Distinctions FAQs

22 April 2016

Region: Headquarters


We're frequently asked a number of questions regarding Distinctions, we hope this blog will help others in looking for the answers.


Q: Where can I find Assessment dates?

A: You can find assessment dates on the distinctions web pages http://www.rps.org/distinctions/events . Those dates that have no places available state FULL. Any other dates are available.

Q: Are assessments held locally to me?
A: All ARPS and FRPS assessments are held at The RPS HQ, Bath. We do hold a couple of LRPS assessments each year in the regions. The year South Wales and Norfolk.

Q: Do I need to attend the Assessment?
A: No you don’t need to attend your assessment. You can send your work prior to the assessment date. We do recommend attending as you will see other submissions and hear what happens, the panel member’s comments.

Q: I would like to observe an Assessment, can I and how do I book?
A: Please contact either lrps@rps.org or arps@rps.org with the date you wish to attend.

Q: What are Advisory days?
A: The Society’s policy is to offer a programme of Distinctions Advisory Days to assist the substantial part of the membership and non-membership who are working towards a Distinction. Advisory days should be seen as advising the potential candidate on the requirements and standards of the Distinction.

Q: I don’t live in the UK and can’t attend an Advisory day. What can I do?
A: We host a number of overseas Advisory days, the applicant receives video feedback. For availability Contact andy@rps.org


Q: I don’t know which category to apply for?
A: The ARPS and FRPS have categories which you can apply for, Natural history, Applied etc.…
To get understanding of the categories there are a number of things you can do.

Take a look at the successful ARPS and FRPS portfolios on;

Attend either a Celebration of Distinctions or introduction to Distinctions. An excellent opportunity to see the panels up close.

Attend an Assessment as an observer, see other panels and listen to the Panel members comments.



How do I apply?

Download and read the appropriate level's Guidelines and Application form, from the website. Read the requirements and criteria for the level and category you wish to apply for. Check the assessment date availability, complete and send the application to the Distinctions department. (Fenton House address). On receipt you will receive confirmation.


Do I pay more for membership when I'm a ARPS or FRPS?

No, your membership subscription does not change.


Can I bring spare images to the assessment?

Please do not bring any other images to an assessment, all you need is; 10 for LRPS, 15 for ARPS.


Can I use my ARPS images for my FRPS submission?

No, your FRPS submission needs to be a different body of work.


Do I have to wait two years before I apply for an another level of Distinction after I've been successful?

There is no time period set. Although it’s generally suggested to wait and not rush into it.


Can I submit more than one portfolio?

Only one submission per an assessment. You can submit to other categories.

If I gained my ARPS in Applied, do I have to submit to the same category for my FRPS submission.

No, You can change categories.


Can I mix monochrome and Colour images within my proposed panel.

Yes you can, more appropriate for LRPS due to the nature of the question.


Where can I get advice?

Advice is available; Advisory days, Online advice (members only). You can also attended an assessment as an observer. For guidance you can contact the Distinction Department. We recommended always to speak to a current Panel member.


I need a mentor?

The RPS doesn’t official provide a mentoring service, we can guide you and give advice and guidance throughout your application.


What size prints should I submit?

This is down to the individual and is relative the work produced. We suggest that a A4 print is more than adequate for assessing.


I'm not sure what category I should apply for?

We can help,  View the successful distinctions portfolios on the website and see which you feel comfortable applying for and which your work fits in. Within the guidelines download are category descriptions.

Contact us? distinctions@rps.org


What is a hanging Plan?

A hanging plan is a visual reference to your presentation and prints (Prints only). Thumbnails of the images in order of which the applicant wishes to present their portfolio. Used for reference by the Chairman and Distinctions Staff.

Comments (2)

RPS Distinctions
09 November 2016

Hello Dave,

No you do not have to submit again. Once you rejoin the Society, please e-mail distinctions@rps.org with your membership number and we will reinstate your LRPS.

The Distinctions Team

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09 November 2016

I gained an LRPS some years ago but have had a break in RPS membership, if I rejoin will my old LRPS still be valid or do I have to submit another application?

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