APR Candidate Process Chart for Accreditation in Public Relations

Step 1. Plan and Apply

  1. Initiate process whenever you want.
  2. Submit online application and payment to the Universal Accreditation Board. The fee for members is $385 and $745 for nonmembers.
  3. Receive notification of eligibility from UAB within weeks.
  4. Plan how you will proceed. Remember that you have one year from the date you receive UAB authorization to participate and advance through the Panel Presentation and complete the examination.
  5. Access Preparation Resources, e.g., APR Study Guide, Online Study Course ($260), Candidate's Instructions for Panel Presentation, Recommended Bookshelf, local prep courses, mentoring programs, etc.

Step 2. Use Coaching, Mentoring, Support Services

  1. Request coaching, mentoring or other support services through your local APR Chair as you desire.
  2. Refresh your knowledge, skills and abilities by reviewing the general text of your choice and one or more of the specialized books from the Recommended Bookshelf.
  3. Use the body of knowledge and preparation resources to fill gaps in your knowledge, skills and abilities, e.g., areas where your experience is limited.

Step 3. Complete Panel Presentation Questionnaire

  1. Download Panel Presentation Candidate Questionnaire.
  2. Select a public relations plan you have written that reflects your experience, and complete the Questionnaire at your own discretion.
  3. Submit copies of the questionnaire to local APR Chair a minimum of 15 business days before your scheduled Panel Presentation date.

Step 4. Participate in Panel Presentation 

  1. Present your project and presentation. Instructions are available. Respond to interview questions, and allow one-to-two hours for your session.
  2. Panelists score your knowledge, skills and abilities in 12 areas.
  3. UAB notifies you to Advance/Not Advance to the computer-based Examination within 2-3 weeks.
  4. If you Advance, you receive your candidate ID# to use to schedule the examination.
  5. If you do not Advance, you can repeat Panel Presentation after 90 days. You may appeal the result to the UAB after two re-takes of the Panel Presentation.

Step 5. Schedule Your Examination

  1. Schedule online examination with Certification Management Services using your candidate ID # and email address.

Step 6. Take the Examination

  1. Use as much of the time available as you want to complete the examination.
  2. Receive immediate but unofficial pass/did not pass result and feedback on your strengths and weaknesses in tested knowledge, skills and abilities.
  3. Receive official pass or fail notice from UAB within 1-2 weeks.
  4. If you pass, the Universal Accreditation Board will grant Accreditation.
  5. Receive notice from your APR Chair of presentation and/or celebration event that your local organization may plan.
  6. If you must retake the Examination, submit payment ($200) within six months and request a new candidate ID# from UAB. Repeat steps #2, #5 and #6.




Have your own APR story to tell?  Email accred@prsa.org.