Top 10 Reasons to Seek Accreditation
Membership is voluntary and is restricted to individuals (not firms) who are engaged in the practice of public relations on behalf of business and industrial concerns, consulting firms, trade and professional associations, governments, educational institutions, health and welfare organizations and other similar endeavours.
To be eligible for membership in the Canadian Public Relations Society, applicants must
- devote most of their work-for-pay time to the practice of public relations;
- have a degree in public relations; or
- be a career teacher or administer engaged in public relations/communications education at an accredited post secondary institution.
Review the information on the following pages to determine what level of membership best suits your needs and experience.
Accreditation improves career opportunities and advancement
A scan of the career advertisements or the CPRS job postings will show you that membership in a professional association and accreditation are increasingly valued by HR folks and employers when seeking qualified PR people.
Accreditation prepares you for greater on-the-job-responsibilities
The accreditation process is a self-directed professional development activity that will broaden your knowledge of communications management and strategy and will stand you in good stead when pursuing increased responsibility and the satisfaction and remuneration that goes with it.
Accreditation improves earnings potential
North American studies of accredited communicators indicate some difference in earnings between those who are accredited and those who are not. Of course this could also be because those who pursue accreditation are also successful in their careers.
Accreditation demonstrates your commitment to the profession
In a hiring situation, if all else is equal, accreditation may tip the scales in your favour because it demonstrates a high level of commitment and engagement with your career.
Accreditation improves skills and knowledge
As mentioned before, the accreditation process is a self-directed professional development activity that sets a pattern for continued development once accredited such as a marker or judge. One recent candidate in Edmonton said receiving her accreditation was almost a bonus because she had gotten so much out of the study process.
Accreditation reflects achievement
Accreditation is not easy – but it is very rewarding. If you can take on the responsibility of achieving accreditation you can take on many tasks and be counted on to succeed.
Accreditation builds self-esteem
Whether you are mid-career or a senior practitioner, a professional designation helps to empower and to affirm and helps to remind you of your talent, skills and abilities. Accreditation is all about being judged by your peers – a tough crowd but a rewarding accomplishment.
Accreditation enhances the professional image
You can debate what constitutes a profession, and indeed, whether or not public relations is a profession. What appears to be true is that the practice of PR is enhanced through things like a Code of Professional Standards, research, a body of knowledge and accreditation programs.
Accreditation establishes professional credentials
CA, CAPP, CMA, CIPS, CHRP – there are many other professions and occupations in the marketplace and work world today and the number is growing. Having APR behind your name doesn’t make you a better person but it does signify you take your career seriously and that you’ve earned a place at the management table with the dominant coalition, as Grunig and Grunig would say.
Accreditation offers greater professional recognition from peers
When I received my APR this spring a number of people, both inside and outside of PR and communications congratulated me and recognized this as an accomplishment – much the same as when you graduate from this program. Being an APR comes when responsibilities to CPRS, to the PR profession and to the community but it also comes with professional recognition from peers and others.
For more information on CPRS accreditation, contact our CPRS Calgary Accreditation Chair.
I am working in the United States and my accreditation is recognized by the Public Relations Society of America as well as by my colleagues, who understand that earning an APR designation demonstrates a commitment to accreditation – it will open doors you might not even know exist yet!”
Lorelei Piotto, APR