, you must meet professional development criteria or a combination of professional development with leadership, instruction, or writing activities. In addition, you must recommit to upholding the ASAE Standards of Conduct and pay a renewal fee. Once you have fulfilled the requirements, you may submit your renewal application.

View more details on how to complete your renewal application.


CAE Renewal Links

Renewal Application
How to Complete your Renewal Application


More details about CAE renewal

Renewal Deadline and Fees
CAE Credit Requirements
Professional Development
Leadership, Instruction, or Writing
ASAE Standards of Conduct
Inactive Status and Reactivation
Retired Status


Renewal Deadline and Fees

For each three-year period, a renewal fee of $350 for ASAE members and $500 for nonmembers must be paid when the renewal application is submitted. The application and payment are due no later than December 31 of the year the certification expires. Renewal fees are reduced to $275 for members and $425 for nonmembers if the renewal application is received by October 31 of the year certification expires.


CAE Credit Requirements

Renewing certificants must have completed a minimum of 40 CAE credits of association management-related professional development, or a minimum of 30 credits of professional development plus 10 credits of qualifying leadership, instruction, or writing activities contributing to the profession of association management.

Beginning with certificants due to renew in 2020, of the 40 credits required, one credit must be focused on ethics. The course(s) must be directly related to either association or nonprofit as defined by the CAE exam content outline. The course(s) should have ethics in the title or within the official course description. Multiple courses may be taken to complete the ethics requirement as long as the total time of the eligible ethics courses adds up to a minimum of 1 CAE credit (1 clock hour), e.g., two 30-minutes courses or two 45-minute courses. Review a list of ASAE courses that will help you meet the requirement.

When renewing for the first time, applicants may include qualifying CAE credits not previously submitted if they were completed less than three years before the certification cycle end date (December 31 of renewal year.) For example, those who passed the December 2018 exam have a certification start date of January 24, 2019. For their first renewal, these certificants may use credits earned between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2021. Those who passed the May 2019 exam have a certification start date of June 19, 2019. For their first renewal, these certificants may use credits earned between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2021.


Professional Development

Continuing education offered by a professional entity may be applied toward the professional development requirement of the CAE exam or renewal application as long as it is directly related to association or nonprofit management as defined by the CAE exam content outline and meets the guidelines outlined below. The CAE Commission strongly recommends that you fulfill the professional development requirement by completing coursework in each domain area on the exam content outline.  

Please see the CAE Registered Provider page for a list of organizations, in addition to ASAE, that offer education that is eligible for CAE credit. Only CAE Registered Providers can publicize courses for CAE credit.  

Acceptable professional development activities include the following: 

1. Live conferences, workshops, seminars, or classes (including face-to-face, audio/videoconference, and online) offered by ASAE, CAE Registered Providers, societies of association executives, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Organization Management, or other providers that are directly related to association or nonprofit management as defined by the CAE exam content outline earn CAE credit for actual clock time of qualifying education, including partial credits, up to a maximum of 8 CAE credits per day. (For example, 1½ hours of qualifying education equals 1.5 CAE credits.) Online courses must be instructor-led or meet the criteria outlined below for self-study credit.

2. College or university courses (e.g., face-to-face, independent study/correspondence, online) taken for academic credit at a U.S. accredited academic institution, directly related to association or nonprofit management as defined by the CAE exam content outline, earn CAE credits as follows:

  • 15 CAE credits per earned college semester credit
  • 14 CAE credits per earned college trimester credit
  • 10 CAE credits per earned college quarter credit


  • A three-credit semester course would earn 45 CAE credits.
  • A two-credit quarter course would earn 20 CAE credits.

A copy of a transcript and a course description must be submitted with the renewal application.

3. Preplanned in-depth group study of specific association management topic(s) with interaction among a minimum of three participants from different organizations earn 1 CAE credit for each clock hour, up to a maximum of 20 credits per renewal application.

4. Individual self-paced study. An educational program used for individual, self-paced study may be recognized for CAE credits if it meets the following criteria (self-study credits, including ASAE Learning Online courses, may only account for one-half of any applicant’s education hours):

  • The program must be suitably recent, as defined by the oldest reference included in the CAE Core Resources.
  • The program must have clearly identified learning objectives linked to the CAE exam content outline.
  • It must include an interactive component such as quizzes, post-tests, or other learning assessment exercises or activities by which participants apply and demonstrate comprehension of the covered content areas.
  • The program must meet recognized standards for effective self-study programs.

Proof of completion (i.e. a certificate of completion) must be submitted with the renewal application.

5. Mentoring/coaching. Certificants providing and/or receiving mentoring or coaching specifically focused on the field of association management and representative of the exam content outline for a minimum of 10 hours can qualify for up to 10 CAE credits toward renewal:

  • 0-9 hours = 0 CAE credits
  • 10 hours = 5 CAE credits
  • 12 hours = 6 CAE credits
  • 14 hours = 7 CAE credits
  • 16 hours = 8 CAE credits
  • 18 hours = 9 CAE credits
  • 20 hours = 10 CAE credits

The mentor or coach must be a CAE or CAE (Ret.). The mentor/coach and the mentee/individual being coached may not be employed by the same organization.

The CAE Mentoring Form must be submitted with the renewal application.

Please note that mentoring/coaching is a one-on-one relationship. Facilitating or teaching a study group or course does not qualify as a professional development activity, but it may be eligible for CAE credit under Leadership, Instruction, or Writing (below).


Leadership, Instruction, or Writing

A maximum of 10 credits earned from leadership, instruction, or writing activities may be applied toward the 40 credits required for renewal.

  • Leadership. Two credits will be given per year for service as a volunteer officer of an association or professional society, or for volunteer service as chair or vice chair of a committee, section, or special interest group.
  • Instruction. Two credits will be given for each course/workshop on association management topics that the applicant instructs.
  • Writing. Two credits will be given for each article, chapter, or book on association management topics that the applicant writes.


Ineligible activities. The following are not eligible to earn CAE credit:

  • General software/training courses
  • Expo hall hours
  • Industry-specific programs (not general association management; e.g. physicians' CME courses)
  • Networking receptions
  • Breaks between educational sessions
  • Product-specific promotional courses or training
  • Job-related duties


ASAE Standards of Conduct

Renewal applicants must again agree in writing that they will adhere to the ASAE Standards of Conduct and they must re-attest that they have not been convicted of a felony related to the practice of association management.

CAEs must disclose all felony convictions to the CAE Commission using the Felony Disclosure Form [PDF]. If the Commission determines the felony was related to the practice of association management or to employment or contractual engagement by an association, the applicant may be ineligible to renew.


Inactive Status and Reactivation

Inactive Status is available to CAEs who do not meet the renewal requirements but who do not wish to permanently lose their certification status. Inactive status provides CAEs with up to three years to meet the renewal requirements. While an individual’s status is inactive, the CAE credential and designation may not be used. To apply for inactive status, certificants must complete the appropriate form and pay the inactive-status fee. Applications must be received prior to the end of the certification period for the request to be honored. Applications will be reviewed and processed in December of the expiring year.

The CAE certification may be reactivated at any time during the inactive period as long as the renewal requirements are met. To reactivate your CAE designation, you must submit the CAE renewal application.


Retired Status

Current CAEs in good standing who are retired from association management—or individuals who were CAEs in good standing at the time of their retirement—and who wish to stay connected to the CAE community may apply for Retired Status. Learn more about the CAE (Ret.) designation