Universal Accreditation Board
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The Universal Accreditation Board is an organization that issues professional certifications for public relations professionals. As of 2012, there are more than 5,000 public relations professionals who hold the APR (Accredited in public relations) certification, which program began in 1964.
The accreditation process is designed for professionals with five or more years of industry experience. To earn the APR, candidates first must complete a written submission to a series of questions on professional experience, their company or organization and readiness to complete the program. If the written submission is approved, the candidate schedules a readiness review with a panel of seasoned public relations professionals and presents a portfolio of work. The final element is successfully passing a computer-based examination, which tests the candidate on knowledge, skills and abilities in the practice of public relations. Those who earn the accreditation can retain the designation for life. However, every three years APRs must complete a maintenance application that details qualifying professional development activities, as well as keep current membership in one UAB member organization.