APR Accreditation

APR 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 Chair Kristen Bonilla, 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

Up to five scholarships of $500 each will be awarded annually to PRSA Hawaii chapter members pursuing the APR credential. The scholarship is to cover the fees associated with the APR examination process, including the application fee and the online study course fee.

Recipients of the PRSA Hawaii APR Scholarship must:

The deadline to apply for the 2015 scholarship is Monday, August 31, 2015. Complete the PRSA Hawaii 2015 APR Scholarship Application and submit it to PRSA Hawaii Accreditation Chair Kristen Bonilla, APR.


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.




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 Readiness Review session with three accredited Public Relations professionals. Candidates who successfully pass the Review are notified within a month that they can then proceed taking an on-line 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.