APR Information

Why you should become accredited in Public Relations

The reasons to earn the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential are both professional and personal:

  1. Accreditation identifies those who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the field.

  2. The APR credential is increasingly becoming valued and used as a screening criteria for hiring and professional advancement.

  3. Research has shown that Accredited public relations practitioners earn more money than their non-accredited counterparts.

  4. Accreditation can help you attain your own professional growth goals, such as lifelong learning, professional ethics, and a commitment to the best practices in public relations.

  5. We are forming a study group to help you through the process.

Interested? Want more information? Email Kathy Madison, the Greater Oregon Chapter Accreditation Chair, to receive follow-up info about a upcoming meeting to discuss the accreditation process and to join a study group to ensure your success. In the meantime, get more information about accreditation here.

Where your career in public relations takes you is based on individual drive, determination and diligence. One next step all seasoned practitioners should consider is earning the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation. Earning the APR certification proves you have successfully demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to practice public relations effectively in today's business arena.

What is APR Accreditation?
The APR Accreditation is the only professional certification program open to public relations professionals. Interested in APR?

Who administers the Accreditation program?
The Accreditation program is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of 9 leading industry organizations, including PRSA.

Who can pursue the APR?
Any PRSA member in good standing can take on the challenge of earning Accreditation. However, 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 -- 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. PRSA members 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 Thomson 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.

"Test Drive" the Computer-Based Examination
You can experience the look and feel of the Examination through a new Online Demonstration, developed by the Universal Accreditation Board. All candidates are encouraged to incorporate the online demo as part of his or her preparation for the acutal Examination. It only takes a few minutes and can be a valuable experience.

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 $200, providing you retake within six months. No rebates apply for retakes.

How long does the APR last?
The APR designation is a lifetime accreditation. However, APRs must complete maintenance requirements every three years.