Accreditation

Get Your APR

Accreditation in PR is one of the best ways to show current and future employers and clients that you really have the right stuff. APR is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice, and who are selected based on broad knowledge, strategic perspective, and sound professional judgment. Be sure to check out our full list of accredited members also available on our site (see below).

Every year, Dayton Area PRSA holds its APR Boot Camp designed to help our members get ready for the accreditation process. This year, we have organized many of our most talented members and APR alumnus to serve as instructors of this intense nine-week APR Boot Camp.

From history and research to planning and media relations, you will learn the ins and outs of the APR exam and probably find that you already know more than you think you do!

The cost of the APR Boot Camp is $125 and includes access to the most recent version of the APR study guide and to some of the best PR pros in our area. Look for information about the 2012 APR Boot Camp to start appearing here in late fall. There you will get additional information on how to apply for accreditation through the national PRSA office. .

I hope you will join us for this incredible opportunity.

For more information on APR, please visit PRSA National.

Click here for the APR application.

About APR

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

Accredited members of the Dayton/Miami Valley Chapter include:

Natasha Baker, APR
Fahlgren Mortine
Patricia Robb, APR
Advocates for Basic Legal Equity, Inc. 
Robert Daley, APR
Daley & Company
Mark Feighery, APR
CareSource
Brenda Gibson, APR
Miami Conservancy District
Bob Sadowski, APR 
MeadWestvaco 
Jerral Guess, APR
Masonic Retirement Village
Patty Sorrell, APR
MeadWestvaco Corporation
Crystal Kirkland, APR  Charles A. Vella, APR
Elizabeth Long, APR
Graceworks Lutheran Services 
Harold M. Wayne, APR
Beth Mehlberth, APR
Fahlgren Mortine
Laura Woeste, APR
Tanya Morah, APR
Wilberforce University

Melanie Wilt, APR
Wilt Public Relations

John Davis, APR
Cedarville University

Kristin Bowser, APR
Care Source

The Accreditation Chair for our Chapter is Natasha Baker. She can be contacted as follows:

Natasha Baker, APR
Office: (937) 560-2851

Email: nbaker24@gmail.com


GENERAL INFORMATION AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: How is the new Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations different?

Q: Can a multiple-choice examination be as accurate in testing knowledge, skills and abilities as the existing examination?

Q: Are there other organizations that rely on multiple-choice examinations for their certification process?

Q: Who is eligible to take the new Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations?

Q: How do I apply to take the new Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations?

Q: What is the fee to take the Examination?

Q: What happens after I apply to take the Examination?

Q: How can I prepare for the Examination?

Q: What is the Readiness Review?

Q: What if I am not advanced after the Readiness Review?

Q: How will I know if the Readiness Review panel has recommended my advancement to the written examination?

Q: Once I earn Accreditation, is it good for life?

In July 2003, PRSA unveiled a new examination and process. The following are some of the more frequently asked questions about the exam, preparation and study.

Q: How is the new Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations different?

A: The written portion of the new Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations is now in a multiple-choice question format and takes 3 hours to complete. It will test what public relations professionals do in the 21st century while maintaining the same high level of quality embodied in the previous examination. This new, enhanced Examination for Accreditation is Public Relations is credible and relevant to today's practitioner and employs current best practices in professional certification testing.

Candidates will take the Examination at their convenience (no longer limited to twice each year) at more than 300 Prometric Testing Centers in the United States and Canada.

Finally, a Readiness Review prior to the candidate taking the written portion will replace what has been known as the oral examination. The Readiness Review will include a portfolio review and assessment of the candidate's readiness to take the Examination. The local Readiness Review panel (comprising of Accredited members of our chapter) will coach each candidate to determine his or her areas of weakness and help identify specific areas of the body of knowledge in which the candidate should focus further study. The panel will provide candidates with a specific set of textbook reference related to these areas. Candidates may not take the written examination until they have passed the Readiness Review.

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Q: Can a multiple-choice examination be as accurate in testing knowledge, skills and abilities as the existing examination?

A: Yes, Multiple-choice examinations eliminate subjectivity in scoring and achieve consistency with best practices in certification examinations. The Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations has been developed according to the best practices in professional certification testing. Content is directly tied to the Professional Practice Analysis conducted in 2000. The Examination is reliable and valid and can differentiate those candidates who have attained professional mastery from those who have not.

According to Educational testing and Measurement by Kubiszyn & Borich, with the multiple-choice format:

  • Higher-level knowledge can be tested with we-written multiple choice items.
  • Since writing is minimized, a substantial amount of material can be evaluated in a short period.
  • Scoring is highly objective, which allows for more reliable results.
  • Cost of evaluating the exam is significantly reduced.
  • Efficiency of evaluating the examination and reporting scores increases.

