What is an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC)?

An Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) is a proven communication professional. The ABC is a distinction carried by about 10 percent of all IABC members.

Accreditation through IABC represents a personal commitment to the profession. It demonstrates a professional ability to successfully manage and perform tasks essential to effective communication.

Meet IABC’s Accredited Business Communicators


Accredited communicators have:


  • At least nine years of combined college and practical experience in the profession.
  • A broad platform of communication skills and strategic application.
  • Demonstrated the ability to deliver tangible results against business needs.
  • Experience providing communication counsel to others.

IABC’s ABC community is vibrant and filled with senior professionals who know how to get the job done in ways that deliver results that matter—everything you’d expect from a senior member of your team.


Top reasons to hire an ABC

When you hire an ABC, you are investing in a professional who can align strategic communication with the needs of your business and your audiences. ABCs are master strategists and big picture thinkers who:

  1. Plan and deliver meaningful communication programs that contribute to organizational goals in ways you can measure against business performance indicators.
  2. Are experts at interpreting research as an input to inform strategic communication planning and implementation.
  3. See your business through the eyes of your audiences, and carefully analyze their needs, expectations and communication preferences.
  4. Know how to get to the heart of the matter with the right approach, the best channels and effective communication tools.
  5. Will ensure high-quality production within budget, focus on key messages and manage communication programs to deliver optimal results.

ABCs bring energy, know-how and commitment that help organizations solve business issues and take advantage of opportunities to grow. They are capable communication professionals who think strategically and deliver compelling and creative insights that build reputation and motivate audiences to behave in ways that benefit the organization.

If you’re looking for a communication professional who knows the business, has a broad scope of experience and meets rigorous international standards hiring an ABC could be among the best business decisions you make.

For questions or comments, please email member_relations@iabc.com.


The path forward

ABCs hold a place of honor within IABC and the international executive board (IEB) is grateful for the gift of knowledge, expertise, and countless hours contributed to the program over the years by thousands of volunteers. We salute those who have served on committees and task forces, those who have graded portfolios and exams, those who have mentored accreditation candidates at the chapter and regional levels, and those who have pursued accreditation.

Marketing and recognition

IABC has created a dedicated section of its website to build a home for stories, memories and materials that captures a proud legacy in our history and celebrates the members who have achieved the designation over the years. We will also undertake the following initiatives:

  • Continue to showcase ABCs and continue to add to the spotlight over time.
  • Place a letter to employers on both the ABC section of our website and IABC’s job board letting them know that an ABC is a proven professional who has demonstrated his or her experience, expertise and abilities to meet a global standard. We believe that hiring ABCs assures hiring managers that they have selected communication professionals who know the business, have broad depth of experience, have worked many years in the field and have met international standards.
  • Use “ABC-preferred” for our own communication positions and encourage hiring employers to do the same.
  • Continue to recognize outstanding ABCs through the Rae Hamlin award, given annually at World Conference.
  • Through the Council of Regions and Leader Letter, encourage our chapters and regions to recognize ABCs at meetings and events.

Expanded involvement and contributions

IABC will:

  • Offer invitations to serve in leadership and influencer roles within IABC.
  • Encourage ABC involvement to help build awareness and support for the new certification program.
  • Actively seek ABCs to participate in Gold Quill Awards Blue Ribbon Panels and apply for key leadership positions within the association.

Integrated professional development opportunities

IABC will:

  • Offer continuous professional development, including business leader programs, programs partnering with post-secondary institutions, and opportunities to contribute to published material.
  • Align ABC professional development needs with IABC’s new Business Leader career path and the IABC Academy.

Broadened networking opportunities

IABC will:

  • Identify potential social responsibility causes for ABCs, and consult to determine what causes make the most sense and are aligned with IABC Foundation activities, including student initiatives and IABC Academy programs.

For ABCs

Being an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) is a mark of professional and personal achievement for today’s communicators.

Letter to potential employers


As you consider selecting a communication professional to serve your organization, you should know why choosing a candidate with an ABC (Accredited Business Communicator) designation makes all the difference.

The ABC is bestowed by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC). It serves as a mark of excellence and one that is not easy to achieve. Worldwide there are only just over 1,000 ABCs, out of many thousands of candidates, who were able to successfully complete the rigorous evaluation process.

Based on a Global Standard of Excellence and the IABC Code of Ethics, the ABC process evidences the submission of two outstanding portfolios (work plans and samples) graded according to IABC’s seven-point scale of excellence, as well as a comprehensive exam, strictly proctored and thoroughly evaluated by world-class communication professionals.

Process aside, the reason an ABC rises above all other candidates is because of their proven knowledge of strategic communication and the unparalleled value they can offer to an organization.

The ABC candidate you are considering has a deep understanding of the communication profession and instinctively knows what it means to do outstanding work. They have the know-how to use strategic communication to lift an organization to a new level of success.

Choosing an ABC means that you are selecting someone at the top of their game. Most important, it means that you have an opportunity to apply their superior knowledge and expertise where you need it most.

Quite simply, when you select an ABC, you are choosing from among the very best. That’s what makes the difference.

Sincere regards,


Keeping your ABC status

Successful candidates retain their accreditation as long as they’re current IABC members. If you become unemployed and can’t maintain IABC membership, you may keep using the designation “ABC” or “IABC Accredited” while seeking employment. You won’t be listed as an active accredited member by IABC world headquarters, but can tell prospective employers that you were accredited.

Your accreditation certificate may be used as proof of accreditation. If IABC membership is renewed within two years, you’ll automatically be returned to the active accredited member file.

ABC logo downloads & guidelines

ABCs are encouraged to use the ABC logo as part of their personal and professional branding. Display the ABC logo on:

  • Resumes and professional bios
  • Business cards
  • Email signatures
  • Letterheads
  • Websites
  • Electronic and print postcards/newsletters
  • Marketing materials for your consultancy

ABC LogoABC Logo

ABC LogoABC Logo

Usage guidelines

  • If an accredited member is affiliated with a company or organization, it must be clear that the individual, not the company or organization, is accredited.
  • Please review the color specifications on page 15 of the IABC Brand Guidelines and follow them when using the ABC logo.
  • The ABC logo may not be used as a business logo or be incorporated into a business logo.
  • If IABC membership ends, the logo must be removed from all promotional materials within 30 days.
  • The ABC logo may not be used by any member in a manner that would tend to confuse or mislead a recipient into thinking a document bearing the logo is from IABC headquarters.
  • When using the logo online, please hyperlink it to the IABC website: iabc.com.