Specialist Diploma (Crisis Communications)

The CIPR Specialist Diploma (Crisis Communications) is designed for both generalist professionals who wish to enhance their knowledge of the discipline and for those looking to follow a career in crisis communication.

The syllabus is taught and assessed at the same level as a postgraduate degree.

What do I learn and how is it assessed?

The Crisis (Response) Communication Diploma covers topics including:

  • analysing the causes and assessing the likelihood of circumstances requiring crisis communication
  • contributing to the organisation’s risk assessment, crisis preparations
  • managing public relations during a crisis
  • ethical issues in complex situations.

The assessment will involve producing an executive report and analysis of research findings on a topic of your choice that relates to crisis communication.

Who's it for and what are the enrolment criteria?

This course is aimed at experienced public relations practitioners who want to develop their expertise in the area of response and crisis management.

You qualify for the Specialist Diploma (Crisis Communications) if you hold one or more of the following:

  • CIPR legacy Advanced Certificate or the Professional PR Certificate
  • CIPR legacy Diploma or Professional PR Diploma
  • 1 of the following plus 1 year's relevant full-time employment in public relations (or related sectors, e.g. marketing, journalism) and 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, 1 of which must be in the English language*:
    • Specialist Certificate (Internal Communications)
    • postgraduate professional qualification in a related discipline (e.g. CIM diploma)
    • UK Bachelor's degree or equivalent in a PR-related discipline: business, marketing, management, communication, media or journalism.
  • 1 of the following plus 2 years' relevant full-time employment in public relations (or related sectors) and 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, 1 of which must be in the English language*:
    • CAM Advanced Diploma in Marketing Communication
    • NCTJ Diploma
    • UK Bachelor's degree or equivalent in any other subject
    • LCCIEB qualification which must comprise 5 level-3 subjects in PR, marketing, advertising, and principles and practice of management.
  • 4 years' relevant full-time employment in public relations (or related sectors) and 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, 1 of which must be in the English language*

Relevant experience should include at least 50% of the following:

  • PR planning and crisis management / managing the PR aspect of a potential crisis situation
  • planning, developing and implementing PR strategies
  • organising events including press conferences, exhibitions, open days and press tours
  • researching, writing and distributing press releases to targeted media
  • coaching client representatives in effective communication with the public and with employees
  • preparing and delivering speeches to further public relations objectives
  • establishing and maintaining co-operative relationships with representatives of community, consumer, employee, and public interest groups
  • preparing or editing organisational publications for internal and external audiences, including employee newsletters and stockholder reports.
  • If you don't have sufficient experience in these areas, the Professional PR Certificate may be a better starting point for you.

* Those whose first language us not English must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the language (spoken and written) to an Inernational Language Testing System (IELTS) band score of 6.5 or equivalent.

How long does it take?

Timetables vary depending on which teaching centre you study with but all centres provide 20 hours of tuition.

There are 4 assessment sessions per year. Depending on when you enrol on to the qualification you could qualify in as little as 6 to 8 months.

As well as the tuition time, you'll need to set aside approximately 10 to 12 hours per week for self-study. This might increase as you work towards submitting your assessments.