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Chartered PR Practitioner reaches important milestone

More than 160 people have achieved Chartered PR Practitioner status. It’s a symbolic milestone on the way to establishing a standard for public relations practice.

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More than 100 people have achieved Chartered PR Practitioner status in the last 12 months compared with 50 people in the ten years between 2005 and 2015. It’s a long way from establishing a critical mass in a business of 60,000 to 80,000 people in the UK, but it’s a start.

The challenge now is to scale Chartered status so that it becomes normative not just for practitioners but also for other professional disciplines.

Chart.PR, the post-nominal letters for someone who has achieved Chartered PR practitioner status, needs to be recognised as a benchmark of quality by anyone hiring public relations services and the broader public.

President Rob Brown and President-Elect Jason McKenzie have this goal within their sights.

“Chart.PR status represents excellence and integrity in public relations. It offers validation for strategically minded public relations professionals,” Rob said.

“It sends a clear signal to colleagues, clients and the public of adherence to the highest standards of professional practice.”

Achieving Chartered PR practitioner status

Chartered PR practitioner status is intended to reflect the breadth of a practitioner’s experience and achievements. It demonstrates that an individual keeps pace in a fast-moving profession, updating knowledge and skills through continuous professional development (CPD).

Practitioners must complete at least three consecutive or five non-consecutive years of CPD via the CIPR, and attend an assessment day.

Academics with a Masters degree, or equivalent, need to complete at least two consecutive or five non-consecutive years of CPD via the CIPR, and attend an assessment day.

Assessment days take place throughout the year around the UK. Workshops led by an assessor test expertise in strategy, leadership and ethics.

Lindsey Columbell and Emily Osborne who achieved Chartered status this year have both blogged about the process.

Modernising Chartered PR Practitioner status

One of my goals as President of the CIPR in 2014 was to realign the organisation with its vision and purpose as set out in its Royal Charter.

A key component of this work was to reevaluate Chartered PR Practitioner status. The low number of people achieving the status (five per year) showed that it wasn’t fit for purpose.

A modernisation initiative led by Jason MacKenzie concluded last year when the regulations governing Chart.PR status were amended to open up the eligibility for CIPR members.

My personal contribution to the process was a book Chartered Public Relations: Lessons from Expert Practitioners published by Kogan Page. The anthology of essays on modern practice is used as a tool during the Chartered process.

My objective as the book’s editor was to celebrate the work of Chartered PR Practitioners and create a substantive piece of work to encourage other practitioners to achieve Chartered status.

Membership proposition: professional credentialing

Membership organisations are challenged to deliver value at a time when people are able to form networks online. Credentialing through the Chartered PR practitioner scheme provides absolute value to CIPR members and the broader public.

In my view the growth and potential of Chartered PR Practitioner status demonstrates that the CIPR has taken a significant step in addressing its value proposition.

If you believe as I do that the public relations industry needs to make the shift from a craft to a profession then you should sign up to CPD via the CIPR and start your own journey to Chartered PR Practitioner.

You can find a full list of people that have achieved Charter PR Practitioner status on the CIPR website.

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Stephen Waddington

Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University.

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