Certification & Leadership Development

ASAE’s Certified Association Executive credential and leadership development opportunities can tap individual career potential and help associations build a more skilled and knowledgeable team.

For association executive recruiters and HR directors, the Certified Association Executive credential is the hallmark of a committed association professional. Held by more than 3,000 diverse association executives across the nation, the CAE is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and identify association professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of association management.

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. A candidate who has earned the credential must maintain it by fulfilling certification renewal requirements every three years.

Another route to professional development is to participate in ASAE communities and events that bring together aspiring leaders and veteran association executives. Whether the program is online or face to face, participants gain knowledge and professional connections that can lead to new opportunities.

Tools You Can Use

CAE Study Guide: The definitive guide to exam preparation.

CAE Kickoff Course: In this program, candidates assess their knowledge of exam content and identify areas of focus for exam preparation.

Independent CAE study tools: A compilation of resources available from ASAE and other organizations.

Aspiring Executive Leaders Community (membership required): This group—part of Collaborate, ASAE’s private online social network—connects professionals who have earned the CAE and have at least seven years’ experience in association management.

ASAE Diversity Executive Leadership Program: DELP supports individuals from under-represented identity groups in the association community to advance into the ranks of leadership in the association profession. DELP scholars participate in an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring, and volunteer service in the association community.

Leadership development events: ASAE offers a variety of educational and networking events specifically designed to cultivate leadership potential, including the Future Leaders Conference, the NextGen Leadership Summit, and the Executive Leadership Forum. Consult the ASAE Calendar for more details.