National Credential
Credential: Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)  GI Bill resource
Credentialing Agency: Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) certification is for public relations professionals who assert professional competence, communicate professional expertise and personal and professional dedication and values, and reflect progressive public relations industry practices and high standards. PRSA recommends that APR candidates have at least five years of experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations and have earned either a bachelor's degree in a communication-specific field or have equivalent work experience. Candidates must complete a panel presentation questionnaire, participate in a panel presentation, and pass a written exam.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 3 years

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 46Z Chief Public Affairs NCO MOS most          

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience: 5 years recommended
  • Education
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 3 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
120 Wall St
21st Fl
New York, NY  10005
Phone: (212) 460-1400
Contact Page

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

It is recommended that candidates have at least five years of experience in the full-time practice or teaching of public relations AND have earned either a bachelor’s degree in a communication-specific field (e.g., public relations, journalism, mass communication) OR have equivalent work experience, which includes public relations principles, public relations writing, public relations campaigns, research, ethics and law.

The Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Candidates must be a member of one of the following organizations:

    • Asociacíon de Relacionistas Profesionales de Puerto Rico (ARPPR)
    • California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO)
    • Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA)
    • Maine Public Relations Council (MPRC)
    • National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC)
    • National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA)
    • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
    • Religion Communicators Council (RCC)
    • Southern Public Relations Federation (SPRF)

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

  • Researching, Planning, Implementing and Evaluating Programs (33%)
  • Leading the Public Relations Function (18%)
  • Managing Relationships (15%)
  • Applying Ethics and Law (13%)
  • Managing Issues and Crisis Communications (13%)
  • Understanding Communication Models, Theories and History of the Profession (8%)

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Accreditation in Public Relations (APR)

Renewal Period: 3 years

The Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential has the following recertification information:

  • The APR certification is renewed every three years by paying a fee and accumulating points through continuing education and professional development, professionalism or public service categories. A minimum of ten points is required, including at least five points in the continuing education and professional development category. Additional information is found on the PRSA website.