Accreditation Webinar explains Credentials and Reunites Professionals

By Patrícia Garcia Lopes, Student Liaison –  CPRS Manitoba

Your Next PR Step – Questions and Answers Zoom session on Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Whether you are a new PR practitioner or a seasoned communicator, getting your professional credentials is always a smart move to widen the scope of your opportunities. It is a way of having your skills and your talent recognized by official bodies within your field, which can open many doors in the future, wherever you decide to work. For those who are traversing a new career path or having a fresh start in a brand-new place, having the backing of certification is highly recommended. But how do they work and how can we obtain our credentials?

CPRS Manitoba came together with CPRS Regina on November 23 for an Accreditation Webinar, open to students and communicators. Conducted by Monique Chenier, APR, Vice-President of Manitoba’s chapter, the online event gathered generations of professionals with different levels of certifications, to give step-by-step explanations on our certification processes. In a light and dynamic conversation, four professionals from different provinces shared their stories, their tips and their experience on getting their CPRS credentials.

For Charlie McDougall BA, MA, APR (CPRS Manitoba), the last year was a challenging (double) adventure. Willing to test his communication skills and obtain his first certification, McDougall started studying for the Public Relations Knowledge (PRK) exam at the beginning of 2020. Some months later, right after passing the exam, he decided not to put the breaks on the study routine he developed over months of preparation and embarked on the next step of his career. By the end of 2021, McDougall became one of the most recent professionals to obtain his APR credentials, along with CPRS MB Board Member Erin Girouard, APR. Erin, who also shared her path in obtaining her APR credentials with the attendees, motivated the participants to study and pursue their certifications. “If you are a new professional or if you have years of experience, you can always benefit from these certifications”, she comments, “It can be a lot of work to get prepared, but it is all worth it in the end”.

The event also had the participation of Alex Sevigny Ph.D., APR (CPRS Hamilton), Chief Examiner for National Accreditation in the Public Relations Program at CPRS National. He gave precious tips to our participants on preparing for the exams, and on what the steps previous to applying for the tests look like. “Your preparation for the APR exam may start even one year before the date of the test. You have to study, you have to prepare your portfolio, you have to show your work so far. For those who are starting, it may take some time”, he explains.

To close such a rich reunion, we had the word of Robert W. Ellis APR, FCPRS LM (CPRS Regina). Ellis is a long-time participant in the CPRS and was part of the National Board for 7 years. In 2002, was accepted into the College of Fellows, the highest honour awarded by the CPRS. His inspiring story and his love for his profession were heartfelt messages for the students and professionals participating in the session.

As a testament to our investment and support to the members, the special guests were eager to lend their help and knowledge to those starting out and offered the right tools to improve professionally.

The cost of applying for APR® designation is $495.00 CAD +HST. Payment must be submitted and received at the National Office on or before Dec. 1* of each year. The application deadline for the 2022 cycle has been extended to February 28, 2022. 

Aside from the payment due date, there are many other important dates APR applicants will want to remember throughout the year.