Accredited in Public Relations (APR)
Accredited in Public Relations (APR) is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice. These professionals are selected based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment via the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations. The Examination for Accreditation is overseen by the Universal Accreditation Board, which is made up of representatives from PRSA and eight other communications organizations.
Q & A (adapted from PRSA)
What is APR Accreditation?
The APR Accreditation is the only professional certification program open to public relations professionals.
Who administers the Accreditation program?
The Accreditation program is administered by the Universal Accrediation Board (UAB), a consortium of 9 leading industry organizations, including PRSA.
Who can pursue the APR?
It is recommended that candidates have at least five years’ experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations and who have earned either a bachelor’s degree in a communication-specific field (e.g., public relations, journalism, mass communication) or have equivalent work experience, which includes public relations principles, public relations writing, public relations campaigns, research, ethics and law and internship (practical experience under supervision).
What steps are involved?
- You must complete an application (pdf) -- that lets the UAB gauge your full-time public relations experience.
- Once your application is approved, you must schedule a Readiness Review, which is a face-to-face review by three APRs to determine whether you have a grasp of the knowledge, skills and abilities required to pass the comprehensive examination.
- Prior to the Readiness Review, you must complete a Readiness Review Questionnaire -- that addresses: your organization and position in public relations; overall experience; and assessment of readiness to pass the computer-based written examination.
- Successfully pass a Comprehensive Examination that is administered at numerous testing centers around the nation.
What is the cost?
The cost is $385. If you are a member of PRSA you receive a rebate of $110 upon completion of the computer-based Examination.
When should I start the process?
It’s best to begin seeking Accreditation when you can commit the time, energies and resources to completing the entire process.
How long does the process take?
It varies based on the individual and the number of applicants in your area. Once your application is approved, you have one year to complete Readiness Review and take the computer-based Examination.
What’s the Computer-based Examination process like?
The Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations is computer-based and administered at Thompson Prometric Testing Centers throughout the United States. There are Prometric centers in most major cities. You’ll have three hours and forty-five minutes to complete the Examination. This time includes a 10-15 minute optional break for candidates. A few weeks after the Examination, you’ll receive notification on your results.
What happens if I fail?
You can reschedule the Examination at any time, providing you notify the UAB of your intent. The fee for a retake is $385. PRSA members receive a $110 rebate for retakes, too.
How long does the APR last?
The APR designation is a lifetime accreditation. However, APRs must complete maintenance requirements every three years.