CPRS Accreditation (APR) is a voluntary certification program for public relations professionals that is administered by the Canadian Public Relations Society and identifies practitioners who have depth of experience and competence in the professional practice of public relations.
APR is a respected measure of professional experience in the field of Canadian public relations. The program recognizes the dedication, energy, perseverance and competence of successful public relations professionals.
CPRS members who wish to pursue the accreditation process must satisfy the following eligibility requirements:
- You are a member in good standing of the Canadian Public Relations Society
- You have been employed full-time in a public relations position for at least five years; and
- You spend at least half of your professional time involved in public relations activities.
Candidates must complete an Accreditation application (due December 1st every year) which is available through the National Office. The examinations, offered in French and English, consist of three parts: a review of a work sample (due April 1st), a written examination and an oral examination (October). The application deadline for the 2022 cycle has been extended to February 28, 2022.
The exams are designed to test the breadth and depth of a candidate’s public relations experience and ability. The goals of CPRS National Council on Accreditation are to assure professional competence; establish standards for professional practice; increase recognition for the profession within business organizations and the community, and influence the future direction of the profession.
See what CPRS Manitoba board member Lorne Kletke, APR, had to say about his accreditation process in our blog.
For more details on accreditation, contact: Jason Small, APR, Manitoba Accreditation Director by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Public Relations Knowledge (PRK) exam
The Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® exam is the first standardized public relations exam in Canada. The PRK was launched in January, 2013.
Those who successfully complete the PRK exam bring tangible evidence of their knowledge and readiness for the workplace as they begin or build their career in public relations. This two hour exam is written online and comprises multiple choice, short answer and editing exercises. The bulk of the exam covers workplace readiness and strategic analysis. There is also some focus on general public relations history, theory and concepts, and the fundamentals of practice. A transcript containing the final grade and a grade for each section is provided to each participant.
You are not required to be a member of CPRS to write the exam. If you are interested in joining and are eligible for Affiliate membership, you have to opportunity to do so at a rate that is reduced from the full national membership level.
To find the most up-to-date information on PRK, including exam dates and locations, visit the PRK portion of CPRS National’s website.
The Readiness Program is available for purchase to support preparation for the Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® Examination. Participants will receive guidance on where to focus efforts and will have several opportunities to ask questions and gain information.
There are three components to the Readiness Program:
1. Preparation Guide
- objectives and benefits of the exam
- the PRK Process: what to expect
- exam details and structure
- suggested reading references
The webinar is a live forum where participants can ask questions of the exam developer, the Chief Grader and members of CPRS. Shortly following the date of the webinar, an archived version is made available for viewing and listening.
3. Online discussion forum
Prior to the exam date, an interactive online forum provides the opportunity for participants to post questions, provide comments and connect with fellow participants and PRK experts.
No Refund Policy: In the event of cancellation or failure to appear at the exam, CPRS does not provide a refund. If a request for deferral is provided 10 working days in advance of the exam, the participant will be permitted a one-time deferral to write at the session immediately following the one in which the participant deferred.
|Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® exam||$150||$19.50||$169.50|
|Total for both Readiness Program and PRK exam||$250||$32.50||$282.50|
What this means to employers
Résumés are necessary tools that describe a candidate’s education, work experience and achievements. But how do you evaluate workplace readiness related to judgement, critical thinking and writing skills? The Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® can help by:
- offering a professional tool to guide you to the best candidates who may be graduating students or those new to the profession
- instilling confidence based on the knowledge that seasoned professionals have pre-screened key workplace proficiencies such as writing, judgment and ability to work in teams
- providing a tool that can be used to benchmark your employees and gearing training to their own needs.
The Public Relations Knowledge (PRK)® exam will be of interest to you if you are:
- a student ready to graduate from a public relations program and want to differentiate yourself in the job market
- considering a career shift into public relations and need to demonstrate your PR knowledge
- hiring for junior public relations positions and are concerned about the risk of a false hire
- teaching in a public relations program and want to provide the guidance students seek.
For more details on accreditation, contact: David Hultin, APR, Manitoba Accreditation Director by email at email@example.com.