Certified Association Executive Program

What Is the Certified Association Executive (CAE) Program?

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%. 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 CAE Study Course

TSAE 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. Participants can also receive audio recordings of the sessions. It is a great way to ask questions, find study partners and earn 22 CAE hours.

The Spring 2018 CAE Study Course starts February 7.

You must submit your application to ASAE by February 23, 2018 if you are planning to take the May 4 exam.


Spring 2018 CAE Study Course:

February 7 - April 25, 2018
Wednesdays, 1:30 – 3:30 pm
TSAE Office (Austin) or conference/video call
First time: $445 TSAE Member; $545 Non-member
Retake: $175 TSAE Member; $275 Non-member

Study Group participants earn 22 CAE hours.
Audio recordings of the meetings are available free of charge to participants.
2015 Study Guides will be available for checkout to the first 10 registrants thanks to our sponsor Visit Austin.

Register for Study Course

Trouble registering online? Call 512-444-1974.

Download a CAE application

Candidate Handbook

Exam Content Outline

Study Guide

Order "CAE Study Guide: Preparation Reference for the Certified Association Executive Exam"

CAE Core Resources

This core resources list has been compiled by the CAE Commission to reflect a sample of literature that is aligned with the CAE examination content outline and would be useful in preparing to be a chief staff executive and for preparing to earn the CAE. The list is reviewed and recent references may be added to the list periodically. View the core resources list 

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

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.

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.

Visit the ASAE CAE Information Page for more information

Download a CAE application

Download a CAE renewal application


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.