Professional Certification: CAE & CMP

Certified Association Executive (CAE)

The Certified Association Executive (CAE) is a designation given by the American Society of Association Executives. The CAE program promotes higher professional standards, encourages personal growth, and distinguishes individuals among their association executive peers.

A CAE designation is obtained through earning points, through different educational venues, and receiving an acceptable score on an ASAE administered examination. The test is given twice a year, in both May and December. More information is available online at ASAE’s website.

The Empire State Society of Association Executives (ESSAE) is a CAE Approved Provider. CAE Approved Providers offer education that meets the CAE Commission’s standards for helping professionals earn or maintain the CAE credential. Our programs meet the requirements for fulfilling the professional development requirements to earn or maintain the Certified Association Executive credential. For more information about the CAE credential or Approved Provider program, please visit

ASAE CAE Information

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.

Steps on your CAE journey:

  • Determine your eligibility
  • Apply for the exam
  • Prepare for the exam
  • Take the exam
  • Get recognized
  • Keep your CAE current

Looking to create your own CEU transcript and track your CAE/CMP credits earned with ESSAE or add a recent qualified class? Click here to get started!

These links will help guide you through your CAE application process:

Join the select group of peers nationwide who have chosen to attain this high level of excellence and achievement. Learn more at

CAE Credits through Volunteerism

Holding a leadership title such as chair, vice chair, president, vice president, secretary, or treasurer for an association, professional society, committee, section, or special interest group will receive two CAE credits for each year of service within your renewal cycle.

CAE Exam Resources

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

While these resources are not required reading and should not be interpreted as constituting the sole source of all CAE exam questions, candidates may find them useful when preparing for the exam. Each candidate should develop his or her own personal reading list and study plan based on individual needs and knowledge.

In addition to the core resources, CAE exam items can be referenced to any ASAE-curated knowledge—defined as information published or disseminated by ASAE, such as books sold in the bookstore or articles published in Associations Now or newsletters.


CAE Exam Schedule

Please note that your application must be received in the CAE Program office by the close of business on the listed date.

2024 CAE Exam Dates and Deadlines

Exam date: May 1-14, 2024
Application deadline: Friday, February 23, 2024

Exam date: December 1-14, 2024
Application deadline: Friday, September 27, 2024

The application fee is $500 for ASAE members and $750 for nonmembers.

Once you have an approved application on file, you will be sent a notification to schedule from Scantron via email approximately 4 weeks before the examination date. Once you receive a notice to schedule you can select a site and date for your exam. Exam applications remain valid for one year after the date of approval. A candidate with an approved application may test in any of the test administrations offered within the one-year time frame. If his/her application expires, the candidate must submit a new application with the appropriate fees and have the application approved in order to register for the exam. A retake fee will apply for sitting more than once on the same application.

When and Where The Test Is Given

The CAE exam is offered in a two-week window in Spring (usually May) and Winter (usually December).

Computer-Based Test

The CAE exam is administered as a computer-based test. Candidates are able to schedule their exam within a two-week window at a Scantron testing center or at home/office via live online proctoring (LOP). Candidates will have 4 hours to complete the exam once they begin. Results will be mailed to candidates approximately 6 weeks after the final day of the testing window. Candidates will not receive results after they complete the exam at a testing center due to the post-exam process. After the test, the questions are analyzed statistically to identify if there are any hidden flaws. Questions that appear to be flawed are reviewed by the CAE Examination Committee to determine how that question should be scored. After these issues are resolved, the test is scored and results are finalized.

Preparing for the CAE

Preparing for the CAE exam is crucial for your success. ESSAE is partnering with the Michigan Society (MSAE) to offer multiple options for virtual prep courses and materials. As an ESSAE member, you are able to secure the member rate by contacting MSAE at [email protected] or visiting their websiteThe study group meets weekly by conference call and all calls are recorded and accessible later if you miss them. The classes include several practice tests and full practice exams.


ESSAE offers a Scholarship to those preparing to take the CAE exam. Click here for more information and the application. 

Renewing Your CAE? 

CAEs must be renewed every three years. The deadline to renew without penalties or late fees is October 31.  The absolute renewal deadline is December 31. All requirements must be completed when submitting the renewal application. Beginning with 2020 renewals, one of the 40 hours must be focused on ethics.

Recertification Requirements & Application 

Certified Meeting Professional (CMP)

The Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program sets the standard in the meeting management profession. The program is administered by the Event Industry Council (EIC). Earning a CMP designation provides the opportunity for continuing education, promotes industry involvement, and distinguishes individuals among their meeting management peers.

A CMP designation is obtained by earning points through participating in meeting management-related activities, including education, and receiving an acceptable score on an EIC administered examination.

Becoming a CMP!

After paying your exam fee to the Events Industry Council, you will receive instructions on scheduling your exam with Prometric. The exam is offered year-round. Candidates have two options for scheduling their exam through our testing vendor, Prometric: 

  • In-center testing
  • Secure remote proctoring

Starting August 1, 2020, candidates for the CMP and CMP-HC certifications will have the option to take the CMP and CMP-HC exams from their homes via remote proctoring. In-center testing will remain available as well. The certification exams will be offered year-round; there will no longer only be four testing windows. Visit our Remote Proctoring page for details. 

In light of the challenges so many are facing, EIC is freezing the recertification fee for CMPs at $225 USD through 30 September 2020. EIC also offers these webinars, free of charge, where you can earn 1 CE by viewing the webinar and completing the quiz via the link provided. EIC continues to add webinars to the schedule. Attendance at live webinars is free; we have expanded our capacity to host up to 3,000 attendees.

For those seeking their CMP, EIC is providing relief in the amount of $50 USD for the initial application, and $50 USD for the certification examination fee for those who have been affected by COVID-19 and are furloughed, have their position eliminated, or are experiencing a salary reduction. Contact [email protected] to request your relief code.

MSAE CMP Virtual Prep Course

For over a decade, MSAE has successfully helped candidates achieve their CMP designation through a classroom setting. We are now offering a five-month Spring Course Online and are ready to help meeting planners nationally! This in-depth learning experience, which aligns with the most current CMP International Standards, will help prepare candidates for the CMP Examination.

*Applicants can use approx. 10-13 CEs on CMP Application (Varies on Application Submission date)

*This session will be submitted to the Events Industry Council (EIC) CMP Preferred Provider Program

The study group meets twice monthly by a conference call for 5 months to prepare for the August exams. All calls are recorded and accessible later if you miss one or want to review domains. The course includes CMP mentoring, several practice tests, and a full practice exam.