What is Accreditation?
The designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) signifies a high professional level of experience and competence. The purpose of the APR accreditation is to unify and advance the profession of public relations by identifying those who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the field. The program seeks to improve public relations practice, and promote standards of excellence for all PR practitioners.
The chapter is currently exploring different options to prepare members for the APR exam. More information will be forthcoming on how members can further their learning by becoming accredited.
Candidates for the exam must first pass a 'readiness review' by three accredited members of their local chapter. The peer review confirms a candidate's skills, knowledge, years of experience and commitment to the profession. In West Michigan, this readiness review will take place at least once each year, usually within a month or so after the prep course has been completed. Upon passing the readiness review, candidates have one year in which to take the written exam.
What's on the Written Exam
The exam changed in 2003 from an essay format to a multiple choice exam. While the nature of the exam has changed, the content is still a rigorous test of a candidate's knowledge and experience in public relations. Key knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) tested include:
- Research, planning, implementing, and evaluating programs (30%)
- Ethics and law (15%)
- Communication models and theories (15%)
- Business literacy (10%)
- Management skills and issues (10%)
- Crisis communication management (10%)
- Media relations (5%)
- Using information technology efficiently (2%)
- Advanced communication skills > (1%)
Where to take the exam
The exam can now be taken at a candidate's convenience at any of the 300 computer-based Prometric Inc. testing centers in North America. You can find a testing center and schedule your exam on Prometric's Web site: www.prometric.com. The Prometric center in West Michigan is co-located with Sylvan Learning Center:
3910 Burton St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546