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Accreditation Milestones


April 1, 2014

These dates provide historical context for the 50th anniversary of the APR credential:

1947

PRSA was formed. Its purpose was to provide professional development, set standards of excellence in the profession and uphold principles of ethics.

1961

PRSA merged with the American Public Relations Association and started its own Accreditation program in 1962.

1964

The APR designation and formal program were established.

1970s–80s

The APR process was reviewed and updated with new Exam questions.

1983

As the number of Accredited professionals grew, the PRSA Accreditation Board retained consulting firm Integrated Options to review the Exam and scoring process.

1984

Integrated Options was selected as PRSA’s new Exam scoring firm. It recruited and trained professionals with advanced degrees to score the Exams.

1998

PRSA joined with four other professional associations to unify credentialing programs, with a goal of enhancing credibility and value for organizations and people who hire and retain PR practitioners. Unification paved the way for the formation of the UAB as the administering body for the process.

2000

The UAB retained a firm that had conducted a practice analysis used to legitimize the CPA Exam process and commissioned it to conduct a KSA practice analysis in public relations to determine knowledge, skills and abilities that PR professionals need daily.

2001

The UAB recognized the need to reengineer the Accreditation process in an effort to continuously improve and reflect the changing PR profession, and meet requirements that would allow the Exam to be required for either hiring or advancement.

2003

The newly reengineered Exam for Accreditation was released.

2009

The UAB and PRSA recognized a need for tailoring the credential to reflect the unique KSAs required of public affairs practitioners in the U.S. military. They established a plan for Accreditation that included special emphasis on military public affairs skills.

2010

The UAB updated the landmark practice analysis to determine if the knowledge, skills and abilities tested within the Accreditation process have changed. 

2013

Seeking to continuously improve the process and public recognition of APR, PRSA hired the consulting firm OPG to assess the state of the Accreditation program.

Today

The Accreditation program recognizes the need for continuous change in order to reflect new dynamics within the maturing practice of public relations, and aims to further the efforts to create acceptance and value among managers responsible for hiring and developing practitioners in their organizations.

(Source: Universal Accreditation Board)

 



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