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The Certificate in Public Affairs Management program is designed to be completed in two to three years, but candidates have a maximum of five years to successfully meet all requirements.  

To receive your certificate, you must earn 40 credits in the following areas: 

Click here for a full list of current credit-eligible programs.


Curriculum Details

Core Public Affairs Management | Integration and Leadership Electives
Compliance Management | 
Leadership in the Public Affairs Community



Participants must earn at least 12 credits from core public affairs programs.


Participants must earn at least 16 credits from programs tailored to meet organizational needs or a certificate participant’s specific functional responsibilities.


Participants must earn at least 4 credits in public affairs compliance. They may do so by:

  • NOTE: The mix of compliance programs may change from year to year.


Participants must earn at least 8 credits by making significant contributions to the public affairs community. Participants are required to demonstrate thought leadership that advances the field, provide resources and guidance to others, and invest time and energy in building a stronger industry.   

Participants must serve as a mentor and show thought leadership by creating and sharing case studies, white papers or other resources. These two elements will earn 5 credits combined; the remaining 3 credits may be achieved in a number of ways.

Credits may be earned in the following categories:

Sharing Resources and Information – 1 credit each

  • You may earn credits by:

    • Sharing samples and resources for the Council’s virtual resource library. These must be internal samples that demonstrate management or strategic planning, such as organizational structures, departmental responsibilities or strategic plans. These must be shareable documents, although they can be made anonymous. Participants will earn 1 credit per three resources submitted, with a maximum of 2 credits awarded for resource sharing.

    • Serving as a speaker at a certificate-related Council program (at the discretion of Council staff).

Insight-Sharing Guidance – 2 credits each

  • You may earn credits by:

    • Serving as a mentor for a full year through the Council’s mentoring program. (The mentee must confirm activity.) This is a required element of the program.
      (Download the mentor registration form here.)

    • Writing an article or tip sheet that provides guidance to help peers manage their function. These documents may be used on the Council’s website or in Council newsletters. Participants must work with Council staff in the development of these tools.

Demonstrating Thought Leadership – 3 credits each

  • You may earn credits by:
    • Developing a detailed white paper or case study on topics such as strategic planning, departmental organization, and other initiatives that demonstrate innovation, cross-functional leadership and industry advancement. These case-studies should provide an in-depth analysis of the situation, steps taken to achieve objectives and ultimate outcomes. They should also be applicable to peers. Participants must work with Council staff in the development of these tools. This is a required element of the program.

Questions? Contact:
Rikki Amos
Director, U.S. Public Affairs Practice
ramos@pac.org | 202.787.5973