The Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) has teamed up with the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) to create an internationally recognized professional accreditation and training programme with the aim of raising “the industry’s standards in the region and boost the career prospects of public relations professionals,” according to a press statement.
Research by MEPRA has shown that more than 75 percent of public relations professionals in the Middle East believe that internationally recognized professional accreditation is important, but fewer than half have any professional accreditation or academic qualification in PR. Now, MEPRA has invested in a new training curriculum and partnership with CIPR to enable a high standard of professional development opportunities in the region.
Ray Eglington, chairman of MEPRA and group managing director at Four Communications Group, says in a statement: “We know through our research that continued learning and internationally recognized professional accreditation is critically important to regional public relations practitioners. We have developed the new MEPRA Academy and our partnership with CIPR to answer this need, helping individuals develop their careers and our industry to raise its standards.
CIPR will provide exclusive access to MEPRA members to its continuing professional development (CPD) online portal.
To support the new accreditation and CPD framework, MEPRA has developed a new training program starting this month. The MEPRA Academy curriculum includes face-to-face courses on subjects ranging from social media strategy and video production to thought leadership campaigning and communications department leadership. The MEPRA Academy courses will be led by as yet unnamed international experts and CIPR certified senior communications professionals. In the first year, training sessions will take place in the UAE, KSA, Kuwait and Jordan. Participants in the face-to-face MEPRA Academy and CIPR online courses will receive credits toward the different levels of professional accreditation from CIPR, which are globally recognized certifications of professional competence. The portal also enables practitioners to track their progress towards the various levels of professional accreditation.
Alastair McCapra, chief executive, CIPR, adds: “Collaboration between Europe’s and the Middle East’s leading respective professional bodies marks a significant step forward for global public relations practice. Though CIPR and MEPRA members operate in different parts of the world, they are united by common challenges and an ambition to deliver greater value for clients and organizations.”