CAE: 2019 and Beyond

The CAE continues to serve as our industry’s seminal credential.

By Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, CPF

Silhouettes of Business People Discussing Outdoors
Silhouettes of Business People Discussing Outdoors

Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, CPF, Chair, ASAE CAE Commission, 2018-19

As we enter 2019, we find the CAE continues to serve as our industry’s seminal credential. As of the end of 2018 there were over 4,300 Certified Association Executives. If you have kept an eye on ASAE’s job board over the past few years, you probably have noticed the trend of more employers seeking candidates that have their CAE.

Even as we all observe in our own organizations, we know that an industry’s certification should continually evolve and improve to better serve those who hold the credential as well as the organizations that employ them. With that focus, it is my pleasure to share some CAE updates for 2019 as well as those on the horizon:

      1. C-suite Experience Requirement Shift: Starting with applications for the May 2019 exam, those who are employed as a Chief Staff Executive or a C-suite level executive as a qualifying organization must now be an employee for just a minimum of ONE year. All other prerequisites remain the same.
      2. Ethics Renewal Requirement: For those who will renew in 2020, one of your 40 credits of continuing education will have to be ethics focused. Please note—this is not an additional credit—it is included in the 40 as it stands today. This ethics credit can be fulfilled through qualifying professional development as currently defined.
      3. Online Application/Renewal: We are currently testing a platform to shift the CAE application and renewal process from paper to an online portal. It is our hope that this will make not only easier to apply to take and renew the credential, but that through online tracking of your professional development that qualified candidates will recognize earlier in their journey to CAE that they are already on the path.
      4. CAE Badge: In 2019, ASAE plans to provide a digital badge for those who hold the CAE credential. This will allow those who are current in their certification to easily be recognized for their CAE status with colleagues and potential employers.

Looking Ahead to 2020:

      1. CAE Content Update: Every five years, the CAE Commission conducts a job task analysis to verify the relevancy of the domains and content of the CAE and make any necessary updates. This analysis will take place in 2019 with the first exam reflecting these content updates taking place in 2020.
      2. Competency Based Education/Credentialing: Currently the CAE Commission is in a multi-year process of designing an alternate path to the CAE—one that does not count ‘hours’ but instead focuses on how candidates/credential holders can demonstrate their competence through how they have applied their knowledge and skills. Look for more information on this alternate path in the coming months.

As always, we hope that if you hold the credential that you are #CAEproud and will share it. And if you know someone who should have their CAE, encourage them to start their own journey by exploring


About the Author

Lowell Aplebaum, CAE, CPF is the Chair ASAE CAE Commission, 2018-19.

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