 

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Q: Are there other organizations that rely on multiple-choice examinations for their certification process?

A: Yes. Many professional organizations base their certification process on multiple-choice testing, including the Graduate Record Examination, the Graduate Management Admission Test, the American College, the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists, Institute for Certification of Management Accountants, Project Management Institute, Information Technology Certification Tests, Microsoft, Novell, CompTIA, the Test of English as a Foreign Language and Excemior College.

The exam test professionals in 10 areas of practice with this breakdown:

  • Research, planning, implementing and evaluating programs - 30 percent
  • Ethics and law - 15 percent
  • Communication models and theories - 15 percent
  • Business literacy - 10 percent
  • Management skills and issues - 10 percent
  • Crisis communication management - 10 percent
  • Media relations - 5 percent
  • History of and current issues in public relations - 2 percent
  • Using information technology efficiently - 2 percent
  • Advanced communication skills - 1 percent

 

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Q: Who is eligible to take the new Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations?

A: The Examination was designed for members of Partner Organizations who have at least five years of paid experience in the full-time practice or in the teaching of public relations and who have earned a bachelor's degree in a communication-specific field (e.g., public relations, journalism, mass communication) or have equivalent work experience, which includes public relations principles, public relations writing, public relations campaigns, research, ethics and law and internship (practical experience under supervision). 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. Visit the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) Web site at www.accreditationboard.org for more information.

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Q: How do I apply to take the new Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations?

A: If you are eligible to take the Examination, you can download an application form at www.Accreditationboard.org, fill it out and send it to the contact and address listed on the application.

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Q: What is the fee to take the Examination?

A: The fee for PRSA members is $275. The fee for members of Partner Organizations is $385. The fee for non-members is $385. (PRSA subsidizes the program and offers the Examination to its members for a discounted rate. Other Partner Organizations consider rebates for their members.)

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Q: What happens after I apply to take the Examination?

A: Once your eligibility is confirmed by the UAB, you may request a Readiness Review through PRSA or through a Partner Organization. You may prepare for your Readiness Review whenever you want - you can start today - by downloading the Readiness Review Questionnaire and instructions for preparing your portfolio. Prepare as early as possible by downloading test-taking tips and other information from the Accreditation Web site and start preparing. Once a local Accreditation Chair has scheduled your Readiness Review, you must submit the completed Readiness Review Questionnaire to your Readiness Review Panel no fewer than 15 business days before your scheduled review. Local PRSA Chapters and Partner Organizations may be able to schedule Readiness Reviews at different times, so work closely with your local Accreditation chair to be sure your intended schedule works with your local organization's.

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Q: How can I prepare for the Examination?

A: A study guide is available at www.accreditationboard.org. Contact your local Accreditation chair to learn more about how to prepare and what local resources, such as preparation courses, are available. An online, self-study course also will be available for an additional fee. If you are an independent member and not affiliated with a PRSA or UAB Partner Organization Chapter, contact PRSA for the Accreditation chair nearest you.

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Q: What is the Readiness Review?

A: The Readiness Review is a one- to two-hour interview and portfolio presentation that determines whether your Readiness Review panel will recommend that the UAB advance you to the written examination. It includes a lengthy and detailed written Readiness Review Questionnaire submission, a portfolio review and an assessment of your readiness to take the Examination. The Readiness Review panel (comprising three accredited members) will coach you to help you to identify areas in which your preparation is not adequate for success in the written examination. The panel also will help to direct you to specific areas of the body of knowledge in which you should focus further study before taking the written portion of the Examination. The Readiness Review panel also will give you a specific set of textbook references related to these areas. Remember, you may not take the written examination until the Readiness Review panel recommends that you advance past the Readiness Review.

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Q: What if I am not advanced after the Readiness Review?

A: Go back and study the areas that you and your Readiness Review panel agreed are areas where you need strength. Review the tips for preparing for the Readiness Review and continue to study for the written portion of the Examination as you prepare to request another Readiness Review. (You must wait at least ninety (90) days after your first Readiness Review to request another.)

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Q: How will I know if the Readiness Review panel has recommended my advancement to the written examination?

A: You will be notified by the UAB how it has responded to the recommendation of your Readiness Review panel to advance or not to advance you to the written portion of the Examination.

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Q: Once I earn Accreditation, is it good for life?

A: Yes, but only if you fulfill the Maintenance of Accreditation requirements. Every three years, PRSA members Accredited after January 1, 1993 must accumulate the required number of points in continuing education, professionalism or service categories as part of the Maintenance of Accreditation Program. Members of Partner Organizations accredited after January 1, 1998 need to maintain as well. This further strengthens the value of the APR credential and keeps professionals actively involved. Details are available at www.praccreditation.org.

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