Ready to start? Here’s how:
To receive an application, visit http://www.prsa.org and click on Accreditation or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. When applying, you will be asked to pay a $25 registration fee.
Here are the steps:
- Complete an application that lets the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) gauge your full-time public relations experience.
- Once your application is approved, complete the Readiness Review Questionnaire that addresses your organization and position in public relations, overall experience, and assessment of readiness to pass the computer-based written examination.
- When your questionnaire and portfolio are complete, schedule a Readiness Review. You have one year to complete the Readiness Review and computer-based examination.
- Successfully pass the Examination that is administered at numerous testing centers around the nation. If you fail, you can reschedule the examination at any time, providing you notify the UAB of your intent. A fee for a retake is $200, providing you retake the test within six months. No rebates apply for retakes.
Readiness Review: Your time to shine
The Readiness Review is your opportunity to show your stuff. With three accredited peers will review your professional portfolio and assess your readiness to take the written examination. The Readiness Review panel provides feedback and an evaluation as to what your strengths and weaknesses are, which then helps identify specific areas you should focus on for further study and the written examination.
You’ll be notified by a member of Minnesota’s PRSA Accreditation committee if you are advanced to the written examination—usually within two weeks. If you are not advanced, go back and study the areas that you and your panelists agreed are areas you need to strengthen and schedule another Readiness Review after 90 days.
Here’s the beauty of the Readiness Review: Minnesota PRSA and its accredited members will provide guidance and tips on your portfolio and areas of study. In fact, the Minnesota PRSA Accreditation committee provides free study sessions to help you prepare for the Readiness Review and test.
Written Examination: Putting your knowledge into practice
Once advanced from the Readiness Review, you’ll move on to the written examination. The Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations is computer-based and administered at Thomson 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. The test is based on a number of industry textbooks, the PRSA code of ethics and other professional resources.
A few weeks after the Examination, you’ll receive notification of your results. The cost for the written examination is $385. PRSA members receive a rebate of $110 upon completion of the test.
Remember, you’re making a difference that lasts a lifetime…
The APR designation is a lifetime accreditation. However, APRs must complete maintenance requirements every three years.
Who should I call if I have questions?
Locally, please contact Minnesota PRSA Accreditation committee co-chair Janet Swiecichowski, APR at Janet.Swiecichowski@minnetonka.k12.mn.us
At National, contact Kathy Mulvihill, Manager, Universal Accreditation at (212) 460-1436 or email@example.com, or the national website for additional information.