National Competitions

Royal Photographic Society (RPS)

The RPS is an Educational Charity promoting both the art and science of photography. Membership is open to all, whatever level of experience or knowledge. No qualifications are required to join, just a passion and love for one or more of photography’s myriad of genres, technologies and applications.


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Gain recognition for your photographic achievements with The Society’s prestigious Distinctions and Qualifications.

The RPS’s Distinctions are recognised as measures of achievement throughout the world. When you work towards a Distinction you will improve your photographic skills and also know that once you have been successful the quality of your work will be recognised worldwide.

Distinctions are awarded on the basis of a portfolio of work which may be still or moving photographic images. In addition qualification may be achieved through research or by successful completion of a recognised course. Distinction handbooks: Licentiateship, Associateship and Fellowship.

The three levels of Distinction are:

Licentiateship (LRPS) is normally the entry level Distinction and is awarded for a good level of basic skill and competence, Open to members and non-members.

Associateship (ARPS) is awarded for a high standard of technical competence and individual creative ability. Open to members and non-members.

Fellowship (FRPS) is awarded for exceptional standards of excellence and distinguished ability. You need to have achieved the ARPS before you can apply for the FRPS.

British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE)

The BPE is open exclusively to UK residents and Acceptances in these Salons can be aggregated to apply for BPE Crown Awards. Across the UK there are some 19 photography Salons which are open exclusively to British photographers. Although each may have its own style, all come under the aegis of the BPE. A definitive list of the BPE Salons can be found at

In all but one of these Salons the images are judged by a panel of three experienced photography judges, with a silent judging system between 2 and 5, giving possible total scores between 6 and 15. Generally, all images that score 12 and above are accepted into that Exhibition. But sometimes this may be 11 or even 13 in a particular section.

The BPE operates a Crown Award system, which is a way of recognising a photographer’s achievements. Exhibitors are invited to aggregate their Acceptances in the affiliated Exhibitions and, upon reaching the required number, to apply without charge for a Crown Rating Award. Each successful applicant for an Award will receive a Certificate and a Ribbon and may state it after their name, such as BPE2*.

Crown Award Required Acceptances
1 25
2 50
3 100
4 200
5 300

Beyond the Crown Awards there is ABPE, which is achieved with a further 100 Acceptances plus 20 Awards from 10 different images and FBPE with yet a further 100 Acceptances, plus 30 Awards from 15 images.

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