The number of online courses offered by educational and training institutions is on the rise in order to cater to the increasing demand for communications professionals in the UAE, due to the upcoming Dubai EXPO 2020. Amid this surge, the accreditation of a career enhancement qualification is of utmost importance, advises Reem Masswadeh, head of communications at the PR Academy MENA.
After the recent launch of the PR Academy MENA in Dubai, which offers qualifications accredited by the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and delivered in partnership with PR Academy Ltd in the UK, the communications expert has stressed the need to educate industry peers about the accreditation of courses. She has also highlighted the need to know why and what type of accreditations should be considered, especially when the country is all set to host an event of global repute.
Masswadeh said, “Taking up new courses and upskilling is on the rise among industry professionals since the start of the pandemic. More and more PR and communications industry employees have felt the need to refine their skills or learn new ones in order to stay relevant to the fast-changing industry.”
Masswadeh added, “This has received further impetus due to an increase in demand for more professionals due to the upcoming Expo. It is therefore imperative that the accreditation of a course – for example by a chartered body – is taken into consideration. It can make a big difference to the international recognition of a course.”
“We at the PR Academy MENA offer CIPR qualifications, which means that they are regulated and awarded by a chartered body. A chartered institute is an organisation or institution that has been granted a Royal Charter in the UK by the Privy Council (a government body). Chartered organisations have to meet specific quality requirements.”
“Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the world’s only Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners and has around 10,000 members. That is the credibility you want to see in a course that you take up,” Masswadeh concluded.
As a Chartered body, the CIPR can award qualifications and members of the CIPR can also work towards becoming chartered practitioners – qualifications can help members to become chartered. The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations through its courses. It makes its members accountable through a code of conduct and ensures the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status.
It is notable that under the PR Academy, the first CIPR qualifications for dedicated MENA region cohorts is due to start in October 2021 and will include courses including CIPR Professional PR Diploma, CIPR Specialist Diploma: Crisis Communication, and CIPR Specialist Diploma: Digital Communications.
The courses will be taught online and students will benefit from supporting resources including an online library. The PR Academy MENA will also offer training and consultancy services with a focus on digital and social media, media training, crisis PR and PR programming.