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Accreditation

Accountants have CPA. Doctors have MD. Lawyers have Esq. We have APR.

Want to add more credibility to your name? How about three letters? APR.

The time is now. Get Accredited.

 

If you have been thinking about joining the ranks of thousands of practitioners across the United States who have earned their Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), the time is now.

Practitioners who have successfully completed PRSA’s voluntary accreditation program have said it’s added to their PR knowledge base, made them more credible in the field and enhanced their desire to continue practicing and studying public relations. APR is not just three letters to put behind your name. It’s proof that you have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the public relations field. 

 

What is the process? 

Learn more here.

There are four steps to earning your APR. Most candidates require one-to-three months to progress through each step:

  1. Study for the exam– contact our Accreditation Chair for tips
  2. Complete the application and pay an exam fee
  3. Lead the Panel Presentation discussion about a campaign or project you planned
  4. Take the computer-based exam

 

Who is eligible?

Any PRSA member in good standing can earn Accreditation. Five years of professional public relations experience is recommended, along with either a bachelor’s degree in a communication-specific field (e.g., public relations, journalism, mass communication) or equivalent work experience.

The Accreditation program is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of nine leading industry organizations, including PRSA.

 

Who should I call if I have questions?

You will find detailed information about earning the APR on PRAccreditation.org.

Locally, please contact the Minnesota PRSA Accreditation Committee chair.

At the national office of PRSA, contact Kathy Mulvihill, Senior Manager, Accreditation, at (212) 460-1436 or kathy.mulvihill@prsa.org, or the national website for additional information.

 

 

Ready to start? Here’s how Contact our Chapter Accreditation Committee Minnesota PRSA has an active Accreditation Committee committed to your success. Committee members and current APRs have mentored candidates through the process, and our chapter has a higher percent of APRs than almost any other chapter in the nation. Reach out to our committee chair to discuss your interest before you get started. The Accreditation process can be summarized in five steps. With planning and focus, APR is achievable in approximately four to six months:



1. Set a goal to attain your APR – Download the Candidate Study Guide, panel presentation questionnaire and application. Begin studying and complete the questionnaire before you apply.

2. Application – Complete and return with fee (see praccreditation.org). Once approved, you have one year to complete the process.

3. Questionnaire – Reflect on your career and a program or campaign that demonstrates your knowledge of the four-step process.

4. Panel Presentation – Present your campaign portfolio to a panel of APRs.

5. Exam – Prepare for and take a computer-based exam. 

 

Panel Presentation: Your time to shine The Panel Presentation is your opportunity to show your stuff. With three accredited peers, you will review your PR campaign portfolio and discuss your experience in the field. The Panel Presentation panelists provide feedback and an evaluation as to what your strengths and weaknesses are, which then helps identify specific areas you should focus on for further study and the written examination. You’ll be notified by a member of Minnesota’s PRSA Accreditation committee if you are advanced to the written examination—usually within two weeks. If you are not advanced, go back and study the areas that you and your panelists agreed are areas you need to strengthen and schedule another Panel Presentation after 90 days. Here’s the beauty of the Panel Presentation: Minnesota PRSA and its accredited members will provide guidance and tips on your portfolio and areas of study. In fact, the Minnesota PRSA Accreditation committee provides free study sessions to help you prepare for the Panel Presentation and test.

 

Written Examination: Putting your knowledge into practice Once advanced from the Panel Presentation, you’ll move on to the written examination. The Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations is computer-based and administered at Thomson Prometric Testing Centers throughout the United States. There are Prometric centers in most major cities. You’ll have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the examination. This time includes a 10- to 15-minute optional break for candidates. The test is based on a number of industry textbooks, the PRSA code of ethics and other professional resources. A few weeks after the Examination, you’ll receive notification of your results. The cost for the written examination is $385. PRSA members receive a rebate of $110 upon completion of the test.

 

Remember, you’re making a difference that lasts a lifetime… The APR designation is a lifetime accreditation. However, APRs must complete maintenance requirements every three years. Maintenance points are earned through professional development, lifelong learning and serving the profession.