AE Designation Boom

by Candy Roberts

RCE fever peaked in 2004 as a record number of association executives obtained their Realtor association Certified Executive designation. Last year, 42 AEs and staff specialists earned their RCE. That's the highest number since 1991, the first year of the program, when 39 AEs earned the designation.

The RCE designation speaks volumes about your dedication to the Realtor organization, your members, and your own professional development. We often tell our volunteer leaders to "lead by example." The 42 AEs who made that leadership choice last year will set a great example for their associations, committees, and communities.

The RCE Certification Board's major goal this year is to celebrate at least one RCE designee or candidate in every state. At the beginning of 2004, there were 15 states without a designee or candidate; a year later, we are down to seven states. Our efforts this year are targeted at Hawaii, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Work is under way to ensure that 2005 will be another record-breaking year for the RCE certification program.

New Applicant Data Form

The first step toward achieving your designation is to fill out the Applicant Data Form (ADF). The 2005 ADF has been updated and is now available online at The form lists new opportunities to earn additional points toward your designation for your local and state involvement. There is also a new section on political involvement. Applicants must earn a minimum of 350 points to qualify to take the RCE exam.

For AEs with a Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives, getting your RCE is even easier. Simply submit a one-page application and take a modified RCE exam that covers only Realtor association management topics.

RCE Exam

The RCE Exam is offered nationally twice a year. In March, it is offered at the AE Institute and in November, at the Realtors Conference & Expo. Candidates may also choose to take the exam locally, two weeks prior to the national exam. All they need is a fellow AE with an RCE or CAE to proctor the exam. Starting in 2005, local exams will be offered online. Although they are taken via computer, online exams will follow all the procedures of the regular local exam and will have an in-person proctor.

Preparing for RCE Exam

The reference for the RCE exam is The Answer Book--The Source for Realtor Association Management Leaders. In 2005, this reference will be offered via an online paid subscription service. The Answer Book covers all the competencies in the RCE body of knowledge. Visit for more information on subscribing to The Answer Book.

Scholarships Available

A new RCE scholarship program was developed in 2004 to help AEs cover the cost of the application fee ($350) and the one-time certification fee ($150). The criteria for the scholarship include both financial need and candidate initiative to pursue professional development. Up to six scholarships will be awarded each year. Applications are available online in September and recipients are selected at the Realtors Conference & Expo in November.

Click Here to Meet the New RCE Designees

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