PRIA celebrates graduate outcomes for industry

Mon, Feb 19 2018

By Associate Professor Robert Gill, Swinburne University of Technology

The Public Relation Institute of Australia’s Education and Community Committee (ECC) Accreditation Team are pleased to see an increase in full-time employment for both undergraduates and postgraduates, as reported in the Australian Government’s Graduate Outcomes Survey 2017.

Improving full-time employment for graduates has been a major focus for the Higher Education institutions and the PRIA ECC for many years.

The ECC Accreditation Team recently upgraded the accreditation expectations for Higher Education programs at undergraduate and postgraduate levels to ensure the quality of education is linked with expectations from industry. These changes reflected the competency matrix that underpins the recently updated PRIA Professional Framework, which directly aligns with Australian Qualification Framework levels of education and training set by the Australian Government.

There is now a direct link between PRIA Accreditation of 18 university courses and the competency levels expected by the professional communication industry as expressed in the matrix. Those institutions delivering public relations and professional communication programs who wish to gain PRIA Accreditation now have a clear understanding of the skillset and competencies that industry are looking for from graduates.

Not that this is the only driver for higher education, but in keeping with the national government’s determination to ensure our graduates are skilled in their discipline and in employability skills – it is comforting to know that the PRIA Accreditation is one way of ensuring graduate outcomes and employability are authentic to industry needs and expectations in the professional communication area.

Currently, all 18 higher education programs use the PRIA accreditation process to ensure they remain relevant to primary skills and competencies for the professional communication. This process also provides a benchmark for enrolling students on whether their selected program and institution are endorsed by the PRIA. The added value of high-order problem solving, theoretical understanding and adept knowledge that are typical outcomes in higher education programs support the professional skills specific to the industry.

We feel confident that the progression of accreditation in the professional communication area through the PRIA is making significant contributions to the positive results reported through the 2017 Graduate Outcome Survey.

Associate Professor Robert Gill
Chair of the ECC Accreditation Team
Swinburne University of Technology
PRIA Educator of the Year 2017