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In January 2017, the CSAE board of directors approved a change to our by-laws to allow all members – whether Business or Executive - who qualify to pursue the Certified Association Executive® (CAE) designation.

The by-law originally specified that only Executive members could earn the designation as noted here:

Part VIII - Certified Association Executive Designation

The Board of Directors or its designate may certify Executive Members in the practice of association management in accordance with policies established by the Board, and shall authorize Members so certified to use the designation "Certified Association Executive/Cadre d'association émérite" (CAE/caé) so long as the person remains a Member of CSAE.

However, in practice, this led to a few challenges:

  1. The by-law did not prohibit an individual who has earned their designation from changing their class of membership once they have received their CAE designation. This means that several CSAE Executive members who moved to the Business Member category hold the designation.
  2. Many Association Management Company (AMC) employees and consultants who are association professionals were prohibited from earning the designation unless they change their class of membership from the Business to Executive category.

The CAE program continues to require all students to have the following prerequisites:

  • University degree or college diploma and 2 years of not-for-profit management experience or
  • 5 years of not-for-profit management without a degree or diploma

The Board carefully considered these matters at its meeting and, by motion, removed the word “Executive” from the noted by-laws section. 

CSAE transitioned to the new Not-For-Profit Corporations Act in November 2012 and while the Act enables the Board to make by-law changes that take effect immediately, the changes must be approved by members at the next AGM. 

For further information contact Michael Anderson, CAE, President & CEO at manderson@csae.com.