Certificate in Public Affairs Management

27 Mar, 2014

Certificate in Public Affairs Management

Take an important step in your leadership journey and earn your Certificate in Public Affairs Management. The program is designed to strengthen management knowledge while also enhancing expertise in leading an integrated, collaborative and strategic public affairs function.

Apply today! There is no fee to apply. Programs attended 30 days prior to the application date count towards your credits.


  • Participants should complete the program requirements within five years of enrollment.
  • 30 days prior to the application date will be counted toward the certificate.
  • Public Affairs Institute graduates may request 5 credits toward their elective credit requirement for the Certificate in Public Affairs Management, regardless of Institute graduation date.
  • Participants may earn 2 credits for attending a Council Spring Executive Meeting; no more than 4 credits may come from Executive Meeting attendance.
  • Participants must attend the Public Affairs Leadership Summit, worth 6 Core Credits, to complete the Certificate.

NOTE: Credit cannot be earned through attendance at non-Public Affairs Council programs.


The Certificate in Public Affairs Management allows five years to meet all requirements.

Certificate completion requires 30 credits split between several credit areas as detailed below:

Additional Credit Information

  • Only registered participation in live webinars is eligible for certificate credit. Purchase of webinar recordings is not applicable.
  • Earning credit as a virtual participant requires engagement on the virtual platform for the duration of the event. Participants are encouraged to and provide feedback and commentary during discussion periods.
  • Attendance and participation throughout an entire event are required to receive credit. Registration without attendance or early departure from an event will not count towards certificate completion.

Community Credits

Community credits may be earned for the following activities (achievement of these credits are subject to the discretion of Council staff)

  • Posting on Council Connect (platform is only available to Public Affairs Council ) – 1 Credit for each five posts of substance
    • ex: starting a thread, commenting on an existing thread in a way that forwards the conversation or shares insight, or sharing professional expertise that assists your colleagues
    • Posting is required minimally once per quarter
  • Submitting management or strategic planning resources to be shared in the Council’s resource library — 1 credit per three resources submitted, up to a maximum of 2 credits
  • Serving as a speaker at a Council program (at the discretion of Council staff) — 2 credits
  • Developing a resource of at least 500 words, such as a case study or tip sheet. Topics can include strategic planning, departmental organization, and other initiatives that demonstrate innovation, cross-functional leadership and industry advancement. Participants must work with Council staff in the development of these tools. — 3 credits

Optional Activities: 

  • Serving as an active member of a Conference Advisory Committee, at the discretion of Council staff. Active members participate in advisory committee meetings and calls, or connect with staff to submit suggestions, market and promote the conference and support conference success through active participation. Credit for this will be awarded after the relevant conference occurs. — 1 credit
  • Writing an article or tip sheet for use on the Council’s website or in a newsletter (in collaboration with Council staff) — 2 credits

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the certificate cost?

Cost can vary depending on applicants’ program choices and membership status, but typically ranges from $2,500 – $4,000. For Council members, the Membership Plus program can substantively reduce program costs. Please send questions about cost to certifications@pac.org.

A comparison of the cost for nonmembers, members, and those who have Membership Plus can be found here.

How do I find a list of upcoming events that provide credit for my certificate?

Go to our list of upcoming events and use the filter on the left side of the page.

Where can I find a list of past eligible programs to track my progress?

A complete list of past eligible programs can be found here.

For any questions or for an update on your progress, please contact Price Fisher (pfisher@pac.org).