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Accreditation Process
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Ready to start? Here’s how:

Contact our Chapter Accreditation Committee

Minnesota PRSA has an active Accreditation Committee committed to your success. Committee members and current APRs have mentored candidates through the process, and our chapter has a higher percent of APRs than almost any other chapter in the nation. Reach out to our committee chair to discuss your interest before you get started.

The Accreditation process can be summarized in five steps. With planning and focus, APR is achievable in approximately four to six months:

  1. Set a goal to attain your APR – Download the Candidate Study Guide, panel presentation questionnaire and application. Begin studying and complete the questionnaire before you apply.
  2. Application – Complete and return with fee (see Once approved, you have one year to complete the process.
  3. Questionnaire – Reflect on your career and a program or campaign that demonstrates your knowledge of the four-step process.
  4. Panel Presentation – Present your campaign portfolio to a panel of APRs.
  5. Exam – Prepare for and take a computer-based exam.


Panel Presentation: Your time to shine

The Panel Presentation is your opportunity to show your stuff. With three accredited peers you will review your PR campaign portfolio and discuss your experience in the field. The Panel Presentation panelists provide 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 Panel Presentation after 90 days.

Here’s the beauty of the Panel Presentation: 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 Panel Presentation and test.

Written Examination: Putting your knowledge into practice

Once advanced from the Panel Presentation, 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. Maintenance points are earned through professional development, lifelong learning and serving the profession.

Who should I call if I have questions?

Locally, please contact Minnesota PRSA Accreditation committee member Janet Swiecichowski, APR at

At National, contact Kathy Mulvihill, Manager, Universal Accreditation at (212) 460-1436 or, or the national website for additional information.

Minnesota PRSA 1660 Highway 100 South, Suite 500-309 Minneapolis MN 55416 Phone: 952-237-9258 Email:

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