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Chapter Plans March Workshop for Members Pursuing Accreditation

 PRSA members interested in seeking accreditation in public relations will have another opportunity to participate in a chapter-sponsored preparation workshop in March.

 Taught by Chapter Accreditation Chair Fred Morgan, APR, Fellow PRSA, and other accredited chapter members, the workshop is normally offered after work for two and one-half to three hours for six consecutive weeks.  But the workshop’s final design will depend upon the needs and desires of participants. 

Morgan firmly believes that practitioners should establish professional goals for themselves early in their careers, and that seeking accreditation is one of the most important ones they can choose.  “Earning the APR designation proves that one has demonstrated competency in the knowledge, skills and abilities required to effectively practice PR in today’s world,” he said.

The accreditation program is administered by the Universal Accreditation  Board, a consortium of nine leading PR organizations, including PRSA.  The “APR” designation was developed decades ago by PRSA, but can now be used by any consortium members who successfully complete a readiness questionnaire, pass a face-to-face readiness review conducted by accredited members from their chapter and successfully pass a three-hour, 45-minute written examination administered at numerous testing centers throughout the nation.  The test is offered locally by Prometric Testing Centers on North Academy.

 Anyone interested in pursuing accreditation must be a member in good standing of PRSA or another consortium organization, have five years experience in the full-time practice or teaching of PR and have a bachelor’s degree in a communications field or equivalent work experience which includes:

  • PR principles
  • PR writing
  • PR campaigns
  • Research
  • Ethics
  • Law
  • And practical experience under supervision of an experienced practitioner

The cost of accreditation is $385.  PRSA members receive a $110 rebate upon completion of the test.  If the exam has to be retaken, the fee is $200, provided the retake occurs with six months

Accreditation candidates will have chapter support available as they study for both the readiness review and the examination.  “The chapter board of directors purchased six college PR textbooks in 2013,” said Morgan,  “and these will be available for loan to candidates on a first come, first served basis.  I’ve coached a large number of accreditation candidates during the past 20 years, and have achieved the best success with group study involving three to six people.”

Members interested in learning more about earning their APR should check out the PRSA website at prsa.org.  Click on the “Learning” block at the top of the page, and then click on “accreditation.”  Those interested should then contact Fred Morgan at 488-8352 or fred.morgan@juno.com.  The deadline to sign up for the January workshop is February 28.

The APR designation, once earned, is a lifetime accreditation.  Accredited members must complete maintenance requirements every three years, however.