Applying for an RPS Distinction?

05 August 2016

SIG: Travel

A Suggested Planned Route for an RPS Distinction


By Julian Comrie FRPS


Following the very successful demonstrations at several Spring Weekend meetings by people who have recently achieved their Associateships of the RPS, it might be appropriate to offer this brief summary suggesting the kind of route which one might take to obtain such a distinction; or, if the thought of applying for an Associateship daunts you, a Licentiateship first.




First and foremost, practise your photography. Take lots of photographs and analyse them: consider which are ‘good’ and which are ‘bad’, and why, and act accordingly. Acquire as many skills and ‘good’ pictures as you can; take advice from your peers, but question it, and either act on it, or if appropriate, reject it; and above all, be very self-critical.


Decide on your first Distinctions Target


If you are planning to aim for a Licentiateship (which one can do without becoming a member of the RPS, but if you are successful, you will be required to join the RPS before your Licentiateship is granted) make a selection of ten images showing a variety of subjects and demonstrating a number of skills, as described in the Distinctions Handbook.


If you are planning to aim for Associateship, be aware that the standard is significantly higher than the Licentiateship. The Associateship requires a panel of 15 pictures, normally on a particular theme of your choice, and in a specific category, such as Travel, as described in the Distinctions Handbook.


Preparatory Work


Bear in mind that the Distinctions Assessment procedure operated by the RPS is comparable to an examination, in which a syllabus and specific criteria are prescribed, and the applicants’ work is judged against these. The criteria, as well as general rules and regulations, are given in the Distinctions Handbook, which is available from Fenton House ...


This article is an extract from Julian Comrie's article first published on Page 14 in Travel Log Issue 56.



There are also some examples of Successful Panels and further advice on the Travel Group's Distinctions Page.


Comments (2)

Andy Moore
25 August 2016

Thank you for your comment, I am surprised to hear that a panel member did not give satisfactory feedback as the majority of the feedback we hear from Advisory days is very positive. We train our volunteers
to give honest opinions but this should be done in a constructive way and we will follow this up. If you would like to contact me direct at I would be more than willing to help you move forward with your submission.

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07 August 2016

ONLY 50% have attained a distinction in the Travel SIG is not surprising when the a certain advisory panel member can only dish out sarcastic comments such as I cannot even recommend this for a Licentiate distinction, this is a travelogue (aren't ALL Travel Panels travelogues?)
Although I PAID for advice not one word of encouragement came from the "advisor"! It was also suggested that I apply for the Licentiate first! Or even join a camera / photographic club (I am president of my club!)
I do not hold any hope for aspiring travel panel applicants, unless the panel is foreign based!
I have been to a number of Advisory panels as an observer and seen this so called 'advisor' pick on one hopeful only to debase their effort.
We PAY for advice, if you cannot give advice, resign from the panel!!

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