Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse
Certified Association Executive
Share |



A voluntary certification effort founded in 1960, the Certified Association Executive program is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and designate those who demonstrate knowledge essential to the practice of association management. The CAE designation is your key to enhanced professional stature. ASAE estimates the percentage of association executives that have obtained the CAE to be approximately 5%.
Applicants must meet eligibility requirements to sit for the CAE exam, which is given the first Friday of May and December each year. 

Download the CAE Exam Application.


ISAE offers a Study Course twice a year to help professionals prepare for the CAE exam. An experienced CAE leads the discussion as the group explores the nine (9) domains of association management and works through sample exam questions. 

CAE Fall Study Group Meet Dates: 

Time  Domains    Facilitato
Tuesday, October 6 ‚Äč 9 - 11 a.m. Intro Session   Eric Klinner, CAE
Tuesday, October 20
1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Domains 4, 5, 7    Wade Koehler, CAE
Monday, November 2  11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Domains 3, 8, 9   John Freitag, CAE  
Tuesday, November 17  9 - 11 a.m.  Domains 1, 2, 6   David Voepel, CAE 
Monday, November 30 9 - 11 a.m.  Review Session    Eric Klinner, CAE 

All study group sessions will be in the ISAE 3rd floor Board Room.

The next CAE Exam date is Friday, December 4, 2015. 

You must submit your application to ASAE by Friday, September 25 if you are planning to take the exam in December 2015.

Study Guide: Click here to purchase the NEW 2015 CAE Study Guide.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE CAE? see full list of eligibility requirements here.

  1. You have three years of experience as a CEO at a qualifying organization* or you have five years of experience working at the staff level at a qualifying organization. **Also, see in lieu of options.
  2. You are currently employed by a qualifying organization or have been employed by such within the last five years. ***Also, see in lieu of options.
  3. You have a bachelor's degree or higher, or in lieu of a degree, you have eight additional years of professional work experience.
  4. You are committed to upholding the ASAE Standards of Conduct and have no felony convictions related to the practice of association management.
  5. You have completed 100 hours of broad-based qualifying professional development within the last five years.

*A qualifying organization is a nonprofit organization (trade association, professional society, individual membership organization, philanthropic organization, tribal organization) or an association management company (AMC).
**In lieu of employment at a qualifying organization, an applicant may have ten years paid service as an employee, independent contractor, or consultant with 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 your work is devoted solely to qualifying organizations.
***If qualifying under in lieu of employment requirements, must be currently (or within the last five years) employed in paid service as an employee, independent contractor, or consultant with demonstrated professional involvement within the association community by providing services as defined by the CAE exam content outline. 

Note: You do not have to be an ASAE member to earn your CAE and CAE hours may come from any approved provider, including those earned with ISAE. If you need assistance determining the number of CAE hours you have earned with ISAE, email Destiny Nance-Evans or call 217-753-1190 x124.


Earning and maintaining the CAE is a three-part process. To earn the CAE credential, candidates must first submit an application satisfying professional experience and education requirements. Successful applicants must next pass a challenging examination on all aspects of association management. Candidates undertake rigorous study sessions in preparation for the exam, and only those who are able to achieve the passing score earn the CAE credential. Once earned, the certification must be renewed every three years through additional studies and leadership activities.


Visit the ASAE CAE Information Page for more information

Download a CAE application

Download a CAE renewal application

Download the list of CAE Core Resources 

ISAE is a CAE Approved Provider. Every program that we offer which qualifies for CAE credit will clearly identify the number of CAE credits granted for full participation, and we will maintain records of your participation in accord with CAE policies.





ISAE Community Search