Why You Should Be An Accredited Member of the IPRS?

Ms K Bhavani, Advisor of the IPRS Accreditation Board and Past President of IPRS explains how employers would get better professional proficiency when they hire Accredited Professionals.


- Accreditation is a symbol of professionalism 

Q. What is the Accreditation Scheme?

The Institute of Public Relations of Singapore (IPRS), established in 1970 as a non-profit organisation, is the only accrediting body for public relations practitioners.

The main objectives of the Accreditation Scheme are to:

  • a. recognize prominent and experienced PR professionals and allow other practitioners to attain professional standing.
  • b. raise the level of professionalism in the PR practice in Singapore.
  • c. provide a formal certification.

The accreditation programme is based on qualification and relevant experience. Experience is the key factor. Senior professionals with between five to eight years of full-time experience in the professional practice and had a relevant degree are asked to attend an interview session. They are interviewed by a panel comprising leaders in the PR industry as well as academics.

Q. What are the advantages of hiring Accreditation PR professionals?

A. An Accredited PR Professional has demonstrated broad knowledge, experience, and professional judgment in the field. The main objective of an accreditation programme is to provide professional recognition and formal certification to prominent and experienced PR professionals. This means that employers can be assured of a certain degree of professional proficiency in hiring such PR professionals.

These individuals would have been accessed by independent panels made up of fellow eminent industry practitioners before being awarded with the accredited status.

The Accredited status would become a symbol of professionalism and competence. This is especially important for hires at key strategic management level.

The Singapore PR and communication professionals should be comparable to other accredited professionals in the matured markets such as the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada. The PR and communications profession is getting much more attention especially with the challenging political, economic, social and environmental trends. Many graduates joined the profession. Journalists have moved over to the dark side as they claim.

With increasing globalization and international competition, it is essential that public relations professionals sharpen their business focus and skills to become a more critical partner and consultant to their organizations or clients.

Well-thought-out strategic plans now replace front-line tactics, and the PR professionals are called upon to work at higher levels of management with the need for higher skill levels and creativity.

Q. How would Accreditation help to improve the quality of PR profession to international standards?

We believe that as more of our PR practitioners get accredited, it would invariably help raise the level of professionalism to compete in the international arena.

The accreditation scheme helps to set international benchmark standards for Public Relations practitioners in Singapore. This is an effort to raise the bar in the quality and standard of PR practice in Singapore. The IPRS does not stand alone in its desires to push for industry accreditation. PR institutes elsewhere including the UK, Australia and Malaysia are already practising a voluntary accreditation scheme similar to ours.

This is a good way to identify the cream of the crop within the industry.

Accreditation will ensure that there is a critical mass of accredited professionals under a common code of ethics and a common professional certification. This pool of PR talent in Singapore will be credible and professional. Singapore could then aspire to be a PR hub for the region. With the expansion of businesses and the growing interest in economic giants like China and India, the demand for PR professionals has been increasing.

Q. Why should practitioners get accredited?

This will be a great endorsement for individuals when applying for a job, pitching for a client’s account and even expanding their businesses abroad. One practitioner rushed to get her accreditation so that she could work in Australia when her husband was posted there.

So, go for it. Accreditation offers PR professionals a head start in your career.

If you are interested, contact IPRS, www.iprs.org.sg