Public Affairs: PRCA in 'half-price' option

Industry body launches revised register plan in bid to attract practitioners.

The PRCA is launching a cheaper strand of membership for public affairs practitioners as it looks to increase participation in its lobbying register.

The association recently consulted members on plans to open up its lobbying register for free to all public affairs practitioners, in a move to grow its usage as the Government prepares its own statutory register plans.

However, following the consultation, the PRCA has altered its plans to instead launch what is has described as 'a new strand of membership' for lobbyists.

For half the price of normal PRCA membership, lobbyists are able to join the association's public affairs register and subscribe to its Code of Conduct, but will not be able to use any of the other PRCA services.

PRCA chief executive Francis Ingham said: 'We have listened to the industry and will now work with our members on a guided strategy that will promote transparency, accountability and above all, secure our industry's credibility.

'I am delighted with the input we have received and would like to thank everyone for all of their comments and feedback.'

The news comes after UKPAC chairman Elizabeth France questioned Ingham's claim that his new service would be free of charge, while UKPAC planned to charge for its open register.

UKPAC is also planning to open up its own register to non-members of the CIPR and APPC. France is considering how much to charge, but aims to have a small number of non-members on UKPAC's register by September.

The PRCA's 'Regulation and Registration' membership will be open to all public affairs practitioners. Members will need to list their clients on the quarterly register and be subject to the PRCA's standard disciplinary procedures.

Emily Wallace, PRCA public affairs group chairman and director at Connect Communications, said: 'The PRCA has an important role to play in promoting transparency and ethical behaviour in the professional lobbying industry.

'I particularly hope that this move will encourage people not already signed up to a code of conduct to register and demonstrate their commitment to transparent and ethical behaviour.'

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