Certified Association Executive (CAE) Program

A voluntary certification effort founded in 1960, the Certified Association Executive (CAE) 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%. There are currently over 4,000 CAEs (212 in Texas).

Applicants must meet eligibility requirements to sit for the CAE exam, which is given the first Friday of May and December each year.

TSAE hosts a Study Course, sponsored by Visit Austin, each spring and fall. 

Learn more about CAE Study Course 

How Do I Earn the CAE?

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.

Who is Eligible for the CAE?

  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.
  2. You are currently employed by a qualifying organization or have been employed by such within the last five years.
  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.

Learn more about eligibility, "in lieu of" options for experience and qualifying organizations, and more at ASAE's website 

Helpful Links

Visit the ASAE CAE Information Page for more information

Download a CAE application

Download a CAE renewal application 

TSAE's CAE Study Course 

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 TSAE. If you need assistance determining the number of CAE hours you have earned with TSAE, call 512-444-1974.


TSAE 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.