PRII Certificate in Public Affairs

Engaging with the public affairs arena is a key part of a large number of communications professionals' day to day jobs. The make up of the current Oireachtas, a multi-party coalition government, recent legislative and administrative reform as well as the Regulation of Lobbying Act all have a bearing on the success of engagements in this area and affect how these should be appropriately and effectively targeted.

Start Date 22 April 2023
Course Dates
22 April 2023
6 May 2023
20 May 2023
27 May 2023
10 June 2023
Presenter Tim Ryan, MPRII,
Public Relations and Public Affairs Consultant; Editor - The Irish Times Nealon’s Guide to the 33rd Dáil and 26th Seanad; author; and PhD candidate in the Dept. of Social Policy in Trinity College Dublin.
Venue Blended Delivery, Incorporating a number of delivery methods - in-person and video lectures; live online tutorials and self-directed learning.
Fees PRII Members €1630
Fees PRII Non-members €1975

This programme, uniquely designed for communications specialists, will equip professionals with the insight and practical knowledge they need to effectively and successfully engage with the Irish governmental and political arena.

In addition to covering the fundamentals of the Irish public affairs arena, the core focus of the course will be on recent changes and the practical implications of these.

Course objectives

The course aims to equip communications professionals with a clear understanding of the current Irish public affairs landscape, and will guide them on how to appropriately target their interventions at both local and national government level.

Who is this course for?

This programme will be of particular value to communications professionals for whom public affairs is part of their overall role, but is one in which they need to strengthen their knowledge to interact more effectively in this area. It will also be of benefit to those considering a career in public affairs.

Format of the course

Remote Blended Delivery:

This course is delivered using a blended approach consisting of 

(i)          Live online lectures 

(ii)         A series of pre-recorded video lectures which participants can watch in your own time;

(ii)         Live online sessions to discuss the material covered in the videos and associated exercises, as                         well as to hear from Guest Speakers (with opportunity for live Q&A).


Course Timetable:

  • Saturday. 22 April 2023 – Introductory Lecture (10:00am – 13:30pm)
  • Saturday, 06 May – Interactive Tutorial & Guest Speaker (Live online  10:00am – 13:30pm)
  • Sat, 20 May –  Interactive Tutorial & Guest Speaker (Live online  10:00am – 13:30pm
  • Saturday, 27 May – Interactive Tutorial & Guest Speaker (Live online  10:00am – 13:30pm)
  • Saturday, 10 June –  Closing Lecture (10:00am – 13:30pm)
  • Assignment Deadline: Monday, 23 July 5pm.

Guest speakers

There will be a number of guest speakers during the course.

They will include those working in public affairs who will speak on their experiences of successful and unsuccessful public affairs campaigns, in addition to several with a background working in Government (at local and national level) who will be invited to share their experiences with delegates.

Topics Covered

  • Overview of the public affairs arena in Ireland
  • Overview of who does what in Irish politics and government at local and national level
  • The legislative environment in which public affairs practitioners operate (Freedom of Information, Ethics Legislation)
  • Understanding and complying with the Regulation of Lobbying Act
  • Overview of national government and the civil service
  • Understanding what ministers and civil servants do
  • How the Public Policy Process works
  • Overview of the Oireachtas, Dáil and Seanad
  • How it works in theory and practice
  • Parliamentary parties; backbenchers; committees; parliamentary questions; topical issues, 2016 Parliamentary Reforms
  • How to interact and engage effectively
  • The structure of local authorities; recent changes; the role of the County Chief Executive and elected members
  • The planning process and dealing with a local authority
  • The Budget – a detailed guide to the process
  • Case study of a budget campaign
  • Public consultations
  • The European context
  • Major case study of a campaign that covered local and national government

Course materials

In addition to comprehensive course notes, delegates will be provided with relevant core reading material to supplement their learning.


Assessment is comprised two elements:

  • A reflective journal. (10% of overall grade).
  • A project. Maximum 3,000 words, applying the learnings to practical work. (90% of overall grade). The assignment will be focused on applying the learnings from the course to practical issues in public affairs.

Participants are encouraged to apply learning from the readings, modules and discussions and show how these apply to their own work situation.

This course is  accredited by the Public Relations Institute of Ireland (PRII) - the professional body for communications and PR in Ireland.


Queries should be addressed to Annmarie Jordan at Loading....

How to Enroll:

Register for this course by clicking on the Book Now button below.


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