APR Accreditation

The Public Relations Society of America is a proud supporter of the
Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

Internationally recognized, the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) integrates timeless communications principles with contemporary strategies and tactics. The process of earning your APR takes your skills to the next level by exposing you to today’s cutting-edge strategies and practices, assessing your skills to identify strengths and opportunities for growth, and demonstrating your personal and professional commitment to excellence. Pursuing the APR gives you direct access to top public relations leaders—APR holders who will guide you through the process of achieving Accreditation—and provides the tools you need to distinguish yourself as a luminary in the public relations field.

Learn more about the APR

PRSA IE  APR Panel Presentation

What is APR Accreditation?

The APR Accreditation is the only professional certification program open to public relations professionals. It's also one of the oldest and most respected designations in the communications industry.

What is the purpose of Accreditation?

The purpose is to unify and advance the profession by identifying those who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the field of public relations. The program seeks to improve public relations practice. The designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) signifies a high professional level of experience and competence.

Who administers the Accreditation program? 

The Accreditation program is administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of 10 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 of experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations and 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). 

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. Applicants have ONE YEAR from the date of application to complete the 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 the Readiness Review and take the computer-based examination. Our guided process attempts to get the process complete in less than six months.

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. 

How long does the APR last?

The APR designation is a lifetime accreditation. However, APRs must complete maintenance requirements every three years and remain an active member.

Start the APR Process

  1. Email your local APR Chair and tell us you’d like to begin the APR process.
  2. Download the application.
  3. Fill out and submit the application with the $25 fee.
  4. Your APR Chair will contact you with next steps.