APR Accreditation

The Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) credential is a mark of distinction for public relations professionals who demonstrate their commitment to the profession and to its ethical practice, and who are selected on the basis of broad knowledge, strategic perspective, experience, and sound professional judgment.

Accreditation elevates the stature of the profession, public relations societies and individual APRs. As employers demand more strategic, sophisticated communications counsel from their public relations staff, there is growing reliance on professional certification as a hiring and promotion criterion, both in the U.S. and abroad.

For information on accreditation, contact PRSA Hawaii Accreditation Co-Chair David Pettinger, APR.


In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the APR program and to support PRSA Hawaii members in pursuing the APR credential, the Hawaii chapter launched a new APR initiative in 2014 that includes annual scholarships for potential candidates and special benefits for current APR members.

APR Scholarship

The PRSA Hawaii APR scholarship program was established to encourage and support qualified public relations professionals in Hawaii to pursue the APR credential by providing financial assistance and resources. The APR is the only certification for public relations practitioners and recognizes significant knowledge, skills, and abilities in the practice of public relations.

Up to four scholarships of $500 each will be awarded annually to help recipients cover the expenses associated with the APR certification process. Disbursement is made in two increments:

  1. A check for $250 upon the chapter’s approval of the recipient’s scholarship application. This covers the majority of the $385 cost of the APR application to PRSA National.
  2. A check for $250 upon the chapter’s receipt of the notice from PRSA National that the scholarship recipient has passed the APR exam.

The recipient will also receive a $110 rebate from PRSA National upon completion of the APR exam.

The deadline to submit applications for the 2017 PRSA Hawaii APR Scholarship is Monday, July 31, 2017. Qualifying applications will be approved and scholarships awarded on a first-come, first-served basis


Recipients of the PRSA Hawaii APR Scholarship must:

Scholarship recipients who do not meet or maintain the above requirements, or who choose not to continue pursuing the credential for any reason will be required to reimburse the chapter for any amounts previously paid If the scholarship recipient is unable to complete the APR computer-based examination during the eligibility period, the scholarship recipient will be responsible for any deadline extension costs required by UAB. Reimbursement will not be required or expected if the recipient takes the APR exam and does not pass.

Complete the PRSA Hawaii 2017 APR Scholarship Application and submit it to PRSA Hawaii Accreditation Co-Chair David Pettinger, APR.



To apply for accreditation, which is voluntary, a candidate must be a member of PRSA. It is recommended that the candidate also have at least five years of paid, full-time experience in the professional practice of Public Relations, or in the teaching or administration of Public Relations courses at an accredited college or university.


Candidates must make a 1-2 hour presentation during a Panel Presentation session with three accredited Public Relations professionals. As of March 1, 2017, Panel Presentation sessions will be held twice annually, on a Saturday. The next session will take place in the fall.

Candidates who successfully pass the session are notified within a month that they can then proceed taking an online, multiple choice exam. The results are shared with the candidate within a few weeks after taking the exam.


Every three years, professionals accredited after January 1, 1993 must accumulate the required number of points in continuing education, professionalism or service categories to maintain their accreditation. This further strengthens the value of the credential and keeps APRs actively involved in the currents of the profession.

For more information, check out the PRSA National APR Resource page.


PRSA Hawaii members who have earned the APR credential are eligible for special discounted rates for monthly professional development programs, awards entry fees, and other events and activities. Watch for event announcements to get specific details.

Current PRSA Hawaii APR Members