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Training & Professional
Courses Calendar

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The PRCA Diploma in Public Affairs Management is for people working in public affairs and people in other PR related disciplines who are looking to know more about public affairs or move career into public affairs. It is suitable for people working in-house or in an agency.

The qualification provides a broad overview of public affairs work and covers parliamentary processes such as legislative procedures and government policy-making. It includes a thorough exploration of public affairs planning, stakeholder identification, issues mapping, message development, parliamentary engagement and relationship management all set within a broader context of lobbying codes, ethical practice and personal responsibilities.

This course includes a one-day optional virtual classroom session on commercial skills such as writing proposals, agreeing budgets, time management and prioritisation, and communicating with confidence.

Qualification objectives

Successful candidates will be able to:

1. Understand key concepts in public affairs management:

  • Lobbying, government relations, issues management, reputation management;
  • Differences/similarities between public affairs work at an agency and in-house;
  • Political PR;
  • Lobbying codes, ethical practice and personal responsibilities;
  • Parliamentary processes;
  • Scottish Parliament, Welsh Parliament, Metro Mayors and Local Government processes.

2. Apply communication and engagement models in a public affairs context:

  • Set objectives, identify issues and stakeholders;
  • Devise strategies, messages and tactics;
  • Engage with identified stakeholders;
  • Write proposals, agree budgets, manage over servicing, time management and prioritisation;
  • Communicate with confidence;
  • Measure outputs and outcomes.

The on-line training will be delivered by the PR Academy and the course leader will be Dr Stuart Thompson and will include personal tuition sessions.


"The diploma provided an overview of the UK’s parliamentary processes, the legislative procedure and the opportunities for ethical and responsible lobbying within this. For people who are just joining the industry it is a great introduction to the key concepts, models and frameworks of public affairs and political PR."

Mary Dewar, Senior Account Executive, Field Consulting

“Completing the Diploma in Public Affairs Management has been integral to my professional development.  The flexible learning structure, tutor support and online resources meant that I could fit the course around my work schedule. Being able to write the final assignment on a public affairs issue of my choice meant that I could combine my learning and development with a work related output.  I definitely recommend this course to communications professionals looking to build on their public affairs skills.”

Kylie Groves, Government Communications

“I would thoroughly recommend the diploma for anyone involved or looking to gain an in-depth insight into the main principles and procedures of public affairs. As well as the key knowledge gained from the experience, the support and expertise offered from the course leaders was exceptional.”

Alex Exadactylos, Terrapin Group

''I decided to enrol in the PRCA Diploma in Public Affairs Management to hone my practical skills in public affairs.  The course offered great tips for engaging Ministers, MPs, and civil servants. The combination of background reading and lectures provides a solid foundation for the final assignment.  Both the course lecturer and the staff at PRCA were helpful and always ready to answer a query.  Stuart’s relaxed and approachable style makes digesting the course content manageable.  I thoroughly enjoyed the course and appreciated the efforts made by Stuart and the PRCA team to provide a good learning environment during the COVID lockdown.  For those keen to get into public affairs, I recommend this course.''

Cameron Branston, Buckinghamshire Council

‘’The PRCA Diploma in Public Affairs Management was a great course that allowed me to gain valuable insight and learn best practice for public affairs. The course covers many practical elements and is ideal for those working in PR but perhaps not directly in public affairs and who would like to have a good understanding of parliamentary processes.’’

Andreea Ghita, The Electoral Commission

‘’I enjoyed completing the Diploma and look forward to putting into practice what I learned on the course. The course is well-structured and flexible, so it's easy to fit it around other commitments. The support from the tutor from beginning to end was also very helpful.’’

Marian Craig

''This course was just what I was looking for – a good introduction and overview of public affairs in the UK. The set-up was good – with weekly guided reading and then webinars to sum up each module. It was also helpful to be able to discuss particular points directly with the course tutor too. I was able to work at my own pace, and with the course taking just six months it was easy to fit in the studying. Having been given the task to work on a public affairs strategy for our organisation the course certainly helped me pull together the ideas and thoughts I've had into a more coherent and targeted plan.  If you are looking for a good introduction to public affairs/lobbying work in the UK then I would recommend this course.''

Pauline Davey, Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association (OATA)

''I undertook the PRCA Diploma in Public Affairs Management to develop and widen my understanding of public affairs. The online lectures and reading material available was excellent and Stuart’s style helped make the lectures easy to understand – he was always ready to take questions and answer queries offline. I would recommend the course to anyone looking to expand their knowledge of public affairs.''

Deborah Down, Sovereign Housing Association

More Information & Course Enquiries

Start date: We are relaunching our specialist diplomas with the PR Academy. The new cohort will open on Monday 27th February 2023 and you can then start anytime.

Length: Typical time to complete is six months, but you have one year to complete the course.

Where: Online and will include personal tuition sessions.

Member Price: £2,400 + VAT
Non-member Price: £2,800 + VAT

Please click here for more information and to register your interest for the PRCA Diploma in Public Affairs Management.

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