Accreditation - Why did you pursue your APR?
APR Candidate Webinar presented on October 9th, 2014
Carleen Carroll APR, FCPRS hosted a webinar on the CPRS accreditation program where she discusses how to determine if you are ready to enter the program and what is involved in the accreditation process.
Accreditation - What does it mean?
APR Designation: Accreditation is a voluntary certification program for public relations professionals that is administered by the Canadian Public Relations Society and currently, it is Canada’s only public relations and communications accreditation program. It identifies practitioners who have depth of experience and competence in the professional practice of public relations.
Experienced and strategic practitioners: The program involves a rigorous evaluation of the skills and competencies needed to practice public relations at a senior executive level and establishes standards for professional practice. It measures experience and strategic thinking, not specific academic knowledge; however, it is necessary to have a foundation of knowledge of public relations theory and policy issues to achieve accreditation.
: A successful candidate will also need to demonstrate an understanding of the ethical practice of public relations and comprehension of the standards enshrined in the CPRS Code of Professional Standards.
Accreditation - Why is it important?
Earning the APR designation demonstrates professionalism and is tangible evidence to the public that you have demonstrated a high level of knowledge, skills and abilities in the area of public relations. It is for this reason that many organizations and corporations specifically seek public relations professionals with the APR designation.
Members of the public can consult the list of practitioners who are Accredited in Public Relations
and will note that those APRs who have undertaken professional development activities within the past five years to keep up-to-date in the field are found under the current Maintained APR
Who is eligible?
To be eligible, you must satisfy the following requirements:
- Be a member in good standing with the Society
- Be employed full-time in a public relations position for at least five years
- Spend at least half of your professional time involved in public relations
Work Sample project eligibility extended from two to three years
Following extensive research and study of the work sample component, the Accreditation Council has decided to extend the window of eligible work sample projects to three years from the current requirement of two years. This change is effective immediately.
Previously, in order to qualify as eligible, a work sample had to be initiated, completed and evaluated within two years prior to the application for the accreditation program. With this change, a prospective candidate can now prepare the work sample based on a project that he or she has completed and evaluated within up to three years before the April 1 deadline for submission of the work sample.
How do I know if I am ready?
The question of readiness comes up repeatedly as public relations practitioners grapple with the demands of busy jobs while trying to maintain work/life balance. Yet at some point in time, most of us want to see how our skills measure up on a national scale. That's usually when we begin to wonder about pursuit of the APR designation and ask the question "Am I ready?"
The Council has prepared a self-assessment tool to help you decide if you are ready. Try it out. The more check marks you can make, the closer you are to readiness to proceed with the process. Once you determine you are ready to proceed, the Council has put in place a variety of supports to help you apply and be successful.
What is Accreditation Maintenance?
Accredited members are encouraged to participate in the CPRS Accreditation Maintenance program
. The voluntary accreditation maintenance program is designed to strengthen the value of the APR designation for the benefit of practitioners, employers and the general public by providing tangible evidence of continuous professional development.