Accreditation

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)
APR (Accreditation in Public Relations) is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice. Individuals are selected based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective, and sound professional judgment.

What is Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary certification program for public relations professionals, administered by the Public Relations Society of America.

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. The program seeks to improve public relations practice. The designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) signifies a high professional level of experience and competence.

Why become Accredited?
APR is a symbol of professionalism. It demonstrates that individuals have the knowledge, ethics and experience that set them apart. Increasingly, job listings are specifying APR preferred. Many senior public relations professionals have been outspoken in support of Accreditation.

Who is Eligible?
Members of partner organizations who have at least five years of paid, full- time experience in the professional practice of public relations, or in the teaching or administration of public relations courses in an accredited college or university. Also, non-members who belong to member organizations of the North American Public Relations Council (NAPRC) and who meet the same requirements as Members are eligible. Please contact PRSA Headquarters for details.

What are the costs?
The fee for PRSA members is $275. The fee for members of other Partner Organizations is $385. The fee for non-members equals the fully allocated cost of administering the Examination. Additionally, non-members must pay an annual maintenance fee equal to PRSA member dues ($225).

The Examination Process
The process involves six steps:
1. Apply for Eligibility
2. Complete Readiness Review Questionnaire
3. Participate in Readiness Review
4. Request Coaching, Mentoring, Support Services
5. Schedule Your Examination
6. Take the Examination

The Readiness Review
The Readiness Review is a one to two-hour session with three review panelists, which includes submission of answers to a series of advance questions about a candidate's professional experience, a portfolio review and a discussion between the panelists and the candidate. The panelists will assess the candidate's readiness to take the examination. The candidate must successfully advance from the Readiness Review in order to take the examination.

The candidate must submit four copies of Readiness Review questionnaire to local APR chair at least 15 business days in advance of the scheduled review.

For More Information
See PRSA National Accreditation and the Universal Accreditation Board.

The Las Vegas Valley Chapter has a strong APR program with training and workshops geared toward helping members earn their accreditation. Please contact us or send an email to accreditation -at- prsalasvegas.com.

Accredited Las Vegas Valley Chapter Members:

Vince M. Alberta, APR

Carrie O. Amox, APR

Amy Bouchard, APR

Justin R. Broglio, APR

Kristen S. Cannon, APR

Collen Curran, APR

Clark Dumont, MA, APR

Tiffany Suzanne East, APR

Rina E. Foster, APR

Diane Lancaster Gibes, APR

Cheryl Persinger Gowan, APR

Dan C. McFadden, APR

Dawn L. Merritt, APR

Lori B. Nelson-Kraft, APR

Gretchen Papez, APR

MacKenzie E. Ruta, APR

Jennifer R. Schuricht, APR

Kevin Stoker, Ph.D., APR

Lisa M. Story, APR

James R. Stover, APR

Sarah A. Thornton, APR

Nancy C. Weaver, APR

Karen L. White, APR

Nicole R. Wolf, APR

Testimonial 

by Gretchen Papez, APR 

You’re Not Too Old to Earn Your APR 

I was 49 when I earned my APR and I’m glad I did.

It showcased my expertise by earning the only nationally recognized PR accreditation
It introduced me to many wonderful PR pros in my region.
It keeps me up-to-date with professional learning opportunities during a time of rapid change and evolution.

In my early 40s, I set some personal goals. I had spent my 20s and 30s working in marketing communications, volunteering with wonderful organizations, and providing pro bono PR work for a couple of 501c organizations, but I hadn’t spent much time investing in myself professionally. By the time I tackled my APR, my daughter was out of high school, pursuing her own education and career opportunities, and my husband was continuing to invest many hours in his own business.

With the help of then-APR chair James Stover, APR, I worked my way through the process and successfully earned my APR in Spring 2018. Then, Dan McFadden, APR, relocated to Las Vegas and introduced the Arkansas “APR Ready to Roll” program in January 2020.  Because of him, the Las Vegas region now has a formal APR accreditation process with plenty of support from other APRs.

When the “APR Ready to Roll” debuted in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic was making headlines but not yet affecting Las Vegas. We had a specific calendar to keep everyone on track, panel presentations confirmed and a host of talented APRs to lead educational seminars. By the time we held our second panel presentation in mid-March, our location was closed to the public, Las Vegas was preparing for lockdown and we quickly switched our in-person sessions to virtual outlets.

Despite all the challenges of 2020, our intrepid APR candidates stayed the course. In a year filled with cancellations, redirections and re-imagined celebrations, one of my favorite events was our “APRavan” to celebrate the success of our APR recipients.

No matter where you are in your career, consider earning your APR. You have a full year, from application acceptance to test-taking, and our APR team will be there to help every step of the way. What better way to invest in yourself and earn the only nationally recognized PR accreditation?

Learn more at https://www.prsa.org/professional-development/accreditation-in-public-relations-(apr) and contact Dan ([email protected]) or me ([email protected]) for more information, any time! Our next virtual APR happy hour overview is January 26 and our program kicks off in February!

Accreditation Maintenance
To maintain your Accreditation, you should accumulate points in continuing education, professionalism or public service over a three-year period. See Maintenance of Accreditation.

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