We caught-up with APR chief examiner Dr. Graeme Sterne (Senior Lecturer, MIT) who was also inducted as a Fellow at the recently held 2012 PRINZ Awards event. Here are some insights from him on how the New Zealand APR programme works and why it is beneficial for PR practitioners.
What is the career value in getting accreditation in public relations?
APR is a voluntary qualification and so its greatest value lies in the fact that each candidate has demonstrated initiative and commitment to professional standards – something that we can confidently discuss with employers at interview time and will help gain attention of the CEOs about the programme.
What significance does the PRINZ APR hold in professional practice?
A true professional is committed to standards without being legislated to do so. They operate from self-generated commitment to professional development and show willingness to be accountable for high standards of performance. APR represents peer recognition that a practitioner possesses the knowledge, skills and attributes to be an accredited PR practitioner.
How rigorous is the process and what is the level of commitment involved from a candidate’s point of view?
The process involves an initial selection procedure by PRINZ followed by three written assessments and an exam and finally a panel interview with senior practitioners. It requires a high level of written, verbal, strategic and intellectual skill. Each candidate has to be able to integrate theory with practice and demonstrate their competence in the profession as measured by senior practitioners.
What would you say is the main benefit in doing APR?
There are several benefits of APR – the stimulus of peer interaction, the challenge of marshalling your thoughts in written form; the exposure to a wider range of expressions of PR; insights into areas that a practitioner may not know much about; the chance to measure yourself against industry standards; the ultimate satisfaction of knowing that you are an accredited practitioner.
What do you most enjoy about the chief examiner’s role?
I love the exposure to talented practitioners from all over the country. It is a privilege to be part of practitioner development and I enjoy offering feedback that can be used for their growth and development, The role challenges me to stay sharp and to keep integrating theory with practice.
The 2012 APR applications close on Friday, 18 May. To find out more about the programme or to apply, click here.