UAB Accreditation Tips and Tools — December 2020

Promoting APR Through Difficult Times — and a New Year Is Coming!  
Though it may seem like a tough time to personally start, or encourage others to start, the Accreditation prep journey, consider that while we’re encouraged to minimize travel and “hunker down,” this could be the time to try and focus. Almost 130 professionals earned their APR in 2020, and the “WHY” to go for the Accreditation remains key — to develop and improve strategic communications skills in need in our industry.

Chapter/District Scholarships To Help PR Pros in Tough Times 
We’re hearing of many local Chapters and Districts who are repurposing some of their unused Chapter reserves or professional development funds (not a lot of events recently to pay for) to help their members who may have been downsized during the pandemic.
Please consider if you have budget available to help bridge your loyal members to pay for part/all of their APR fees now when they may have the time for APR prep. And they will thank you later with loyal membership and volunteerism — and karma is a good thing.

It Is Not Too Early To Plan — April Is APR Month!
APR Month is just around the corner. What is your Chapter or participating organization doing to celebrate its members who have earned Accreditation? Though many companies remain working remotely this coming winter/spring, here are a few ideas:

  • As your Chapter members achieve their APR, post the congrats on your Chapter social media channels.
  • Hold a virtual congrats program, recognizing APRs earned in the last year.
  • Host a virtual APR happy hour. Invite Chapter APRs and interested candidates to chat informally about Accreditation after hours.
  • Include a special shout-out to APRs during your virtual April Chapter meetings. Ask all Accredited members to add their name to the Comments field for APR Month.

Other Reminders/Updates To Share 

  1. Computer-Based Examination for APR Options: Remote and In Person
    There are two ways to take the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations (EAPR): either in a Prometric Testing Center or remotely through Prometric’s ProProctor application.
    For a remote proctored examination, candidates must supply the computer with a camera, microphone and an internet connection, and be able to install a lightweight app prior to the test event. ProProctor gives candidates 24/7 access, allowing them to test wherever and whenever it is most convenient.      
    For information about both options, see
  2. Virtual Panel Presentations
    Consider Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting or another virtual platform to ensure the candidate’s hard work and drive for excellence isn’t overlooked. This also is helpful for smaller Chapters/local APR pools, as you can invite APRs in other cities to join you too!
  3. Shift your timeline.
    Whether your APR program has already started or is about to begin, send a short survey to candidates and find the ideal time for them to resume the Accreditation journey.
  4. Dedicate unused funds.
    With canceled programs and pricey venues now on hold, perhaps consider reallocating those funds to your APR program and help candidates with study materials or examination fees.
  5. Encourage studying online with the APR Online Study Course.
    It’s an ideal way to keep candidates engaged and studying at their own pace. (There is an additional fee for this course, however.)
    • APR Candidate Open House, Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. EST (Scope and process of studying and passing the APR Examination.) RSVP
    • APR Online Study Course Spring Cohort begins Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. EST (Course subscription of $195 is for one year; group discounts available.)
  6. PRSA APR Virtual Boot Camp.
    Feb. 24–26, for those who wish to complete the process. Panels will be held as well as CBE prep.
  7. Tentative – APR Jump Starts.
    PRSA National Capital Chapter (NCC) is tentatively scheduling two APR Jump Starts (the first one in late February/early March). Details: Contact Barbara Burfeind, APR+M, Fellow PRSA (

Ethics Training: APRs, looking for CEUs tied to free ethics presentations? Check out: 

  • PRSA Storytellers Series: Leading With Ethics — A View From the Top. – Feb. 4, 2021, 4–5 p.m. EST. Nonmembers $200/Members $0. As we cautiously ease into the new year, the importance of open and honest communications is top of mind. PR pros in particular face daunting challenges as their publics focus more and more attention on not only the “words,” but also the deeper meaning of those words. Join moderator Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA, for an in-depth look at the state of ethical communications today from the perspective of leading entrepreneur and philanthropist Craig Newmark, whose own personal standards have influenced tens of thousands of others. Hosted by the PRSA Board of Ethics and Professional Standards.  
  • Ethical Voices. Created by 2016 PRSA National chair and longtime PR practitioner and volunteer Mark McClennan, APR, Fellow PRSA, this is a weekly blog and podcast designed to share the real ethical challenges faced by real communications professionals.
  • Public Relations Ethics Training. The Arthur W. Page Center. Learn about ethics issues facing public relations practitioners today.

APR Maintenance Program Now Called Accreditation Renewal; Switch to CEUs Also Made
The Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) moved to rename the program “Accreditation Renewal” effective Jan. 1, 2019, and to adopt a more consistent Continuing Education Unit (CEU) tracking method, effective Jan. 1, 2020. For renewal due dates after Jan. 1, 2022, check this fillable tracking worksheet until time to renew. 

  1. A Switch to CEUs. As Accredited professionals must renew their credential and chronicle their commitment to the sound and ethical practice of public relations every three years, the UAB has established the Continuing Education Unit (CEU) as the unit of Accreditation Renewal.
    • A CEU equals 10 hours of participation in approved training or other professional development activities. The CEUs will apply to APRs who start their renewal cycle Jan. 1, 2020, or later.
    • A minimum of 15 CEUs is required for renewal over the three-year period; at least seven CEUs must be in continuing education and professional development along with one CEU in ethics.
    • The ethics CEU is a new requirement in line with the professional code of conduct APRs espouse.
    • All other APRs will continue tracking with the previous points system until their next renewal period.
  2. Timeline for Changes
    • APRs who need to renew Dec. 31, 2020; June 30, 2021; or Dec. 31, 2021, will use the Accreditation Renewal Application that is currently based on points.
    • APRs who need to renew in 2022 or later, will use the Accreditation Renewal application based on CEUs.
  3. Questions? (We’ve had a few!). Check our FAQs at for topics including: What is changing and when are the changes taking place?; Why the change from points to CEUs and how do CEUs work?; Why was an ethics requirement added?; and other questions.

Are Potential Candidates on the Fence?

Make an informal approach with three good reasons for taking the APR: personal achievement, career advancement and becoming part of a unique professional network.
Since APR candidates have one year from application acceptance to complete the entire process, it’s important they are ready when they start. Help them assess their readiness with the Panel Presentation questionnaire. If they’re close to completing the questionnaire, they’re ready to apply and to start studying.

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