ACCE - American Chamber of commerce executives

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need six years of chamber management experience to apply? 

Newcomers to the chamber profession, regardless of past work experience, are often overwhelmed by the amount of detail and work involved, internally as well as externally.  Experience has shown that it takes at least a year to understand your chamber's cycle of activities, and several more years to become an "expert" at managing a chamber. While some Chamber executives have had association management experience, chambers of commerce are a different "breed" of association, requiring more hands-on activities for very diverse-minded members as well as broader-issue lobbying than a trade association or professional group. At one time, the CCE requirement was 10 years. Six years seem to work well for the experience needed.

What publications/readings are required? 

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

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. 

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 . 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 the CCE Application . This can helps you gather the needed information in advance.
  4. Review the CCE Timeline.
  5. Call ACCE at (800) 394-2223 or email the CCE program. 

How long does the application process take?

  • Application: It typically takes 1.5 hours to complete the application if you have all of the required data on hand.
  • Interview: Your interview typically takes one hour.  Please note that the interview typically takes place during a conference or a board meeting in the central part of the US.
  • Essay: Depending upon your writing skills, your essay can take approximately four hours to complete.
  • CCE Exam: CCE Applicants have five hours to complete their CCE Exam.  Exams can be taken at a CCE proctor’s office or at the ACCE headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia.

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

You can use MyACCE to get your ACCE event participation information (which dates back to 1994). To access this information, click on the MyACCE tab on any page of ACCE's web site, then click on "Your Personal Reports," then on "Your ACCE Activity." This report will list your recent participation history.

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.

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.

How recent does the audited financial statement need to be? What should it include? 

Each candidate must submit financial statements for the most recent 3 years which include at least 1 year of audited statements. To be eligible, note:

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 of more than $500,000 must:

  • Conduct an annual review by a certified financial firm
  • Conduct an audit every other year

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.

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 (the chamber profession's only certification). 

Where can I get an application?

We recommend that you print the 2014 CCE Application and begin together information needed. You will receive your personal link to the application a few months before the application is due if you have completed CCE Intent to Apply  for the current CCE class.

How many points are required to qualify? 

You must have a minimum of 175 points to be considered for the current CCE Class. Applications submitted without the appropriate documents will be disqualified. 

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

It is recommended that you use the CCE Application to catalog your chamber-centric achievements as you progress in your chamber career. Save the application and once you reach the 175 pt requirement and you are ready to proceed with your CCE program, contact John Carlson at jcarlson@acce.org or call 703-998-3536.

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.

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.

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 it is not required and additional points will not be awarded.

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.

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

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

How many individuals have earned their CCE designation? 

To date, more than 500 individuals have earned the CCE designation – the highest designation in the chamber profession.

What are the fees associated with the CCE program?

Candidates who submit with their notebook will acquire a non-refundable application fee of $400 for (ACCE members)/$600 (non-members). Once the Certification Commission and ACCE approves the award to a candidate, the final processing fee of $200 (ACCE members)/$300 (non-members) will be invoiced to the new CCE.

Whom should I contact regarding CCE questions?

John Carlson
(800) 394-2223, ext. 3536
jcarlson@acce.org
Online application and overall program questions, application points, notebook materials, & reading list.

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