Frequently asked questions


1. Can non-chamber experience count towards CCE eligibility?

The CCE Commission has found that it generally takes at least 6 years of chamber experience for a professional to gain the skills and experience necessary to become an expert at managing a chamber. It also takes about the same time for a candidate to accrue the necessary 175 professional development points to apply for the CCE.

However, in some cases, several of the required 6 years of senior-level management experience required for CCE eligibility above may be satisfied by senior-level management experience in other membership organizations or other highly relevant professional experience. Eligibility determinations are made by the CCE Commission on a case-by-case basis. Contact ACCE staff if you believe you have non-chamber professional experience that may meet these qualifications, well before the application due date. In all cases, an applicant’s most recent two years of eligible experience must be at a chamber, and the applicant must currently be employed in a senior-level chamber management position.

2. What publications/readings are required? 

There are no required reading materials; however, we do have a list of highly recommended reading materials.

3. Do I really need to be involved in my chamber's financial planning to apply?

YES! The chamber executive is the lead manager of day-to-day operations. While the executive does not need accounting skills, he or she should have a basic understanding of budgets; of ensuring revenues at least meet, if not exceed, expenses; and of the value of a reserve fund for tough economic times. To become a certified chamber executive, you must demonstrate an ability to read financial statements, prepare budgets, and manage the operations of your chamber. In addition, your chamber will need to undergo a financial audit. 

4. I think I may be interested in applying for my CCE designation. What steps should I take?

  1. Talk to an executive with a CCE designation. They can validate the significance of this certification for you and for the profession.
  2. Submit the CCE Intent to Apply form. This takes five minutes, and does not involve any commitment on your part. It will place you in the prospect pool for the next class.
  3. Print out the 2021 CCE application and application guidelines, which will help you gather the necessary information in advance.
  4. Review the CCE timeline.
  5. You may also want to review the recording of our October 2019 webinar, CCE: Certifying the Profession, for more information and guidance. Slides from the webinar can be found here.
  6. Email the CCE program. 

Preparing to Submit the Application

1. How long does the application process take? 

1.5 hours – It typically takes 1.5 hours to complete the application if you have all of the required data on hand. Please contact ACCE staff if you have any questions as you complete the application; we are happy to help.
4 hours – Depending upon your writing skills, your essay can take approximately four hours to complete.
1 hour (plus preparation and travel time) - Your presentation and interview will take one hour. 
4 hours (plus preparation time) – CCE applicants have 4 hours to complete the CCE exam. The exam will be administered at a CCE proctor’s office at a location convenient to the candidate. It may also be taken at the ACCE headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

2. Where can I find my participation list of the ACCE activities? 

You can access your ACCE event participation information on the ACCE website. To do so, log into the site on the upper right hand corner of any page of the site, using your username and password. Then click on My Account, My Membership, and then on My ACCE Activity. This report will list your recent participation history. 

3. I have a gap in my employment history as a result of my non-chamber work.  Will this count against me? 

No, just record your chamber (or related) employment history.

4.Why do I need an audited financial statement? 

To succeed as a chamber executive, you must be more than just a good lobbyist or membership director. You are also responsible for the financial health of your organization. Chamber executives across the country need to become more adept at reading monthly financial statements, guiding investment decisions, and managing the chamber's financial future. Audited financial statements will provide the commission with an independent view of the chamber's financial health.

5. How many financial reviews or audits must be submitted with the CCE application?

Chambers of eligible CCE candidates must have conducted financial reviews, prepared by a certified financial firm, for at least the three most recent previous years before the candidate applies for the CCE, consistent with the schedule below:

Chambers with revenue below $500,000 must:
- Conduct an annual review by a certified financial firm
- Conduct an audit every three years

Chambers with revenue at or above $500,000 must:
- Conduct an annual review by a certified financial firm
- Conduct an audit every other year

In support of the CCE application, each candidate must submit financial statements for the most recent two years, including at least one year of audited statements.

6. Is the essay really necessary?

Good communication takes many forms, and writing is one of them. In our business, chamber executives often write letters, testimony, proposals, and position statements, to name a few. Good writing skills include being able to effectively communicate ideas. The essay required with the CCE certification helps the commission review how you think and how well you communicate in the written form.

7.  I am attending or will soon graduate from the US Chamber’s Institute of Organizational Management program. When should I pursue my CCE?

You should begin to look at the CCE program after your 2nd year of Institute and should actually begin your application after completing the 3rd year or just before your last summer. This will put you in-line to dedicate the year after receiving your IOM to earning your CCE.

8. Where can I get an application?

The Point System

1. How many points are required to qualify? 

You must have a minimum of 175 points to be considered for the current CCE class.   

2.  I do not have points in every section of the application. Can I still qualify to submit an application? 

The CCE application is designed to accommodate the diverse nature of a chamber professional’s career. Therefore, applicants may have many points in some categories yet few in others. Completing the application and totaling your points will indicate whether you are ready to submit your application for the current year.

3.  How can I keep a tally of my total points as I complete the application? 

Begin by downloading and saving the 2021 CCE application, which will help you calculate your points and gather the necessary information. 

4.  I have been an instructor for a class that is repeated several times during the same event. Do I get points for each time I present it? 

No, you may only count points for a class instructed once per an event.

5. My experience in a particular area exceeds the maximum points available in that area, should I list that experience anyway? 

Feel free to include it; however, additional points will not be awarded.

6.  In the continuing education section, there are events that I attended but were not listed. Do they count? 

Of course! We added the most frequently attended events from our records but there are many that are not listed. Check other and list them in the space provided.

7.  Do I need to go through Institute before I can apply for my CCE?

While Institute has assisted thousands of chamber executives throughout the country in improving their understanding of our business, it is not required. You may attain your continuing education points through other seminars and events.

General Program Information

1.  How many individuals have earned the CCE designation? 

To date, more than 475 individuals have earned the CCE designation.

2.  What are the fees associated with the CCE program?

A non-refundable application fee of $400 for (ACCE members)/$600 (non-members) is due with the CCE application. Once the CCE Commission and ACCE approve the award to a candidate, the final processing fee of $200 (ACCE members)/$300 (non-members) will be invoiced to the new CCE.

3.  Whom should I contact regarding CCE questions?

Please email Susan McGuire, ACCE Director of Professional Development and Programs.

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