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CREDIT: Martin Till ARPS

Associate (ARPS)

The Associate distinction requires applicants to submit a body of work/project consisting of 15 images and a written Statement of Intent and a Presentation Layout. The images must be of a high standard.

Associate Criteria

  • A Statement of Intent that defines the purpose of the work, identifying its aims and objectives.
  • A cohesive body of work that depicts and communicates the aims and objectives set out in the Statement of Intent.
  • A body of work that communicates an individual's vision and understanding.
  • A high level of technical ability using techniques and photographic practices appropriate to the subject.
  • An appropriate and high level of understanding of craft and artistic presentation.

The Associate distinction is split into various specialist areas, which we refer to as genres. Many of the genres have additional specific criteria. It is important to read through the Associate Guidelines and the Genre Definitions documents for further information. We would also recommend reading the following article by Simon Hill HonFRPS called Framing Creativity. It will help your approach when applying for a distinction read the document here

Associate Genres & Definitions

The genre definitions below are written to give you the widest creative freedom so that you can select the genre in which you are most likely to succeed. Assessments at Associate are divided by genre so that they are assessed by the appropriately skilled Fellows of the RPS.

  1. Applied Photography: Photography which has been produced for an intended purpose, utilising a stated output.
  2. Contemporary Photography: Photography that communicates a visual realisation of a stated argument, idea or concept.
  3. Documentary Photography: Photography which communicates a clear narrative through visual literacy.
  4. Film: The work can be created in any moving image format including film, video, and digital media.
  5. Landscape Photography: Photography that illustrates and interprets earth’s habitats, from the remotest wilderness to urban environs
  6. Natural History Photography: Photography which illustrates an element of natural world within an unrestricted, uncultivated and untamed environment.
  7. Photobooks: A concept-led book that uses photography as a medium of visual communication in its own right.
  8. Travel Photography: Photography which communicates a sense of place.
  9. Visual Art Photography: Photography which communicates a creative vision.

Recommended Resources

Jude Beck Wzk4mcp58ds Unsplash
CREDIT: Jude Beck on Unsplash

one2one advice

To book a one2one, please follow the link below 

How to book a one2one
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Advisory Days

Advisory days are hosted by the RPS Regions & some Specialist Interest Groups. These can be a great opportunity to present Printed images for some feedback before an assessment. 

Login to your RPS Portal
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Panel Members

Panel Members are our volunteers who assess the submissions for each distinction. They also provide online advice and attend our advisory days. 

Panel Member List
09 Whoosh!
CREDIT: Lin Collins LRPS


If you have a burning question, we've possibly already answered it. Have a look through our Frequently Asked Questions to see if we have. 

Philip Field Arps 12
CREDIT: Philip Field ARPS

Assessment Days

Associate Submission Fee: £120 

Associate Assessment Dates
Certificate & Badges

Replacement Certificates & Badges...

Duplicate Certificates and Lapel Badges can be purchased from the Distinctions Department. This is particularly useful if either are lost, damaged or you just want a spare. 

To purchase, please email with your name and membership number stating which item you're after. For Certificates, please also include your name as you would like it to appear. 

Certificates: £25 each 

Lapel Badges: £10 each

Both prices above include postage. 

Please note: You must be a current member to purchase a new certificate or badge. 

Contact us

For help with your Associate application please contact:

Distinctions department
9am - 5pm Monday to Friday