APR Candidate Process Chart for Accreditation in Public Relations

Step 1. Plan and Apply

  1. Initiate process whenever you want.
  2. Submit application form and payment ($385) to the Universal Accreditation Board.
  3. Receive notification of eligibility from UAB within four weeks.
  4. Plan how you will proceed. Remember that you have one year from the date you receive UAB authorization to participate and advance through the Panel Presentation and complete the computer-based Examination.
  5. Access Preparation Resources, e.g., APR Study Guide, Online Study Course ($195), Candidate's Instructions for Panel Presentation, Short Bookshelf, local prep courses, mentoring programs, etc.

Step 2. Use Coaching, Mentoring, Support Services

  1. Request coaching, mentoring or other support services through your local APR Chair as you desire.
  2. Refresh your knowledge, skills and abilities by reviewing the general text of your choice and one or more of the specialized books from the Short Bookshelf.
  3. Use the body of knowledge and preparation resources to fill gaps in your knowledge, skills and abilities, e.g., areas where your experience is limited.

Step 3. Complete Panel Presentation Questionnaire

  1. Download Panel Presentation Candidate Questionnaire.
  2. 2.Select a public relations plan you have written that reflects your experience, and complete the Questionnaire at your own discretion.
  3. Submit copies of the questionnaire to local APR Chair a minimum of 15 business days before your scheduled Panel Presentation date.

Step 4. Participate in Panel Presentation 

  1. Present your portfolio. Respond to interview questions, and allow one-to-two hours for your session.
  2. Panelists score your knowledge, skills and abilities in 12 areas.
  3. UAB notifies you to Advance/Not Advance to the computer-based Examination within 3-4 weeks.
  4. If you Advance, you receive your candidate ID# to use to schedule the computer-based Examination.
  5. If you do not Advance, you can repeat Panel Presentation after 90 days. You can appeal the result to the UAB after two re-takes of the Panel Presentation.

Step 5. Scheduled Your Computer-Based Examination

  1. Schedule computer-based Examination at a Prometric testing center by using your candidate ID# at www.prometric.com/uab.
  2. Remember that Prometric experiences peak demand June - August and October - December. During these times, Prometric recommends that you schedule your appointment at least 30 days in advance of your preferred date.

Step 6. Take the Computer-Based Examination

  1. Use as much of the time available as you want to complete the Examination.
  2. Receive immediate but unofficial pass/did not pass result and feedback on your strengths and weaknesses in tested knowledge, skills and abilities.
  3. Receive official pass or fail notice from UAB within 3-4 weeks.
  4. If you pass, the Universal Accreditation Board will grant Accreditation.
  5. Receive notice from your APR Chair of presentation and/or celebration event that your local organization may plan.
  6. If you must retake the Examination, submit payment ($200) and request a new candidate ID# from UAB. Repeat steps #2, #5 and #6.
It Takes A PRo. The APR is a test - and testament - of your professional expertise, ethics, and personal commitment to the public relations industry. Take the first step. Download your Quick Start Guide today.


For me, the APR process confirmed my knowledge, skills and abilities in public relations, and it has helped ensure that all plans I create are anchored in measureable objectives, strategies and tactics.

Andrea Farmer, APR
Associate Director, Strategic Initiatives
Indianapolis, Indiana

Going through the APR process strengthened my knowledge and skills as a public relations professional. It honed my ability to communicate public relations theory and practice, and improved my confidence as a professional at the leadership table. There is no doubt in my mind the APR is an invaluable investment in a PR practitioner’s career. 

JaclynSwords photoJaclyn Swords, APR
Director, Communications & Community Relations
Eden Prairie Schools
Minneapolis, Minn.



Have your own APR story to tell?  Email accred@prsa.org.