Accreditation is a voluntary certification program from the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB). Accredited in Public Relations (APR) offers recognition for those communicators who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience, and professional judgement in the public relations field. The program seeks to improve public relations practice. The designation APR signifies a high professional level of experience and competence. In 2004, the new examination for Accreditation in Public Relations was launched, now making it easier for candidates to test in local, online testing centers.
The new exam is divided in two parts: A Readiness Review and the Written Exam. The Readiness Review is organized by the local chapter and is a one- to two-hour interview and portfolio presentation that determines whether a candidate can advance to the written examination. A candidate must submit a Readiness Review Questionnaire to the local panel prior to the exam session. The portfolio presentation demonstrates evidence of the candidate’s use of public relations planning, execution, and evaluation.
With the successful completion of the Readiness Review, the candidate than schedules the written exam at the nearest Prometric testing center. In Jacksonville, the Prometric center is located within the Sylvan Learning Center at 9421 Waypoint Place, Jacksonville, FL 32257. For areas outside of Jacksonville, please visit www.prometric.com.
The UAB website has been updated with many resources and information sheets to assist candidates in their preparation. Visit www.accreditationboard.org to view these documents:
Process Charts – A description of the 6 steps a candidate needs to take during the APR process.
General Information FAQ – General questions about APR, its history, its importance to the profession and more.
Candidates’ FAQ – Specific questions about the new process, when it will begin, exam fees, how to prepare and much more.
Readiness Review FAQ – All the answers to your questions about how this new 1-2 hour oral exam will take place. How to prepare, who conducts the readiness review, how the exam connects with the written exam, and much, much, more.
Readiness Review Candidate Instructions – This fact sheet provides in-depth information on how to prepare the required portfolio: how to assemble the portfolio, recommended contents for the portfolio, organizing the portfolio, as well as presentation tips.
Examination Preparation Sources – Ten text books are listed for reference materials to be used by candidates in preparing for the exam. (see: www.prsa.org/_Advance/apr/publications.asp). Exam developers suggest that candidates do not need to purchase or read all of the books on the list; however, the basis for every question contained in the written portion of the exam can be traced to one or several texts. (see list below)
Recommended Text Books for APR Preparation
- Moore R. Advertising and Public Relations Law. Erlbaum. 1998.
- Goldstein N (ed). Associated Press Stylebook 2002.Associated Press. 2002.
- Cutlip SM et al. Effective Public Relations. Prentice-Hall. 1999.
- Stacks D. Primer of Public Relations Research. 2002.
- Wilcox D et al. Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics. 2000.
- Smith R (ed). Strategic Planning for Public Relations. Erlbaum. 2002.
- Caywood C (ed). The Handbook of Strategic Public Relations and Integrated Communications. McGraw-Hill. 1997.
- Seitel F. The Practice of Public Relations. Prentice-Hall. 2000.
- Newsom D et al. This is PR: The Realities of Public Relations. Wadsworth. 1999.
10 major areas of competencies tested in the new APR exam History of and current issues in public relations
- Business literacy
- Ethics and law
- Communication models and theories
- Researching, planning, implementing, and evaluating campaigns
- Management skills and issues
- Crisis communication management
- Using information technology effectively
- Media relations
- Advanced communication skills
For more information on the accreditation process, contact:
VP Accreditation & Certification
Karen J. Rieley, APR, CPRC
904.730.8281 office | 904.333.1151 cell | 904.730.8296 fax