Building New Skills: Certified Association Executive (CAE) Designation

The Certified Association Executive (CAE) program is designed to elevate professional standards, enhance individual performance, and designate association professionals who demonstrate the knowledge essential to the practice of association management. **GSAE uses ASAE's CAE Study Guide in our review sessions.

CAE Study Group and Guide Information

Information for all MSAE-sponsored courses is available at
Michigan SAE extends the member discount to GSAE members. Log in to your profile under "Member Offers" for the discount codes.   
  • The Full Course (save $300)
  • The Concentrated Course (save $200)
  • CRAM course fees are based on current/previous attendance so no discount code is needed
TSAE's spring CAE Study Course begins on Feb. 21 with a virtual kick-off orientation.
To receive the TSAE member price ($55 savings), log in to your profile under "Member Offers" for the discount code.  
  • Meet every Wednesday from 1:30 – 3:30 pm via zoom
  • Review practice questions and content with experienced CAEs
  • Earn 18 CAE hours*
  • Access digital flash cards to assist in exam prep
  • Access mock exam
  • Experience the camaraderie and support of your course-mates (and watch out, they just may become your friends for life)

*CAE hours may only be earned once through the study course. GSAE participants will be sent to GSAE at the completion of the course.

501c League CAE Study Groups

2023 CAE Study Guide Information from ASAE

The CAE Study Guide is out now. The guide was updated to reflect the current CAE Core Resources and includes new study questions for each domain, and guiding principles and key terms for each subdomain. The material has also been streamlined and reorganized to help learners make a study plan and prepare for exam day. $82.00 member/nonmember price. 

  • The Bookshelf platform conforms to level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines and was "the first in the world" to receive a 100% accessibility score at in 2013.
  • Compatibility with screen readers, such as Microsoft Narrator, JAWS, NVDA, TalkBack, VoiceOver, and more
  • Common accessibility shortcuts with our scrubber bar, table of contents, and search that make navigation easy.
  • Built-in speech functionality with Read Aloud
  • Users have a choice of fonts, including OpenDyslexic fonts, so users can read in comfort.
  • Content controls, including altering screen colors, night mode, and magnification. 

CAE renewal info

CAE Renewal application link

Recertification due the third December 31 after original certification*

To maintain the certification, you must accumulate 40 CAE credit hours, submit a qualifying completed Certification Renewal Form, and pay certification renewal fees. CAE credit hours for certification renewal may be accumulated in a wide variety of ways, and executives involved in the profession should have little difficulty maintaining the certification. Qualifying activities for renewal credit include continuing education programs as outlined for CAE applicants and up to 10 CAE credit hours from leadership, instruction, and writing activities.

* All information courtesy of ASAE 

  • ASAE classes will auto-fill as long as you start your renewal while logged into the system
  • This sentence will appear: “The listed activities below have been imported from your ASAE record.  You will be able to submit additional professional development activities under the ASAE transcript. If you feel there is a discrepancy in your ASAE transcript please contact [email protected].”
  • To add an Ethics course, you must specify Ethics in the “Type of Program” drop-down menu
  • You need a total of 40 hours to renew, only 20 of those can be self-study. Live webinars count just like in-person clock hours.

To get your GSAE profile record to cut and paste into the application - Instructions online, including a full list of everything we’ve offered or sponsored over the last five years (sorry, it’s everything so you’ll have to go to the end of the doc). 2019 - 2023 is also available

To get your SeminarWeb record (these are the webinars offered at $45 per hour recorded or live), log in from this screen.

more helpful resources

  • Michigan Society of Association Executives has a great set of resources available for members of the state, local and regional groups. The member rate is available for books, the CAE Resource Kit, as well as the CAE Key Concepts and Terminology Flashcards.
  • 501c League Resources
  • Essentials
  • CAE Practice Exams
  • Watch the recording and download resources from MSAE's CAE Rap Session featuring Wendy W. Kavanagh, CAE, GSAE, Mark McSweeney, CAE, ISAE, and Sue Radwan, M.Ed., CAE, SMP, ARM. Moderated by Donna Oser, CAE, MSAE, the panelists discussed exam preparation, effective study strategies and what to expect day of the exam.
  • CAE Eligibility Requirements - What you need to qualify to take the exam
  • CAE Domain Outline  - Figure out what you know and what you don't know

asae assistance and info

For more information on the CAE designation, contact ASAE staff directly or visit ASAE's website

“CAE” is a registered trademark of the American Society of Association Executives and the Certified Association Executive Commission. The Study Guide is independent of the CAE certification program. No specific preparatory program is endorsed by the CAE Commission. The CAE Commission and CAE staff are solely responsible for the policies and administration of the CAE program. To learn more about CAE certification contact Credentialing at caedept "at" or (202) 626-2759.

some of our favorite things

Easily one of our favorite folks on association management issues, Bob Harris, CAE, has 20 years experience with associations. His seminars are interactive, focused on core-knowledge and member needs. He utilizes case studies, trends and headlines board orientation, training, strategic planning, staff training and consulting. Best of all, Bob offers free templates and documents on his website so we can all benefit from his knowledge. Visit the Nonprofit Center.

application for the CAE exam
eligibility to sit

registered Provider Update - it's complicated

****Please note, the Commission has announced a new CAE Registered Provider Program. GSAE courses will be submitted for pre-approval for CAE Credit. We will list the appropriate CAE Domain and expected hours on all professional development opportunities as of August 11, 2023.

CAE Registered Provider Logo

GSAE is a CAE Registered 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. For more information about the CAE credential or Approved Provider program, please visit As a CAE Approved Provider educational program related to the CAE exam content outline, programs may be applied for an approved amount of credit toward your CAE application or renewal of professional development requirements once the session is approved by the Commission.

Note for all of GSAE's pre-approved programs: This program is not endorsed, accredited, or affiliated with ASAE or the CAE program. Applicants may use any program that meets eligibility requirements in the specific time frame towards the exam application or renewal. There are no specific individual courses required as part of the applications – selection of eligible education is up to the applicant based on his/her needs.