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June 01, 2005

CAE Recertification

In the course of looking for something else, I found the CAE's recertification requirements. Open your wallet, Ben. Sheesh! Forty hours of continuing education every three years is no problem (I probably get 30 hours or more in an average year), but I was not expecting a $185 fee to renew. The financial impact of the recertification process is interesting...

Let's say I have a 30 year career in association management. Without adjusting for inflation, I would spend nearly $2000 in recertification fees alone over the course of my career to maintain my CAE.

And the cost of continuing education is even more. My simple calculation shows $1500 would buy about 40 hours of continuing education (excluding travel costs). Again, without adjusting for inflation, over 30 years, that adds up to $15,000 in continuing education to maintain the CAE designation. All told, that's nearly $20,000 over 30 years for both recertification fees and continuing education. But when spread over 30 years, $20,000 isn't such a large number. It's especially reasonable when you consider most employers will pay for the fees, but I do feel some sympathy pains for the self-employed CAEs out there.

From ASAE's side, with approximately 3000 CAEs in the universe, on average, about 1000 CAEs should renew every year. This represents about $200,000 annually in recertification fees for ASAE. And if we assume 50% (and this is just a guess) of the continuing education that CAEs receive is through ASAE, then they should earn about $750,000 per year on CEUs. By my estimate, that totals nearly $1M per year on total CAE-generated income (not to mention the exam fees).

ASAE's FYE 2003 Annual Report shows that this would be just a small percentage of their total budget, especially now that they've merged with the Center for Association Leadership.

1 comment:

David Gammel said...

Strong certification programs can be good money makers. Which leads to an interesting tension between how rigorous to make the cert process while still trying to maximize the revenue coming in from it.