APR MonthAccreditation in Public Relations

Formed in 1998, the Universal Accreditation Program for public relations professionals seeks to identify those in the profession who have demonstrated their knowledge, experience and judgment in planning and managing public relations activities. An Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) signifies a high professional level of competence and validates a PR professional’s commitment to the field.

What is involved in earning your APR?

There are four steps to becoming accredited:

  • Review and complete the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations Application.
  • Study and sit for a Panel Presentation.
  • Continue to study and complete the computer-based examination.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning through maintenance.

Candidates will first fill out the APR Application. Once accepted to continue with the APR process, candidates will schedule a Panel Presentation, similar to an oral exam.

The portfolio review will involve a Panel Presentation to identify a candidate’s areas of improvement and specific areas in which the candidate should focus further study. Candidates may not take the written exam until they have advanced from the Panel Presentation.

Once advanced from the Panel Presentation, the candidate will take the written exam at their convenience at a Prometric Testing Center. Candidates must take the written exam within one year of their application acceptance. Click here to find a testing center.

Assistance and Study Sessions

Your FPRA Tampa Bay Chapter and the state association can help you prepare for the APR, and group study sessions are offered. Contact us at for more information.

APR Resources

Visit the APR website to learn more about the process and review a list of resources including the study guide, FAQs, list of KSAs/competencies tested, application documents and more.

FPRA offers members a $100 rebate after passing the exam. View the rebate form to learn more.

FPRA APR Testimonials

  • “As someone who only took a couple public relations courses in college, I felt it was important to go through the APR process to reeducate myself in the strategies and best practices in our field. This accreditation has improved the way I practice PR and has given me the confidence to know I am providing the best service to my company” Kim Polacek, APR, Moffitt Cancer Center
  • “I chose to pursue my APR to demonstrate my commitment to the profession of public relations. The credential shows current and potential employers that I have a broad base of knowledge in the field that has been tested and verified by peers. The process was absolutely worth it.” Davina Gould, APR, Stetson Law School

What is involved in becoming a Certified Public Relations Counselor (CPRC)?

The credential of Certified Public Relations Counselor or CPRC is the second tier credential offered by FPRA. The certification process was developed to recognize professional growth and achievement of senior members who have already earned the APR designation. Candidates for CPRC must be a member of FPRA and have a minimum of 10 years of professional practice in public relations.

Preparation for this exam comes from practice, ten or more years’ worth. It is not required or recommended that individuals spend long periods of time studying for this test. All of the questions on the written exam are case related and require practitioners to draw on their own professional experiences. A review of your professional experiences and some classic public relations case studies as well as preparation of a 30-minute presentation for the oral part of the exam is all that is required.

For the oral portion of the exam, candidates are encouraged to use an actual presentation they have made to an employer, a client or the media. The goal of the 30-minute presentation is to share an idea or a course of action, rather than to demonstrate extemporaneous speaking skills.

What is the first step in becoming a Certified Public Relations Counselor? Contact us at, and submit your application along with payment to the State Office. Once your application is approved, your chapter will arrange locations, dates and times that are convenient for the candidate, proctor and panelists.

What are the fees associated with Certification?  The cost of the CPRC exam is $150.

Download the CPRC_Application.

Accreditation Contact

To learn more about the APR or CPRC process, please contact and we’ll connect you with a board member to help.