What is APR – and why should I do it?

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) is an internationally recognised qualification achieved by public relations professionals who have demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional and ethical judgement.

Earning the APR demonstrates your mastery of strategic communications practice and a commitment to lifelong learning and ethical standards. Attaining this valuable distinction is a personal and professional achievement that can lead you to the next level in your career.

Graduates of the APR programme are entitled to use the postnominal APR.

What does the APR programme involve?

The APR programme is designed to refresh and ‘test’ candidates’ understanding across the entire body of knowledge of PR/Communications practice. It is understood that some professionals work exclusively in a specific area; however, the APR coursework and seminars are designed to encourage people to develop an understanding of the entire PR and Communication Management framework.

The programme comprises:

‘Capabilities Framework’ workshop:
This two-day workshop will be held in Auckland and  is an opportunity for candidates to meet and build a support network. 

Three written assignments: (two worth 10% and one worth 20%)
The aim of the assignments and coursework is to spread your effort over a five-month preparatory period before the exam. Each assignment also provides practice at presenting answers for the written exam and viva voce oral exam and provides feedback on how those answers are likely to be assessed. This will be of particular value to people who have not undertaken formal education for some time.

You will be allocated an experienced mentor who holds APR to support you through the programme. Mentors can be particularly helpful in assisting you with ideas and content for your assignments.

Exams: a written exam (worth 25%) and oral exam (viva voce, worth 35%).
A half day exam workshop will be held in areas with three or more candidates, where the chief examiner will talk about the exam, assignments, viva voce and answer any other questions you have.

Prior to the exam a video call is held to discuss any final questions. Mentors are invited to attend this.
The exam and Viva Voce will be held in centres where at least three candidates can get together. If there are not three candidates in one location, you will need to travel to the nearest host centre at your own cost.

Additional recommended courses:
It is highly recommended that all APR candidates complete the two day ‘PR Strategy and Evaluation Course’. This course is not mandatory but is highly recommend as it covers the fundamentals of PR strategy, planning, research, measurement and evaluation, and will be invaluable to your APR assignments. APR candidates receive a 40% discount on this course.

What is the time commitment involved in APR?

The amount of time you need to spend reading and studying depends on your professional and educational experience. In general, candidates should expect to allocate around 50-60 hours across the programme to study, writing assignments and preparing for exams. This includes roughly 12 hours of workshops, up to 40 hours on assignments, and four hours of exams (excluding study time).

I’m thinking about applying for APR… do I have enough experience?

APR is designed to validate the breadth and depth of your capabilities. It is recommended that you have at least five-eight years’ experience working in public relations and communications management industry and have managed people and/or projects. As a guide, candidates should be working at or above a communication adviser (in-house) or account manager (consultancy) position.

You are required to submit an up-to-date copy of your CV and completed APR Application Form including contact details for two referees (ideally PRINZ members). On the application form you will also need to briefly outline three projects you have managed or worked on.

This information will help the APR governance team to validate your readiness for APR and confirm you have the potential to successfully complete the APR programme.

When is graduation?

Graduation takes place at the annual PRINZ Awards Gala Dinner of the following year.

Is APR recognised outside of New Zealand?

APR is a recognised industry qualification in a number of countries including Australia, Canada, South Africa and the UK and USA.

Do I need to travel to Auckland to do APR?

Yes. The Capabilities Framework workshop is held over two days in Auckland. It is highly desirable that all candidates attend this in person which is the one time the entire ‘class’ is together.

Exam workshops and locations for the exam and Viva Voce depend on numbers. All travel expenses are the responsibility of the candidate.

I can’t make all the dates, does this matter?

Yes it does, the schedule is timed carefully in advance and cannot be altered. It may be better that you defer your enrolment by a year to be able to take part.

Does anyone fail APR?

Yes this can happen. There is a process to resit the viva voce exam and assistance will be provided to help a candidate work on the areas that need attention in order to pass.

How much does it cost?
The course fee for the 2024 APR programme is $2195 + GST

If you have any further questions regarding the APR programme, please contact us +64 9 358 9808 or email us.