CAE Resource Center


CAE, the Certified Association Executive, is the professional designation for the association management profession. WSAE is a CAE registered provider.

The Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential is the marker of a committed association professional who has demonstrated the wide range of knowledge essential to manage an association in today’s challenging environment. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry. Less than five percent of all association professionals have achieved this mark of excellence. 


  1. Determine your eligibility
  2. Prepare for and take the exam - application required
  3. Maintain and renew your CAE status every three years

Become a Certified Association Executive

Exam date: December 1-14, 2023
Application deadline: Friday, September 22, 2023

The CAE exam is offered in a two-week window in May and December. The test is administered at scheduled test sites throughout the U.S. and internationally at Scantron testing centers. Candidates also have the option of taking the exam from their home or other suitable location with a live remote proctoring option (LRP).

Exam Outline

In 2018–2019, the CAE Commission oversaw a practice analysis that resulted in the identification of 119 essential association management competencies organized into eight knowledge domains. The new CAE Exam Content Outline took effect with the December 2020 exam and continues through the May 2025 exam. The outline presents the content covered in the exam; the amount of the test devoted to each area is indicated in parentheses. Download the CAE Exam Content Outline 


  1. Governance
  2. Executive Leadership
  3. Organizational Strategy
  4. Operations
  5. Business Development
  6. Member and Stakeholder Engagement & Management
  7. Advocacy
  8. Marketing & Communications

Founded in 1960, the CAE program stands as a mark of excellence and has evolved to reflect what it takes to manage an association in today's challenging climate. Click on the below links to obtain answers to some of the most common CAE questions:

WSAE - A CAE Approved Provider

WSAE is a CAE Approved Provider that offers programming that is eligible for CAE credit. When selecting a CAE eligible course from a CAE Approved Provider, you can have confidence that the course will be recognized for CAE credit as advertised. ASA Webinars, Annual Convention and targeted programs are designed to support essential management compentencies to keep our seasoned executives sharp, as well as provide new execs the breadth of information needed to advance.

CAE Approved Providers are formally registered with the CAE program and are committed to providing education that meets the CAE Commission’s standards for helping individuals earn or maintain the Certified Association Executive Credential. CAE Approved Providers have received guidance on such standards, and have pledged to properly represent course eligibility for CAE credit.

CAE Credit Eligibility Criteria for Approved Providers

To be eligible for CAE credit, courses must be directly related to association or nonprofit management topics as defined by the CAE Exam Content Outline.

  • Live courses (including face-to-face, audio/videoconference, and instructor-led online delivery) earn CAE credit for actual clock time of qualifying education including partial hours, up to a maximum of 8 CAE credits per day.  Example: 1½ hours of qualifying education equals 1.5 CAE credits.
  • College or university courses taken for academic credit at a U.S. accredited academic institution earn 15 hours per earned semester credit, 14 hours per earned trimester credit and 10 hours per earned quarter credit (e.g., a three-credit semester course earns 45 CAE hours).
  • Self-Study: A non-live program used for individual, self-paced study may be recognized for CAE credits if it meets all of 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 by the applicant/certificant with the exam or renewal application. Self-study credits may only account for one-half of any applicant’s education hours. To offer CAE credits for a self-study program, the program description must be submitted for review by ASAE credentialing staff with a $195 fee per course.  Approval or denial of CAE credit for self-study programs are the sole discretion of the CAE Program, and may not be appealed. 

The following are not eligible to earn CAE credit:

  • General software/training courses.
  • Expo hall hours
  • Industry-specific programs (not general association management; courses specific to the industry/profession an association represents)
  • Networking receptions
  • Breaks between educational sessions
  • Product-specific promotional courses or training

Determination of CAE credit eligibility does not imply endorsement, accreditation, or assessment of education quality. 

CAE Roster