Letter to Editor

I read with great interest your story "Professional Accreditation: Does It Push the Needle?" [PR News, October 2, 2006]. I am delighted that you have brought attention to the accreditation process, but I would like to address two concerns. First, you seem to group the ABC and APR designations under a single banner, although they are completely separate. The ABC is the only internationally consistent designation in public relations and organizational communication. The method of testing to obtain the APR designation I hold from the Canadian Public Relations Society is different from the APR held by members of the Public Relations Society of America. And what is done in North America is different than what occurs in South Africa or other parts of the world. On the other hand, the ABC designation I hold as a Canadian is virtually identical to that held by IABC members [throughout the world]. There are some differences to account for language or culture, but the standard is the same. My second concern is that your article did not mention an important step in the ABC process, the portfolio submission. Candidates for accreditation must submit two work plans (and accompanying work samples) to demonstrate that they understand the importance of establishing time-bound and measurable behavioral objectives for communication efforts that support the organization's goals and objectives. Without passing this stage of the process, candidates are not eligible to take the written and oral examinations. Sincerely, Eric Bergman, ABC, APR Chair, IABC International Accreditation Council

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