Certificate in Public Affairs Management: Program Requirements

31 Mar, 2015

Earn a Certificate

Certificate in Public Affairs Management: Program Requirements

We’re excited to help you start the path to certification! On the page below you’ll find credit information, program guidelines, and helpful tips for mapping out your progress.


The Certificate in Public Affairs Management program is designed to be completed in two to three years, but participants can expect to take up to five years to successfully 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 must ask questions 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)

Required Activities:

  • Posting on Council Connect (platform is only available to Public Affairs Council members) – 1 Credit for each 5 posts of substance
    • Posts must be tagged with @Kristin Brackemyre so that they can be tracked
    • 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 related 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 related Council program (at the discretion of Council staff) — 2 credits
  • 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. — 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 when not available to participate in meetings; submit speaker and program suggestions; actively promote the conference to colleagues and peers; and support conference success through participation, attendance, submission of relevant resources and active involvement in conference activities). 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 one of the Council’s newsletters (in conjunction with Council staff) — 2 credit

Terms of Enrollment:

  • Candidates should expect to complete the program requirements within 5 years of application.
  • Programs more than 30 days prior to the date of the application will not count toward certificate completion.
  • Past graduates of the Public Affairs Institute may request 5 credits toward their elective credit requirement for the Certificate in Public Affairs Management, regardless of graduation date.
  • Participants may earn 2 credits for participation in 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.
  • Participants must earn a minimum of 30 credits to receive their certificate, consisting of a minimum 12 core public affairs management credits, 8 integration and leadership elective credits, 3 compliance management credits and 7 credits demonstrating leadership in the public affairs community.

NOTE: Since the Public Affairs Council has no input on the agenda or content of programs held by other organizations, credit will not be given for attendance at non-Council management or compliance training programs.

To see a list of eligible programs, click here.

Download the application form here.

Download the self-tracking form here.