The aim of the CIPR Specialist Diploma (Public Affairs) is to enable candidates to develop specialist knowledge and expertise in the contexts, concepts and practical tools of public affairs. This qualification puts this experience into the wider context of the role of public affairs in organisations and society, how public affairs contributes to an organisation’s success, and what is expected of an ethical practitioner in the complex political environment.

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

What do I learn and how is it assessed?

Candidates will research and develop ethical public affairs strategies and plans which confront and manage political and societal issues, change attitudes and influence behaviours, and thus achieve strategic objectives.

The Specialist Diploma (Public Affairs) covers topics including:

  • public affairs in organisations and society
  • how public affairs can contribute to an organisation’s success
  • the process of policy formation and the wider corporate communications and reputational context
  • ethical issues in complex political environments.

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

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

This course is aimed at experienced practitioners who want to develop their strategic public affairs and management skills with the aim of taking on more senior roles.  Please check with your chosen teaching centre for more details about enrolment criteria.

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.

Students should expect to set aside a certain amount of time for self-study and this will vary depending on time taken to complete the qualification.  Individual teaching centres will be able to give further advice if required.


CIPR qualifications are accredited by the Global Alliance