APR: Accreditation in Public Relations
Earning your APR shows your commitment to the PR profession, designates you as a competent PR leader, gives you an opportunity to challenge yourself and provides you with a professional designation that can be meaningful to both current and future employers.
The accreditation process can be summarized in four steps.
- Review and complete the Application. (You will have to create a new MyPRSA account as a nonmember to gain access.)
- Prepare and sit for a Panel Presentation.
- Study for and complete a computer-based, proctored examination.
- Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through APR Renewal.
Although all FPRA members are eligible to sit for the examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, administered by the Universal Accreditation Board, it is strongly recommended that candidates have at least five years of full-time public relations experience.
The Exam & Process
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.
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 presentation, panelists recommend to the UAB whether or not the candidate can advance to the computer-based examination. Once the UAB approves, the candidate is able to take the examination at his or her convenience at any Prometric Testing Center.
About the Universal Advisory Board (UAB)
The Universal Advisory Board (UAB) is the governing body of the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential. It is made up of several professional public relations trade associations worldwide. The UAB is tasked with oversight, making continued improvements and ensuring the viability and effectiveness of the program.
The Florida Public Relations Association is a member of the UAB and therefore, its members qualify to earn their APR credentials. As long as a public relations professional remains a member of an association that is part of the UAB, he or she will be able to keep the APR credentials (so long as they also meet the renewal requirements).
While the UAB oversees the program, PRSA oversees the day-to-day operations and logistical management of the credential. This is why FPRA members must obtain a MyPRSA login to access the application and why it is PRSA that sends out communications related to application acceptance, instructions for the exam and other communications related to the APR credential.
The $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.
Earning my APR was extremely satisfying and rewarding. On a personal level, it affirmed the time dedicated to work is conducted with purpose and intention. Professionally, it brought me into more business operations conversations, and there was also a financial reward from my employer.
Mischa Kirby, APR
Communications & Marketing
Community Foundation of Sarasota County
FPRA also offers a second-tier credential for senior-level counselors. To learn more about becoming a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC), click here.