Sam Waltz, APR, Fellow PRSA was Accredited in Public Relations in 1991, and he was elected a Fellow PRSA in 1995.
Accreditation is the process that the Professional Services Industry uses to establish, evaluate and recognize Professional Competency, and to promote it. Most professions have some sort of “credential” program such as Accreditation, such as the CPA in the Public Accounting industry or Board-Certified in the Medical Industry, LEED certified in the Green Industry, or AIA in Architecture.
While no claim should be made against a professional who has not earned a credential, prospective clients of any firm should look for Accreditation among its vendors and suppliers, ask firm representatives about it, learn about what it means to the prospective client in terms of professionalism and commitment to ethics, and seek it out in a critical supplier, whenever they can.
Strategic Communications Industry Accreditation
In the Strategic Communications, Public Relations, Public Affairs, Government Relations and Marketing industries, Accreditation is a voluntary certification program co-sponsored by more than a dozen industry professional societies and administered by the Universal Accreditation Board (UAB), committed to improving professional practices and ethics in the Industry.
Successful completion of the Accreditation process results in the awarding of the designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) to qualified professionals.
Successfully completing the Accreditation examinations indicates that a professional has demonstrated broad knowledge, experience and professional judgment in the field.
The designation Accredited in Public Relations (APR) signifies a high professional level of experience and competence. Perhaps 5,000 of the estimated 250,000 professionals in the field maintain the APR Accreditation.
What’s A Fellow?
The College of Fellows was established by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) National Assembly in 1990 to honor seasoned practitioners and educators who have made significant contributions to the profession.
Criteria for admission to the College of Fellows includes: Accredited PRSA membership, have practiced or taught public relations for 20 years or more, demonstrated exceptional capability as a practitioner or educator, exhibited personal and professional qualities that serve as a role model for other practitioners and educated and advanced the state of the profession through unusual and exceptional contributions to the field of public relations.
Perhaps 500 living professionals are elected Fellow PRSA, most likely only about 250 of them yet working full-time in the profession, and Sam Waltz was in the 6th class so-elected 2 decades ago!