Accreditation in Public Relations

Universal Accreditation Board Welcomes National Association of Government Communicators

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Universal Accreditation Board (UAB) members are very excited to welcome the National Association of Government Communicators to the now nine-member consortium of public relations professional organizations. NAGC was founded in 1976 and serves 350–400 members in a variety of government public affairs and related positions in federal, tribal, state and local government agencies. NAGC representative Laura Kirkpatrick, APR, met with the UAB for the first time during our April board meeting.

We’re confident this will be an excellent partnership for the NAGC and all UAB participating organizations. The NAGC wants to expand professional development opportunities for its members, and NAGC leaders believe the Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) certification will serve them well. For our part, we want to work in tandem with additional professional organizations to bring the certification program to as many public relations practitioners as possible.

UAB participating organizations work together to manage the APR and related programs by developing and implementing policies, developing and maintaining the Examination for Accreditation in Public Relations, reviewing appeal cases and granting Accreditation. The Universal Accreditation Board was formed in 1998 through agreements with the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Agricultural Relations Council, Florida Public Relations Association, and Southern Public Relations Federation. Since that time, other longtime member professional organizations also have joined: Asociación de Relacionistas Profesionales de Puerto Rico, Maine Public Relations Council, National School Public Relations Association, and Religion Communicators Council.

One of the most fulfilling professional affiliations I’ve had is serving on the Universal Accreditation Board. When we feel strongly that something is valuable, we want to share with others who can benefit from the same experiences. Bonding together with other professionals allows us to continue learning, building networks and enhancing the profession.

The UAB initiated conversations with several other public relations associations in recent months, and we are eager to add more groups in the coming year. In addition, we have developed three questions to demonstrate why public relations organizations should join the UAB. In essence, earning the APR through the UAB provides members with professional development opportunities, allows practitioners to set themselves apart with a well-known credential and provides connections with over 25,000 members in participating organizations. Working collaboratively through the UAB  provides more strength for all; and many of our UAB leaders are members of multiple affiliated professional organizations.

Please contact me at any time if you have questions or know of an organization that can benefit from UAB membership. We can always add more chairs to the table for additional colleagues!

Dr. John E. Forde, APR, Fellow PRSA

Immediate Past Chair of Universal Accreditation Board

Cell: (662) 312-5031




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John E. Forde, APR, Fellow PRSA

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