Accreditation in Public Relations, or APR, is the accreditation program developed specifically for public relations practitioners. Earning the APR credential is a milestone career achievement for serious public relations practitioners looking to distinguish their expertise, knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to their employer, clients, colleagues—and themselves.
The APR process was designed by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of nine professional organizations, including PRSA.
PRSA members pursue accreditation to increase the depth of their theoretical knowledge and to sharpen their expertise for developing effective communications strategies and plans. APR designation signifies to employers a high degree of professionalism and provides an advantage over the competition. Accredited professionals earn approximately 20 percent more than their non-accredited colleagues.
Any PRSA member in good standing can take on the challenge of earning accreditation. PRSA recommends that candidates have at least five years' experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations and have earned either a bachelor's degree in a communications field or have equivalent work experience.
Steps and Timing
- Apply. Submit a brief application and fee to the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB).
- Prepare and Submit a Readiness Review Candidate Questionnaire. a written submission. This is located on the national PRSA site. Download it here. Submit to the chapter APR Chair who schedules a Readiness Review panel.
- Pass Readiness Review Panel. A panel of three APRs meet with you in an-hour-long session to discuss your questionnaire and review your portfolio. Read the Readiness Review Guide to know what to expect. The panel will determine if you are ready to advance to the Computer-Based Examination.
- Once you pass the panel, you can schedule your Computer-Based Examination. Complete the multiple-choice exam at a time convenient to you at a local Prometric testing center. Make sure you review sample questions and take a demo test, all of which is available on the national PRSA site in their APR section.
2017 APR Deadlines
- APR Information Session-Seattle (Art Marble 21) • March 14, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm
- APR Information Session-Tacoma (Harmon Brewing Co.) • March 16, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm
- APR Applications Due to UAB • April 21
- Readiness Review Drop-in & Coffee New! (Zika Coffee-Green Lake) • May 13, 10:00 am-Noon
- Readiness Review Candidate Questionnaire Due to APR Chair • May 16
- Spring/Summer Readiness Review Panels (Location TBA) • June 1
- APR Information Session-Seattle (Art Marble 21) • August 15, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm
- APR Information Session-Tacoma (Harmon Brewing Co.) • August 17, 5:30 pm-7:00 pm
- APR Applications Due to UAB • September 19
- Readiness Review Drop-in & Coffee New! (Zika Coffee-Green Lake) • October 14, 10:00 am-Noon
- Readiness Review Candidate Questionnaire Due to APR Chair • October 22
- Spring/Summer Readiness Review Panels (Location TBA) • November 2
Remember that you have one year from the date you receive UAB authorization to participate and advance from the Readiness Review to complete the Computer-Based Examination.
For detailed information on the accreditation program, visit www.praccreditation.org or call PRSA National Accreditation staff at (212) 460-1436 or via email at email@example.com.
For clarification or questions, contact PRSA Puget Sound APR Board Chair, Kelly Bray, APR.
PRSA Puget Sound has one of the highest concentrations of APRs in our membership compared to sister organizations across the country. Current APRs are an invaluable resource and act as your accountability partner, cheerleader, and coach. If you are interested in being matched up with a mentor, contact your PRSA Puget Sound APR Board Chair, Kelly Bray, APR.
Every year, PRSA Puget Sound hosts a day-long workshop that consists of short, interactive presentations by current APRs covering the areas you will be tested on in the Computer Based Examination, as well as tips on how to submit and present a winning Readiness Review. Check back soon to see when the Fall 2016 date is posted.
Maintaining Your APR
If you received your APR, congratulations! The hard part is over. Now, it is up to you to maintain your accreditation. Lucky for you, the process to do so is relatively simple. Here's how it works. Every three years, you must prove to the Universal Accreditation Board that you have been actively involved in the field of public relations.
Consider the below activities to help you reach your maintenance goals.
- Volunteering to be on a Readiness Review panel
- Attending a workshop or seminar
- Attending college or university programs
- Giving presentations or speeches including serving as a panelist on public relations practice
- Instructing a workshop or seminar
- Serving as a mentor to an APR candidate
- Being an APR chair for your local chapter
- Receiving an award for your work in public relations
- And more!
Every three years, you must complete 10 points of PR maintenance. Download the form and review a comprehensive guide to the various maintenance activities and their associated points here.
We are so happy you landing on this page and are interested in advancing your career with the Accreditation in Public Relations. Now, it's time to get to work!