The Global Capabilities Framework and PR Practice

Responding to overwhelming demand for an international capability benchmark for practitioners around the world, the Global Capability Framework (GCF) was developed and its corresponding assessment tool for individuals, teams and organizations has been launched to CPRS members! The GFC is the Global Alliance’s benchmark for how professionals in public relations and communication management perform at their best.  An exciting part of the GCF is the software tool that allows members to assess themselves and their teams against the Framework. It can be used to identify and plan individual and team development, identify gaps for recruitment purposes and for succession planning. 

In January of this year CPRS launched the GCF and assessment tool for all its members, making the Framework accessible and applicable to Canadian PR pros, organizations and member societies.  The specialist software that has been developed to create this assessment allows individuals and teams to measure their current capabilities and to plan their professional development for up to five years. This interactive session will provide an opportunity for attendees to learn about the GCF and to test themselves against it using the new software.


Amy Thurlow, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, and Anne Gregory, Huddersfield University, UK will outline how the Framework was developed and lead a hands-on session where participants use the online assessment tool and learn how it can be applied to their own work, work teams and organizations as well as by professional associations such as CPRS.   Anne is the project leader for the international research which underpins the Global Capabilities Framework  and Amy led the Canadian research team for the study. The global research team included researchers from across 7 continents, working with national professional associations to gather data from practitioners, educators and employers in each region. The resulting framework has now been developed into an innovative planning and assessment tool that can assist all those who work for and in public relations.

The eleven capabilities identified in the GCF are grouped into three areas: the contribution that professionals make because they are communication specialists; the contribution they make to their organisations; and the capabilities which demonstrate professionalism.

This session will also describe how the framework is being delivered in a variety of countries, including, Canada (through CPRS, the Canadian Public Relations Society), the USA (through PRSA) Finland, Spain, New Zealand, the UK, Argentina, Sweden, and others.  Applications range from individual practitioner-level professional development programs, to country-wide professional education, and as a tool for organizational managers in the planning of PR department/team development. 

Key Takeaways
Participants will have an opportunity to benchmark themselves and plan their own professional development by using specially commissioned software to produce their own unique profile. The Global Capability Framework is free for all CPRS members and is being linked to a set of resources that will help participants on their professionalism journey.

Department Chair and Professor of Communication Studies
Mount Saint Vincent University

Amy Thurlow, PhD, APR, FCPRS is Department Chair and Professor of Communication Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, Nova Scotia, Canada, where she teaches public relations management, communication studies, and organizational communication.

Amy’s research interests focus on the areas of identity construction, critical historiography and organizational communication. Grounded in an approach of critical theory, her work has looked at the impact of communication on organizational change strategies, the role of power and legitimation in the construction of organizational and individual identities, and the relationship between history and theory in understandings of knowledge production.

Chair of Corporate Communications - University of Huddersfield

Anne Gregory PhD, Hon Fell CIPR, FRSA, FHEA is Chair of Corporate Communication at the University of Huddersfield, UK. Anne runs international executive education programs for clients including the European Commission and the Swedish Communication Association as well as co-leading the UK Government Masters program for senior communicators. Anne is an internationally recognized researcher and author of over 80 books, book chapters, academic and popular journal articles.


Professor Gregory is former Chair of the Global Alliance of Public Relations and Communication Management, past President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, holds the Sir Stephen Tallents Medal for her outstanding contribution to the profession and the Institute for Public Relations Distinguished Pathfinder award for research.