The IPRs petition for a Royal Charter was formally received by the Privy Council on July 27, 2004. The charter is seen as a way to help gain greater recognition for PR professionals and the IPR. It is seen as a symbol that the IPR has improved as a body, is committed to education and the economy, and that it carries out good work.
In 1995, when the body's AGM first gave approval to an application for Royal Chartered status, informal talks with Privy Council officials ascertained that a formal application would almost certainly fail. Officials at the time felt the body should do more for the public good and professional development. Since then, the IPR has launched the IPR diploma and the continuous professional development programme for members.
In an interview with PR Weeks Joe Lepper about the application (PR Week 16/1/2004), Anne Gregory, the new president of the IPR said although chartered status would give credibility to the public role of PR, she believes all PR professionals should welcome it out of self-interest: a PRO with chartered status is likely to have more clout, especially when it comes to negotiating fees and salaries.
According to Colin Farrington, director-general of the IPR (quoted in the same article), achieving a Royal Charter would acknowledge our intellectual leadership of a diverse profession and the rapid progress the IPR has made in raising educational and training standards.
Our work on policy, some of it jointly with partners such as the DTI - such as company law reporting, corporate social responsibility, lobbying regulation - would be recognised and strengthened. The public would benefit from the greater regulatory clout of a chartered body.
The charter is less important to us than the road we will have been on to achieve it, however. The IPR core strategy, to raise the status of the profession, will remain whatever the outcome.
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The IPRs case for chartered status (PDF on the IPRs website)
Negative views on the application and the public relations industry in general www.corporatewatch.org.uk