Where your career in public relations takes you is based on individual drive, determination and diligence. All seasoned communications practitioners should consider earning the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation. Earning the APR credential proves you have successfully demonstrated a commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice, and have broad knowledge, strategic perspective and sound professional judgment.

The Value of APR

APR is a mark of distinction that is valuable to those practitioners who earn it; to the agencies, clients and organizations they represent; and, perhaps most importantly, to the public relations profession itself.

  • Recognized Standard: Established in 1964, APR is the public relations profession’s only national post-graduate certification program. It measures a practitioner’s fundamental knowledge of communications theory and its application; establishes advanced capabilities in research, strategic planning, implementation and evaluation; and demonstrates a commitment to professional excellence and ethical conduct. More than 5,000 professionals from the agency, corporate, association and education fields currently hold the APR mark.

  • Promotes Lifelong Learning: All APRs are required to complete continuing education programs and pursue volunteer work or other professional development activities to keep their skills sharp and their Accredited status active.

  • Career Enhancement: Unlike other professional certifications, such as CPA, Accreditation in Public Relations is a voluntary demonstration of competency; as such, it reflects a strong commitment to the profession. Earning Accreditation also provides a distinction that can set individuals apart and open doors to career advancement and higher compensation.

Universal Accreditation Board

Granting of APR is overseen by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), a consortium of nine leading public relations and communications organizations, including PRSA. The UAB provides a balanced blend of backgrounds in a number of public relations specialities. In addition to granting Accreditation, the UAB develops the Examination for APR and policies, and reviews appeal cases.

Become an APR

Any PRSA member in good standing can take on the challenge of earning Accreditation. However, it is recommended that candidates have at least five years’ experience in full-time public relations practice or teaching and have earned either a bachelor’s degree in a communications field or have equivalent work experience.

It’s best to begin seeking Accreditation when you can commit the time, energy and resources to completing the entire process. The length of time to finish varies based on the individual and the number of applicants in your area. However, once your application is approved, you have one year to complete the Readiness Review and take the computer-based Examination.

Start the process to earn your APR today by reviewing:


The cost to sit for the Examination is $385. PRSA members receive a $110 rebate upon completion.

Maintaining APR

The APR designation is “good for life” as long as you remain a current member of a UAB-participating organization and complete maintenance requirements every three years.