Accreditation in Public Relations + Military Communication (APR+M)
Launched May 26, 2010, the APR+M credential is designed to strengthen military public affairs, encourage ongoing professional development, and establish a standard of knowledge and professional consistency within the joint public affairs community. The credentialing is a joint effort involving the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), Defense Media Activity, and the Public Relations Society of America. An APR+M Advisory Council oversees the program for the UAB. The UAB grants APR +M.
What is APR+M?
APR+M is an additional skill identifier attached to the well-established Accredited in Public Relations (APR) credential. The APR+M is awarded to candidates who master knowledge, skills and abilities required for Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) plus additional requirements for joint military public affairs topics. Earning APR+M signifies a professional level of experience and competence within the public relations industry as a whole and an understanding of public affairs activities in joint military operations.
Who is eligible to pursue the APR+M credential?
APR+M candidates must come from three groups:
- Military personnel (active or reserve) whose primary responsibilities lie in military communication-related fields
- Department of Defense civilian employees whose primary responsibilities lie in military communication-related fields
- Department of Defense military contractors, who are members of a UAB participating organization and whose primary responsibilities lie in military communication-related fields.
To begin, download and complete the APR+M application for new candidates. APRs seeking to add Military Communication to their Accreditation, see next question.
If I am already an APR, can I obtain the APR+M credential?
Yes. APRs may pursue the +M program upon application, payment of $75 fee and advancement by the APR+M Readiness Review panel, which requires completion of a specific APR+M questionnaire and portfolio. Maintenance requirements still apply. APRs are not required to take the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations again to earn APR+M.
What is the purpose of Accreditation?
Accreditation unifies and advances the public relations profession. Accreditation identifies practitioners who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the field. Accreditation improves public relations practice. The APR designation signifies a high professional level of experience and competence.
APR+M is designed to improve military public affairs practice, encourage ongoing professional development, and establish a standard of knowledge within the joint public affairs community. APR+M signifies a professional level of experience and competence within the Public Relations industry as a whole plus a uniquely qualified understanding of public affairs activities in joint military operations.
What is the benefit to me if I achieve this APR+M credential?
As with any professional development program, you gain knowledge, skills and abilities above those of your peers, the background and experience to make well-informed decisions, the ability to become a trusted counsel to your commander, and personal and professional recognition within your community. The APR and APR+M designations may be beneficial in terms of jobs and promotion potential and salary (for civilians).
Do I need to be a member of a UAB participating organization to qualify for APR+M?
Military personnel and Department of Defense civilians are not required to maintain a membership within any UAB participating organizations while they earn, use and maintain their APR+M designation. Defense contractors working in a military public affairs capacity must maintain a membership in a UAB participating organization to qualify for APR+M.
When can I apply for APR+M?
Interested candidates may apply for APR+M at any time during the year. We encourage all APR or APR+M candidates to begin their studies and preparations as soon as possible.
What is the fee for APR+M? Can I get reimbursed by the military?
The APR+M Examination fee is $385. The Department of Veterans Affairs pays the cost of a license or certification test for eligible veterans. You may receive reimbursement for the examination if you qualify for:
Additionally, Navy and Army Credentialing Opportunities On Line programs offer funding and may offer promotion points for accreditation for enlisted members. The APR program has been specifically evaluated to match its testing areas with those tested at the Defense Information School. See FAQ for complete details and helpful links.
- Montgomery GI Bill
- Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves
- Reserve Education Assistance Program
- Veterans Educational Assistance Program
- Dependents Educational Assistance Program
Several of UAB’s participating organizations offer their members a rebate for a portion of the Examination fee as a member benefit. check with your organization for specific details on the rebate.
- Florida Public Relations Association offers a $100 rebate to candidates as long as they take the computer-based Examination within 30 days of completing their Readiness Review or with 30 days of completing their chapter study sessions.
- PRSA offers a $110 rebate upon completion of the computer-based Examination.
- Religion communicators Council offers a $100 rebate to candidates upon successful completion of the computer-based Examination if they paid for the process personally.
Congratulations to those who were recently granted APR+M.
In this Section:
APR+M Application (for new candidates)
APR+M Application (for current APRs)
Show What You Know: Earn Your APR+M (PDF)
Brochure about program
APR+M KSAs Tested
These are the additional KSAs tested in the APR+M Readiness Review process. APR+M candidates are also evaluated on the KSAs tested in APR process.
APR+M Readiness Review Candidate Questionnaire
APR+M Study Guide
Candidate Process Chart
Candidates must participate in APR+M Readiness Review process and then pass a computer-based Examination.
This FAQ answers commonly-asked questions about the APR+M program.
Calling all Military Communicators
APR+M Fact Sheet (for military conferences)
Once you obtain APR+M, these are the requirements to maintain the credential.
“We recommended establishment of this program because the military recognizes the value of distinguishing and setting apart our top-notch communication professionals. We also recognized the fact that a process that creates formal guidelines for our top public affairs leaders was in order. This is an important effort to acknowledge the professionalism and expertise of military communicators and the special challenges we face.”
- Capt. David J. Wray
USN, director, Joint Public
Affairs Support Element
"For me, pursuing the APR +M was about advancing my craft as a military communicator. Earning the credential stretched my thinking and increased my credibility as a counselor, communicator and service member. The knowledge, skills, and abilities reinforced through credentialing marry the communicator’s craft to military public affairs through careful consideration of the communication process, the ethics of both communication and the military service, and the business of warfighting. I have no doubt that pursuing the APR+M has made me a better professional and increased my value to the Navy and the Joint Force."
- LCDR Sean Robertson, APR+M
Joint Public Affairs Support
- Douglas Cannon, Ph.D., APR+M
- Sandra G. Arnold, APR+M
- Barbara A. Burfeind, APR+M
- Brook DeWalt, MA, APR
- Jacqueline A. Guthrie, APR+M
- Donald W. Miles, APR+M, Fellow PRSA
- Sean B. Robertson, APR+M
- Richard G. Steele, APR+M
- Kathy Mulvihill (PRSA Staff)
APR+M Readiness Review Score Forms - for APRs (adding +M)
APR+M Readiness Review Score Forms - for "new" candidates