When the MLA board of directors hired me to serve as MLA's executive director two years ago this month, they asked me to obtain the certification from my professional association. "We know you have the competencies to be our executive director", they said, "but how can you legitimately promote MLA's credential if you're not certified yourself?"
Wow, thank you for pointing out the obvious! Why didn't I think of that? I had always pondered certification through my own lens: I don't have the time, my job doesn't require it, it costs too much, I know how competent I am, and countless other self-justifications for not acting. How I am perceived by others is critical: my personal brand, my credibility with my peers, my effectiveness as an influencer and leader.
So here we are: ASAE has announced that Kevin Baliozian, Executive Director of the Medical Library Association, has earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE®) designation. The CAE is the highest professional credential in the association industry.
To be designated as a Certified Association Executive, an applicant must have a minimum of three years experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management, and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. To maintain certification, individuals must undertake ongoing professional development and activities in association and nonprofit management. More than 4,200 association professionals currently hold the CAE credential. The CAE Program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
ASAE is a membership organization of more than 21,000 association executives and industry partners representing 9,300 organizations. All MLA staff can become a member of ASAE through MLA's institutional membership, and hence get access to learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession.
So, if I can sit through documenting five years of professional development, study for six months and sit in a four hour, 200 multiple-choice exam, at age 54, you can get your AHIP credential. It's worth it, and you'll be glad you did!