The Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential is valuable to those practitioners who earn it; to the agencies, clients and organizations they represent; and, perhaps most importantly, to the public relations profession itself.
Recognized Standard. Established in 1964, the Accreditation Program is the profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. It measures a public relations practitioner’s fundamental knowledge of communications theory and its application; establishes advanced capabilities in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation; and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct. The skills acquired through the process are applicable to any industry or practice area. Currently, more than 5,000 professionals from the agency, corporate, association and education fields hold the APR mark, Harold Burson and Daniel J. Edelman notable among them. Granting of APR is overseen by the Universal Accreditation Board.
Promotes Lifelong Learning. All APRs are required to complete continuing education programs, pursue volunteer work or pursue other professional development activities to keep their skills sharp and their Accredited status active.
Career Enhancement. Unlike other professional certifications, such as CPA, Accreditation in Public Relations is a voluntary demonstration of competency; as such, it reflects a strong commitment to the profession. Earning Accreditation also provides a distinction that can set individuals apart and open doors to career advancement and higher compensation.
Positive for Public Relations. Our profession is among the most misunderstood and criticized. Through their high professional and ethical standards, Accredited professionals contribute to greater understanding of public relations as a vital management function, and undermine those who would refer to our craft as spin, our professionals as flacks, and our currency as misrepresentation and disinformation.
The UAB oversees the APR Program and provides a balanced blend of backgrounds in a number of public relations specialties, with representatives from each public relations participating organization. Day-to-day operations are administered at PRSA Headquarters. The UAB grants Accreditation, develops the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations and policies, and reviews appeal cases. The public relations organizations that are members of the Universal Accreditation Board include the Agricultural Relations Council, Florida Public Relations Association, Maine Public Relations Council, National School Public Relations Association, Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Religion Communicators Council, Southern Public Relations Federation, and Asociación de Relacionistas Profesionales de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Public Relations Association).
Where your career in public relations takes you is based on individual drive, determination and diligence. The Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation proves you have successfully demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice public relations effectively in today’s business arena. Begin your application and study process:
For information on APR, email Kathy Mulvihill, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The new credentialing effort to provide public affairs and communication certification for military, contractor, and Department of Defense public communication professionals launched May 26, 2010.
The Accreditation in Public Relations + Military Communication (APR+M) is an enhanced certification from the well-established APR. The mark will be awarded to candidates who master the Accredited In Public Relations (APR) KSAs plus joint public affairs relevant topics. APR+M signifies someone who meets all the qualifications of Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), PLUS a rigorous course of study surrounding military public affairs in joint operations. Begin your application and study process:
Contacts for more information on APR+M
Everything you need to use and maintain your Accreditation:
As we prepare to celebrate the APR's 50th anniversary next year, PRSA is embarking on a plan to enhance its profile and prestige.
Find out more about this entry-level credential from Janet Kacskos, APR, chair, Universal Accreditation Board, and Jay Rayburn, Ph.D, APR, Fellow PRSA, CPRC, chair, Entry Level Accreditation.