Copyright 2018

The recognition of a learning programme is an indication to the marketplace that a formal process has been undertaken to ensure that the programme on offer is of a high quality, and has met the criteria laid down by the authorising body.

Aim of Recognition

The changing education landscape has necessitated that PRISA develop a process for the recognition of qualifications within the public relations and communication management field for the purposes of registration of practitioners at appropriate levels of practice.

Levels of practice are from entry level to senior strategist – learner, affiliate, associate, public relations practitioner (PRP), chartered public relations practitioner (CPRP) and the internationally recognised accredited practitioner (APR).

The professional designations, PRP and CPRP have been submitted to the South African Qualifications Authority for registration. A professional designation is made up of recognised academic qualifications and experience.


It is required that the applicant's programme lecturers for the core subjects of public relations, communication and media should be members of PRISA .
All third year learners registered on the recognised programme are to be registered as members of the PRISA Students' Chapter.

The recognition of a learning programme (degree or diploma) rests on the following five criteria:

  • Programme and provider must be accredited by an appropriate ETQA;
  • Learning environment created during the presentation of the learning programme;
  • Course material;
  • Lecturer/facilitator; and
  • Client feedback.
  • Quality Assurance systems that control the administration of these programmes

Each of these criteria is outlined below.

ETQA Accreditation

Evidence must be provided that the applicant has applied for and been granted accreditation as a provider as well as for the programme itself.

Learning Environment

The site of provision should create an environment that is conducive to learning. The lecturer/facilitator of a learning programme should therefore demonstrate the ability to deliver quality public relations and communication education and training.

Course Material

The applicant is responsible for the development, duplication and distribution of course material to its learners.

Learning is supported by the provision of appropriate materials. The following criteria will be used to evaluate the quality :

  • Overview of learning programme;
  • Objectives, aims or outcomes of learning programme;
  • Summary of programme content;
  • Contact details of lecturer/facilitator;
  • Other resources that should be accessed by participant to enhance competence gained through participation; and
  • Evaluation forms to be used as an assessment of the provision of the programme.


Lecturers presenting the learning programmes specifically Public Relations, Communication & Media subjects, should be suitably qualified, and MUST registered with PRISA. A schedule of the lecturers and their qualifications must be submitted. To this end, the PRISA Education, training and research committee(ETR) reserves the right to call for comprehensive curriculum vitae and certified copies of each or any lecturer's qualifications, should they deem this necessary.

Renewals should be accompanied by updated information on each lecturer, and comprehensive documentation on new lecturers involved in the presentation of the programmes. Lecturer evaluations and feedback mechanisms are therefore seen by the PRISA QMU as a critical component of academic development that should be managed and co-ordinated by the education provider. Evidence of this quality assurance mechanism will be required during evaluations.

Learner membership of PRISA

It is a specific requirement that each learner who registers for the third year of any of the recognised learning programmes shall on the commencement of the learning programme be registered with the PRISA Student Chapter. Such membership is renewable annually while the learner is studying the learning programme. The application shall be accompanied by payment from the Provider to PRISA. The fee for 2011 is R 320.00 (Three hundred & twenty rand) including VAT per learner. These fees are to be paid by the provider within 30 days of commencement of the programme.

Client Feedback Mechanisms

The PRISA ETR considers it critical that learners are provided with suitable channels of communication through which they can direct feedback to the lecturer.

Applicants are therefore required to provide information on how feedback is provided to the client in this regard. Evidence thereof must be submitted.

However, learning programmes that include assessments of the participants should indicate this in the application, and include examples of these assessments, and the method of communicating the outcome thereof to the learner, in the application.

Mode of delivery

Recognised learning programmes could be presented using different modes of delivery including:

  • contact sessions (full-time and part-time);
  • distance learning with contact sessions (flexi-mode); or
  • distance learning without contact sessions.

Applications submitted to the PRISA ETR need to provide sufficient evidence of the applicant's ability to support the preferred mode of delivery.

Recognition process

  • Application form and guidelines sent to interested parties by the PRISA ETR.
  • Applicant to submit completed application form, application fee and, required documentation to the PRISA ETR.
  • PRISA will acknowledge receipt.
  • PRISA will arrange with applicant for site visit if deemed necessary.
  • Assessment Committee will perform evaluation of learning programme.
  • Report will be submitted to the PRISA manager for approval.
  • Applicant will be informed, in writing, of the outcome of its application.
  • Recognition Agreement will be signed by both parties.
  • Recognised Partner will receive Certificate of Recognition by PRISA.
  • Recognition of a learning programme has to be renewed every three years, and the above process must be repeated by both parties.


Application fee: R5,000-00 per qualification

Annual fee for the following two years: R3,000-00 per annum

Review fee after third year will be confirmed

Recognised status

A Learning Programme is only regarded as recognised once it has received the certificate from the PRISA. Recognised partners that are no longer recognised will have their certificates withdrawn and be removed from the register.

Appeal procedure

Should an applicant not be satisfied with the outcome of an evaluation, they are invited to write to the manager of PRISA's Education, training and research providing full details regarding the grounds for the appeal.

The Assessment Committee will then consider such appeal(s) at a meeting convened to permit the applicant to present their case. The PRISA ETR undertakes to inform the applicant of the Committee's decision within 5 (five) working days of the meeting. The resulting decision will be final.

The cost of the appeal is set at R1,000-00. This fee should accompany the letter of appeal in order to initiate the process without delay.

Information for endorsements

Endorsement criteria and fees

Click here for a list of PRISA's endorsed training providers.

Register for

PRISA Membership

Follow us on

facebook twitter Instagram youtube

Contact details

Telephone: (011) 326 1262 / 011 326 1626
Fax: (011) 326 1259


ProComm House, 108 Bram Fischer Drive, Ferndale
PO Box 2825, Pinegowrie, 2123, Johannesburg, South Africa