Requirements to sit PRINZ APR
Applicants are required to outline their PR experience and identify two referees who will be contacted by PRINZ. Once the applications have been assessed, you will be notified as to whether you have successfully enrolled or been deferred to another year. Deferment is usually due to a need for more breadth or depth of experience.The programme runs from June to November. The maximum class size will be 25.
APR is open to PRINZ members with at least five years' experience working in the public relations industry. To meet Accreditation entry requirements, candidates must be working at a level where they are managing projects and/or people. As a guide candidates should be working at or above a communication adviser (in-house) or account manager (consultancy) position.
Upon applying you are asked to include two referees, one being a PRINZ member. The PRINZ office then speaks to at least one of the referee to ascertain you are at a level able to undertake APR and ready to complete the programme. If it is decided you aren't quite ready, you'll be asked to reapply the following year.
Demonstrating your level of practice
The application form asks you to briefly outline three projects you have worked on. These are not judged in any way, they simply demonstrate your level of practice allowing the office to ensure your readiness for APR. You will also be asked to attach an up-to-date CV.
Body of Knowledge
The APR programme is designed to refresh and 'test' candidates' understanding across the entire body of knowledge of PR/Communications. It is understood that some practitioners work exclusively in a specific area; however, the APR coursework and seminars are designed to encourage people to develop an understanding of the other parts of PR and Communication Management.
A two-day seminar around the Body of Knowledge is organised in Auckland as the one opportunity for the 'class' to meet. If you are outside Auckland you are required to travel to this at your own cost. Speakers will provide presentations and workshops in the following areas:
- Internal communications
- Investor relations
- Community relations
- Government communications
- Marketing communications
Assignments and coursework
The aim of the assignments and coursework is to spread your effort over a five-month preparatory period before the exam. Each assignment also provides practice at presenting answers for the written exam and Viva Voce and provides feedback on how those answers are likely to be assessed. This will be of particular value to people who have not undertaken formal education for some time.
The fee for APR 2017 is $1200+GST and you will be invoiced upon acceptance into the programme. Payment is due early June. The candidate's membership must be up-to-date and valid for the application to be considered and APR to be completed.
The amount of time you need to spend reading and studying depends on your professional and educational experience. This includes roughly 12 hours of workshops, up to 40 hours on assignments, and four hours of exams (excluding study time).
A mentor, who is a senior PRINZ member, can be made available to assist you through the APR process but it should be noted that each APR candidate is responsible for building and maintaining that relationship.
As a starting point you need to determine what assistance (if any) you may need. Once this is done arrange to meet with your mentor and talk through the APR process. Mentors can be particularly helpful in assisting you with ideas and content for your assignments.