The proposal was endorsed at a meeting of the PRCA’s member think-tank the PR Council earlier this week.
The idea is to recognise the different valid sources of professional development in PR that exist around the UK and around the world, as well as recognising and rewarding activities undertaken that contribute to advancing the wider interests of the industry, the PRCA said.
Those registering for PRCA CPD would be tasked with achieving a set number of CPD points, available from across a whole range of accredited providers, and would register their progress via the PRCA’s new website capability.
The PR Council is now finalising its views on the plans, following which there will be PRCA member and industry consultation, before the plans are launched later in the year.
PRCA director general Francis Ingham said: "We are creating the first ever industry-wide CPD programme, available to everyone who works in PR, regardless of whether they are PRCA members or not. By accrediting the programmes of other training providers, other membership bodies, and agency and in-house HR teams, we will raise standards across the industry, and do so in a way that doesn’t impose a financial burden on practitioners."
Ingham also said that many organisations used CPD "as a means of milking their members, and making them buy their training services and publications", but said the PRCA's programme would be the "absolute opposite" of that.
"Once established in the UK, we will roll this out to PR practitioners throughout the world, via the ICCO network," he said.
David Hamilton, PR Council chairman, said: "A global CPD programme would help many people around the world to take their first step in improving their own practice. The UK is at the forefront of the global communications industry and we have an opportunity to reach out to improve standards in every corner of the globe. Nothing like this has ever been done before."