The CPRS accreditation is a respected measure of professional experience in public relations. This program recognizes the dedication, energy, perseverance and competence of successful public relations professionals.
The goals of the CPRS accreditation program are to
- assure professional competence
- establish standards for professional practice
- increase recognition for the profession within business and the community
- influence the direction of the profession.
The exam is offered to eligible candidates once a year. Candidates submit a detailed application form and work sample.
Top Ten Reasons to Seek Accreditation
Accreditation improves career opportunities and advancement
A scan of the career advertisements or the CPRS OR IABC Job Lines will show you that membership in a professional association and accreditation are increasingly valued by HR folks and employers when seeking qualified PR people.
Accreditation prepares you for greater on-the-job-responsibilities
The accreditation process is a self-directed professional development activity that will broaden your knowledge of communications management and strategy and will stand you in good stead when pursuing increased responsibility and the satisfaction and remuneration that goes with it.
Accreditation improves earnings potential
North American studies of accredited communicators indicate some difference in earnings between those who are accredited and those who are not.
Of course this could also be because those who pursue accreditation are also successful in their careers.
Accreditation demonstrates your commitment to the profession
In a hiring situation, if all else is equal, accreditation may tip the scales in your favour because it demonstrates a high level of commitment and engagement with your career.
Accreditation improves skills and knowledge
As mentioned before, the accreditation process is a self-directed professional development activity that sets a pattern for continued development once accredited such as a marker or judge.
One recent candidate in Edmonton said receiving her accreditation was almost a bonus because she had gotten so much out of the study process.
Accreditation reflects achievement
Accreditation is not easy – but it is very rewarding. If you can take on the responsibility of achieving accreditation you can take on many tasks and be counted on to succeed.
Accreditation builds self-esteem
Whether you are mid-career or a senior practitioner, a professional designation helps to empower and to affirm and helps to remind you of your talent, skills and abilities.
Accreditation is all about being judged by your peers – a tough crowd but a rewarding accomplishment.
Accreditation enhances the professional image
You can debate what constitues a profession and indeed whether or not public relations is a profession.
What appears to be true is that the practice of PR is enhanced through things like a Code of Professional Standards, research, a body of knowledge and accreditation programs.
Accreditation establishes professional credentials
CA, CGA, CMA, CIPS, CHRP – there are many other professions and occupations in the marketplace and work world today and the number is growing.
Having APR behind your name doesn’t make you a better person but it does signify you take your career seriously and that you’ve earned a place at the management table with the dominant coalition as Grunig and Grunig would say.
Accreditation offers greater professional recognition from peers
When I received my APR this spring a number of people, both inside and outside of PR and communications congratulated me and recognized this as an accomplishment – much the same as when you graduate from this program.
Being an APR comes when responsibilities to CPRS, to the PR profession and to the community but it also comes with professional recognition from peers and others.
Fran Gregory, APR, Professor, Public Relations, Conestoga College, completed accreditation in 2007. She has this to say about her experience:
“Preparation for accreditation was a strong reminder that we must continue to challenge ourselves and our knowledge of this profession. It also allowed me to be a role model to my students, as I shared the Accreditation Journey with them – and we celebrated my APR together!”