CAE Recertification Requirements

CAE Recertification Requirements

CAEs are required to renew their certification every three years. The renewal application with payment is due no later than December 31 of the year of certification expiration. Renewal fees are reduced if the renewal application is received by October 31 of the year of certification expiration. All requirements must be complete when the application is submitted.

Since the form requires personal signatures on the payment page as well as the Standards of Conduct, please mail or fax the renewal form with payment to the CAE Department at ASAE (see cover of the renewal form for address and fax number).

Renewal Requirements

As outlined below, the renewal application documents 1) ongoing adherence to professional conduct requirements and 2) completion of professional development activities, or a combination of professional development activities and contributions to the profession:

  • Renewing certificants must have completed a minimum of 40 credits of association management related professional development, or a minimum of 30 credits of association management development plus 10 credits of qualifying leadership, authorship, and teaching activities contributing to the profession of association management. Qualifying leadership activities include volunteer service as a chairman, chair-elect or officer for committee service to a qualifying organization other than the applicant’s employer. Beginning with certificants due to renew in 2020, of the 40 credits required, one credit must be focused on ethics.
  • When renewing for the first time, applicants may include qualifying CAE credits not previously submitted for CAE credit provided the credits have been completed less than three years prior to the certification cycle end date (December 31 of renewal year.) For example, those who passed the December 2014 exam have a certification start date of January 20, 2015. For their first renewal, these certificants may use credits earned between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2017. Those who passed the May 2015 exam have a certification start date of June 24, 2015. For their first renewal, these certificants may use credits earned between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2017.
  • 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.

Renewal fees

For each three-year period, there is a renewal fee of $350 for members and $500 for nonmembers. It must be paid when the Renewal form is submitted. Renewal fees are reduced ($275 for members and $425 for nonmembers) if the renewal application is received by October 31 of the year of certification expiration.

Credits for CAE Renewal
There are a variety of ways to accumulate the required 40 credits of association or nonprofit management-related continuing professional education for CAE renewal. They include: 

Qualifying Professional Development Activities
Any continuing professional education offered by any professional entity may be acceptable toward the professional development requirement as long as it is directly related to either association or nonprofit management as defined by the CAE exam content outline, and meet the guidelines outlined below. Please see the CAE Approved Provider page for a list of organizations, in addition to ASAE, that offer education that is eligible for CAE credit.

Acceptable professional development activities include:
1.  Live conferences, workshops, seminars, or classes (including face-to-face, audio/videoconference, and online delivery) offered by ASAE, societies of association executives, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for Organization Management, or other providers, earn CAE credit for actual clock time of qualifying education including partial credits, up to a maximum of 8 CAE credits per day.  (Ex. 1½ credits of qualifying education equals 1.5 CAE credits.) (Note: Online courses must be instructor led, or meet the criteria outlined for self-study credit. General software training courses are NOT acceptable.)

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 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 3-credit semester course would earn 45 CAE credits.
A 2-credit quarter course would earn 20 CAE credits.
Documentation Required: Copy of a transcript and a course description

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

4. An educational program used for individual, self-paced study may be recognized for CAE credits if it meets the following criteria:

  • 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 application. Self-study credits may only account for one-half of any applicant’s education credits.

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

5.  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 clock hours can qualify for up to a maximum of 10 CAE credits towards renewal under the professional development category.  Two hours of mentoring/coaching or two hours being mentored/coached equals one CAE credit, up to a maximum of 10 CAE credits. The individual providing mentoring/coaching must be a CAE or CAE (Ret.). The mentor/coach & mentee/individual being coached cannot be employed by the same organization.

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

  • 0-9 hours mentoring/coaching /being mentored/being coached = 0 CAE credits
  • 10 hours mentoring/coaching /being mentored/being coached = 5 CAE credits
  • 12 hours mentoring/coaching /being mentored/being coached = 6 CAE credits
  • 14 hours mentoring/coaching /being mentored/being coached = 7 CAE credits
  • 16 hours mentoring/coaching /being mentored/being coached = 8 CAE credits
  • 18 hours mentoring/coaching /being mentored/being coached = 9 CAE credits
  • 20 hours mentoring/coaching /being mentored/being coached =10 CAE credits

Download a PDF of the CAE Mentoring Form. 

Leadership, Instruction, or Writing 
A maximum of 10 credits may be used in the category toward the 40 credits required for renewal. These are:

  • 2 credits will be given per year for service as an officer of an association, or professional society, or for service as chairman, vice-chairman of a committee, section, or special interest group. 
  • 2 credits will be given for each course/workshop on association management topics that is instructed. 
  • 2 credits will be given for each article, chapter or book written on association management topics. 

Other Reminders

  • Fees: $350 for ASAE members and $500 for non-members, application and payment must be received by December 31. (Fees are reduced to $275 for members and $425 for nonmembers if application is submitted by October 31 of the year of certification expiration).
  • CAEs may renew early. However, educational or leadership/instructional hours for the renewal must be earned within the appropriate three-year-interval and must be completed when the renewal is submitted.  

Inactive Status

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 a three-year period, 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.

The CAE certification may be reactivated at any time during the inactive period as long as the renewal requirements are met.  Reactivation will be approved by meeting the renewal requirements including payment of appropriate fees and fulfilling professional development or activities requirements or by re-examination.  Professional development credits must be accrued within the three years leading up to the resumption of certified status.

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.