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Lots of club members have letters after their names

What do they mean?

The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB)

The PAGB is the co-ordinating body for all the UK Federations with their affiliated clubs and we run our own Awards for Photographic Merit.

  • CPAGB (Credit) requires very good club photography.

  • DPAGB (Distinction) is judged at the level of Open & International exhibitions.

  • MPAGB (Master Award of the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain) is awarded for an exceptional standard of photography which few (amateur or professional) can aspire to.

  • APAGB (Award of the PAGB) is granted for meritorious service to the PAGB, its constituent Federations and their clubs.

For further information see the PAGB Handbook or visit

Federation Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP)

FIAP is primarily a European has affiliated countries worldwide and makes its awards primarily on success in International exhibitions like our own Scottish Salon.

AFIAP (Artiste) is given for a large number of acceptances and at least one award. EFIAP (Excellence) requires even more acceptances and even more awards after you get your AFIAP. You may continue to EFIAP/Bronze, EFIAP/Silver, EFIAP/Gold and EFIAP/Platinum In amateur photography MFIAP (Master) may be the most difficult award to achieve. Only holders of EFIAP may apply by sending a complete CV and a panel of original concept work to be assessed by existing MFIAP holders. Fewer than 100 MFIAP have ever been awarded and there is only a handful in the UK. ESFIAP (Excellence of Service) and HonEFIAP are awarded for exceptional service.

Further information from the FIAP Liaison Officers for the PAGB, WPF and SPF – See the PAGB Handbook

The Royal Photographic Society (RPS)

The RPS is the oldest and most prestigious photographic body in the world. Its qualifications and awards are, uniquely, much prized and advertised by professional and amateur photographers alike.

  • LRPS (Licenceship) is awarded for a good level of basic skill and competence.

  • ARPS (Associate) is awarded for a high standard of technical competence and individual creative ability.

  • FRPS (Fellowship) is awarded for exceptional standards of excellence and distinguished ability.

Further information at

Photographic Society of America (PSA)

The Photographic Society of America was founded in 1934 to "Promote the Arts and Sciences of Photography and to further public education therein". There are members in 60 countries. PSA recognizes the consistent achievement of exhibitors by a system of Star Ratings. Stars are awarded for a combination of the number of acceptances attained and the number of different photos used. Further information at

British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE)

The BPE exhibitions are typically organised by a club or by a number of clubs in the same geographic area. There is a self-help group called the British Photographic Exhibition (BPE) which was set up to encourage photographers to enter exhibitions and to allow the members to share ideas, promote each others exhibitions and generally work together to promote competitive photography.

The 15 National Exhibitions who are members of the British Photographic Exhibitions offer a Crown Award system designed to enable successful exhibition photographers to gain additional recognition. Exhibitors are invited, upon reaching the accepted aggregate, to apply without charge for a Crown Rating Award.

  • BPE1 Crown Award - 25 points

  • BPE2 Crown Award - 50 points

  • BPE3 Crown Award - 100 points

  • BPE4 Crown Award - 200 points

  • BPE5 Crown Award - 300 points

Photographers who achieve BPE5* are eligible, upon reaching the accepted aggregate, to apply for ABPE (Associate) and FBPE (Fellow). More information at

To obtain entry forms for all 15 exhibitions each year send 4 9x6 Stamped Addressed Envelopes to Marion Thompson, Kintra, 79 Belfry Drive, Wollaston, STOURBRIDGE, DY8 3SE

Irish Photographic Federation (IPF)

IPF, the organising body for amateur photography in the Republic of Ireland offers its own distinctions which are:

  • LIFP (Licenceship)

  • AIPF (Associate)

  • FIPF (Fellowship)

These are equivalent to the similar range of RPS awards and are open to photographers all over the world. More information

Professional Associations

Many Club members work as professional photographers and may occasionally use their distinctions from professional associations in amateur competitions and exhibitions.

The largest associations in the UK are the Master Photographers Association (LMPA, AMPA & FMPA) and the British Institute of Professional Photography (LBIPP, ABIPP &FBIPP).

Further information from &

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