There are six basic steps in the APR process.
1. Apply for eligibility from the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) and prepare
You may take the APR exam if you have at least 5 years of paid experience in the full-time practice of public relations or in the teaching of PR and have earned a bachelor's degree in a communications field. Equivalent work experience can be considered.
2. Use coaching, mentoring, and study group and support services
By far, the best resource for accreditation is the UAB Accreditation Web Site. TSPRA strongly recommends that you visit www.praccreditation.org and work through the many resources offered.
3. Complete Readiness Review Questionnaire
You must complete a portfolio for the review panel. The purpose of the portfolio and presentation of it to the panel is to provide evidence of your use and understanding of public relations planning, execution and evaluation. Details are included on the UAB site.
4. Participate in Readiness Review
TSPRA will offer at least one, and perhaps two opportunities to participate in Readiness Review this year. You can also present to a Readiness Review panel set up by your local Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) chapter. You must pass this review before taking the APR examination.
5. Schedule your computer based examination at Prometric Testing Services
This company offers testing sites in most major metropolitan areas. This is the only place you can take the exam. You can check for their locations on their web site: www.prometric.com or telephone 800-274-1900. Once you receive authorization from UAB, you have one year to take the examination.
6. Take the computer based examination
The exam is a multiple choice format and takes about 3 hours to complete. The cost for the Readiness Review and Exam is $385. Preparation and studying is critical to success. The UAB offers both an online study course ($195) and other excellent resources. You might also try a study group with folks from your area.