Five-step guide to Licentiate success

06 May 2016

The RPS Journal

The RPS offers three levels of Distinctions which set recognised standards of achievement throughout the world: LRPS, ARPS and FRPS.

The Licentiate Distinction (LRPS) is achieved when applicants present images of a high standard of photographic execution. It is a demanding but rewarding process for most dedicated photographers. Applicants must show variety in approach and techniques but not necessarily in subject matter.

We've gathered together some of the best tips and tricks that will help you on the way to achieving a Licentiate Distinction. 


1. Read the guidelines

Download a guide to applying for a Licentiate from the Society website. You will find instructions on the technical requirements for your submission, including directions about suitable mounts. Go to


2. Have plenty of images

Make sure you start with lots of images – Nicky Rochussen LRPS, for instance, began with 100. This will allow you to really work on your hanging plan, swapping in images to help make it as balanced as possible. It will also let you respond to advice more quickly: if you need another monochrome picture, you’ll probably have an option to hand.


3. Attend an assessment day

Sit in on an assessment day to find out what assessors are looking for. What kind of errors are they picking up on? What kind of positive feedback do they give? This will help you get a feel for what not to do.


4. Get online advice

Once you think your panel is ready, have it checked once more by one of the Society’s panel members. Submit your panel, plus five spare images and allow four to six weeks for feedback. To find out more, go to


5. Attend an advisory day

It cannot be emphasised enough: attend an advisory day. Knowledge gained from these events is invaluable and will help you develop your eye and improve that all-important hanging panel.