Global Body of Knowledge Evolves into the Global Capabilities Framework Project

In 2014, the Global Alliance for Public Relations and Communications Management (GA) mandated a multi-year two-phase project to raise and globalize standards for the public relations profession.

The first phase, completed for the 2016 World Public Relations Forum in Toronto, involved an international team of volunteers, led by Canada’s Jean Valin APR, FCPRS with support from the Canadian Public Relations Society and other GA members. The international team studied all existing professional qualifications and educational standards, identified overlaps, and developed an aggregate document titled the ‘Global Body of Knowledge’ (GBOK).

The GBOK provides a compilation of the current most prevalent knowledge, skills, abilities, and behavioural statements of competency as defined in national professional standards and in numerous workshops with association and industry leaders in all continents.

The second phase, called the Global Capabilities Framework Project, is currently underway, led by Anne GregoryPhD, HonFCIPR and Johanna Fawkes PhD at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom. They will conceptually explore if the knowledge, skills, and behavioural statements in public relations, as identified in the GBOK, can be expanded into a global capabilities framework (with local flexibility) that may serve to raise the standards of public relations in the years to come.

The National Accreditation Council of CPRS has been engaged in the GBOK process, with Accreditation Council Presiding Officer, Celia Sollows APR; APR Exam Development Lead, Sheridan McVean APR; and CPRS Director of Accreditation and Education Lorianne Weston on the international team. Other CPRS members on the international team were Dustin Manley, and Natalie Bovair APR.

The intention of the Global Alliance, once the Global Capabilities Framework Project is complete in 2018, is to provide GA Association member organizations, such as CPRS, with the completed project and allow each member organization to use it to review and potentially update their own accreditation process and curriculum standards.  This is the reason why the CPRS National Accreditation Council is involved and closely following this Global Alliance project.

At least one global public relations agency as well as the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in the United Kingdom have stated their intention to use the GBOK and Capabilities Framework to align with their respective in-house training modules.

Documents related to GBOK and the Global Capabilities Framework Project are available on the Global Alliance website .
Sheridan McVean, APR
Accreditation Council member