Lately I've noticed a variety of attempts to describe the initials following a certified person's name (e.g. "CAE" for "Certified Association Executive").
I've been trying to come up with a term that's descriptive because it gets old really fast having to refer to them as "the initials following a certified person's name that designates that an individual holds that certification!!" :-}
I used to call them the "initial designation" but realized a new term was in order when a few colleagues misinterpreted that term, thinking "initial" was somehow referring to "first." Hmmmm, hadn't thought of that.
I have decided upon the term "acronym designation" since it is the acronym that stands for the designation. You'll be seeing the term in several documents and publications I'm working on. So, if you see problems with it, give me a shout ASAP! If you like, use it.