Process

APR Readiness Review
Candidates will sit for a Readiness Review prior to the candidate taking the written portion of the exam, and will replace what has been known as the oral exam. The Readiness Review will include a portfolio review and assessment of the candidate’s readiness to take the Exam. The local Readiness Review panel (comprising of Accredited members) will coach each candidate to determine his or her areas of weakness and help identify specific areas of the body of knowledge in which the candidate should focus further study. The panel will provide candidates with a specific set of textbook references related to these areas. Candidates may not take the written exam until they have advanced from the Readiness Review.

Who conducts the Readiness Review?
A Readiness Review panel consists of three professionals who are Accredited in Public Relations by the Universal Accreditation Board. These are local professionals who are committed to Accreditation, to the process of granting Accreditation and to candidates pursuing the process. Readiness Review panels follow detailed processes and procedures to assure the highest possible levels of support and consistency for all Accreditation candidates.

What role does the candidate play in the Readiness Review?
Candidates are expected to have considered fully their credentials, experience and commitment to Accreditation in embarking on this process and to demonstrate personal leadership throughout the Readiness Review process. Candidates are expected to supply thoughtful responses to the pre-Review questionnaire and to make solid presentations of their capabilities through a portfolio presentation that summarizes their knowledge and experience.

What goes into the portfolio that will be presented in Readiness Review?
Ideally, a portfolio should include evidence of personal knowledge and experience in all aspects of a comprehensive public relations/communications program, from pre-program research through post-implementation evaluation. In cases where individuals other than the candidate performed key functions within the program or campaign being presented, the candidate should be fully prepared to summarize those elements that were conducted by others. If the candidate has no first-hand knowledge of one or more of the elements performed by others – due to being a latecomer to the project, for example – he or she should be prepared to identify what types of activities conceptually would be performed to result in a comprehensive, objective public relations program.

Where will Readiness Reviews be held?
Readiness Reviews will be conducted at a location mutually convenient to the three panelists and the candidate(s) involved in the process.

Who is responsible for managing the Readiness Review process?
Readiness Review panels are recruited and prepared by the local Accreditation chairperson.

How does the Readiness Review connect with the new written Examination?
Based on the design of the new Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, candidates successfully demonstrating competency in the 16 different criteria being evaluated during the Readiness Review are viewed as generally having the essential competencies required to successfully pass the written examination. While no guaranty is expressed or implied, the Readiness Review process has been designed to maximize candidates’ potential for success.

How do I prepare for Readiness Review?
It is suggested that the candidate review the preparation guide for general insight into the Readiness Review process. Then, the candidate should download and answer a series of Readiness Review questions that provide an overview of the candidate to the Readiness Review panel. The Guide to Preparing Your Portfolio supplies recommendations for building the content for the panel’s review.

Candidate’s Instructions for Readiness Review

Candidate’s Written Submission for Readiness Review

Does the Readiness Review Panel grant or deny candidates permission to take the written exam?
No. The panel will review the candidate’s Readiness Review session and support materials and determine her or his readiness using a standardized set of criteria. If the candidate scores a minimum of 32 points and scores at least 1 point (on a range of 0-3 points) in each of the 16 criteria, the panel will recommend to the Universal Accreditation Board that the candidate be advanced to take the written Examination. If the candidate does not receive a recommendation to advance to the written Examination, the panel will recommend areas in which the candidate can strengthen his or her knowledge or understanding in preparation for resubmission for Readiness Review. Whether a candidate is advanced or not advanced to the written Examination, the panel will serve as mentors following readiness assessment activities to assist candidates in further preparation.

Is Readiness Review “graded” on the quality of the presentation made?
While speaking and presentation skills are two of the 16 criteria that Readiness Review seeks to identify in candidates, these two criteria are not weighed any more than the other 14 criteria being sought in the process. Candidates must have a certain minimum level of competency in all 16 criteria to advance through Readiness Review and be approved to take the written Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations.

How are Readiness Review candidates scored?
To be advanced, candidates must earn a total of 32 points across the 16 criteria examined in this process, based on a scoring range of 0 through 3 points. An assessment of “0″ indicates that the candidate was unable to demonstrate any skill in the rated area, “1″ reflects very weak demonstration of skill, “2″ shows acceptable skill in the rated area and “3″ demonstrates exceptional skill in the rated area. Additionally, any candidate receiving a score of 0 in any category cannot be recommended for advancement to the written Examination.

How will I learn whether or not I have advanced through the Readiness Review stage of the process?
The Readiness Review panel will report its recommendation to the Universal Accreditation Board. The candidate will receive a communication from the Board within approximately three weeks, reporting the outcome of the Readiness Review.

How often can a candidate submit to the Readiness Review process?
Candidates may submit as many times as are needed to demonstrate their readiness for the Examination. If a candidate is not recommended for advancement to the written Examination, she or he must wait ninety (90) days from the date of the initial Readiness Review session to submit a request for a subsequent Readiness Review.

If a candidate needs to repeat the Readiness Review process, will he or she sit before the same panelists?
To the fullest extent possible, a different group of Accredited professionals will be compiled for a second or subsequent Readiness Review.

Is there an appeal process, in the event that a candidate disagrees with the result of the Readiness Review?
If a candidate is not deemed as ready to advance to the written examination after two separate Readiness Review sessions, the candidate may request an appeal of the decision from the Universal Accreditation Board.

FPRA APR Rebate
Florida Public Relations Association offers candidates trying to attain their Accreditation in Public Relations a $100 rebate following the candidate’s advancement from the Readiness Review to assist in offsetting the cost of the exam. The cost of the exam is $385, which is paid at the testing center when the candidate sits for the written portion of the test.

To receive your rebate from FPRA, please fill out the form below and mail, along with a copy of either the registration card from the testing center showing payment for the exam, or a copy of your credit card receipt, to FPRA State Office, Attn: Christopher Carroll, APR, CPRC, 40 Sarasota Center Blvd., Suite 107, Sarasota, FL 34240.

FPRA APR Rebate Form (state)

Study Sessions
The Nature Coast Chapter partners with the Ocala Chapter for an eight-week study session each spring for candidates sitting for the APR exam. These sessions combine test-preparation activities, case-study review and group discussions with APR and CPRC member professionals. Study materials, including a PR text book and APR workbook are available for candidates to purchase.

Where do I get study materials?
Effective Public Relations by Cutlip, Center and Broom is the recommended text for the exam. It is available from Vanessa Hammill, APR at:

Books, Books, Books
122 S. Kentucky Ave.
Lakeland, FL 33801
1-877-20-BOOKS
Fax: 863-687-3792

Other study materials may be obtained directly from PRSA. Contact PRSA for more information and to order study materials at 212-995-2230, or by fax at 212-995-0757.

An online study course is available for $195.

For more information about the FPRA examination, visit the Universal Accreditation Board Web site.

 

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