Accreditation in Public Relations + Military Communication (APR+M)
The new credentialing effort to provide public affairs and communication certification for military, contractor, and Department of Defense public communication professionals launched May 26, 2010. This program is a joint effort between the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), Joint Public Affairs Support Element (JPASE), and the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). An APR+M Advisory Council has been established by the UAB to oversee and manage the new program, while the UAB grants APR +M.
What is APR+M?
The Accreditation in Public Relations + Military Communication (APR+M) is an enhanced certification from the well-established APR. The mark will be awarded to candidates who master the Accredited In Public Relations (APR) KSAs plus joint public affairs relevant topics. APR+M signifies someone who meets all the qualifications of Accreditation in Public Relations (APR), PLUS a rigorous course of study surrounding military public affairs in joint operations.
Who is eligible to pursue the APR+M credential?
APR+M Candidates must meet one of the two following requirements:
- Military personnel (active or reserve) and 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.
Can I obtain the APR+M credential if I am already an APR?
Yes. Our APR Champions – those already Accredited and committed to professional development – may pursue the +M program upon application, payment of $75 fee and advancement by the Readiness Review panel, which includes the questionnaire and portfolio. Maintenance requirements still apply. APR Champions who have already achieved the APR are not required to take the computer-based Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations again.
What is the purpose of Accreditation?
The purpose is to unify and advance the Public Relations profession by identifying those who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the field. The program seeks to improve public relations practice. The designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) signifies a high professional level of experience and competence.
The award of APR+M is designed to improve the profession of military public affairs, encourage ongoing professional development, and established a standard of knowledge consistency within the joint public affairs community. It signifies a professional level of experience and competence within the Public Relations industry as a whole, coupled with 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 ability to become a trusted counsel to the commander with the background and experience to make well-informed decisions, and personal and professional recognition within your community. The APR and APR+M designations may be beneficial to you 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 of the UAB’s participating organizations while they earn, use and maintain their APR+M designation. Defense contractors working in a military public affairs capacity must still maintain a membership in a UAB participating organization in order 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 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:
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.
- Montgomery GI Bill
- Montgomery GI Bill for Selected Reserves
- Reserve Education Assistance Program
- Veterans Educational Assistance Program
- Dependents Educational Assistance Program
- Additionally, Navy and Army Credentialing Opportunities On Line (COOL) 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.
- FPRA 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.
- RCC 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)
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