Make this year YOUR year for accreditation!
If you have been pondering how to take your career to the next level, consider seeking the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) certification or becoming a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC). The APR accreditation program is designed for public relations professionals with at least five years of job experience and/or a bachelor’s degree in a communications field. The questions on the APR Examination are drawn from the enduring principles of public relations, including RPIE (Research, Planning, Implementation and Evaluation), ethics and law, crisis communication management and current issues in public relations.
The APR accreditation process can be summarized in four steps. It is important to review resources available for all four steps, starting with the process chart, before pursuing APR.
- Review and complete the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations Application.
- Study and sit for a Panel Presentation.
- Online Study Course available to assist with studying for the APR examination.
- Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through APR Renewal.
FPRA also offers a second-tier credential for senior-level counselors who have already earned APR accreditation. To learn more about becoming a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC), click here.
Interested candidates are encouraged to review the APR information page, download the APR study guide, and complete the application. A $385 Examination fee must be paid at the time of registration, and FPRA offers members a $100 rebate to help offset the cost. Some chapters offer additional financial assistance.
Before sitting for the Examination, candidates must schedule a Panel Presentation to ensure that they have the knowledge and experience they need to advance to the computer-based Examination. Candidates are also encouraged to take advantage of FPRA’s local and statewide Examination review sessions. After the panel recommends that a candidate be advanced to the computer-based Examination, he (or she) is able to take his Examination at their convenience at any Prometric Testing Center. Candidates who receive a passing grade are encouraged to apply for a $100 rebate within 30 days of completing the exam.
Here are four quick reasons why seeking accreditation should be important to you:
- Gold Standard of the Profession: Visionary leaders in 1964 established the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential as a way to recognize practitioners who have mastered the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to develop and deliver strategic communications. Decades later, as public relations evolved, the APR remains the recognized gold standard for the profession.
- Recognized Standard: During the past 50 years, the procedures required to earn the APR have changed. However, one thing has not: The value behind Accreditation and the importance it plays in a society now driven by digital communications, rapidly emerging technologies and a 24-hour news cycle. Many communicators today work under the mantle of “public relations.” Accredited members go much further. They demonstrate commitment to the communications profession, to their clients, to their company or organization, and to themselves. Earning the APR is an individual achievement open only to seasoned working professionals with a recommended five or more years public relations experience. It’s a challenging process but it is worth it.
- High Performance: APRs are required to commit to learning through continuing education, serving as a volunteer or other prescribed professional development activities. Most importantly, APRs are required to measure up to high standards of performance, and to stay on the right side of ethical practice.
So, if you are looking for a way to take your career to the next level, consider pursuing APR / CPRC certification to help you realize your career goals with unique marks of distinction.