The Royal Photographic Society Distinctions are recognised as the most prestigious in the photographic world. We offer a range of Distinctions and Qualifications that members and non-members can apply for.


Distinction facts
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    members hold an LRPS Distinction

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    members are Associates (ARPS)

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    members are Fellows (FRPS)

About Distinctions

Explaining The Royal Photographic Society Distinctions; the order you take them in and what the initials mean. This section also includes information on other qualifications and exemptions.

What are RPS Distinctions?→

Step by Step

New to Royal Photographic Society Distinctions? This section will walk you through the process from when you are initially thinking of applying to the format of the Assessment day itself.

How do I apply?→

Assessment Dates

A list of forthcoming Licentiate, Associate and Fellowship Distinction Assessments dates across all categories.

Browse & book now!→

Distinction Successes

Seeing successful Distinction submissions by other photographers can be an extremely useful tool for your own journey. This section includes links to Member Distinction panel galleries and magazine features.

What's worked for others→


All the essential forms you will need to apply for your Distinction. This section includes Guidelines, Application Forms and postage labels. You will also find a full list of RPS Panel Members.

Forms and Practical Information→


Receiving online advice regarding your proposed Distinction submission is a benefit of being a Member of The Society. This process is particularly useful for those who cannot attend an Advisory Day or want advice on their panel prior to attending one.



If you have gained a photographic qualification within the last ten years you may be eligible for an Exemption - which means you could be awarded an LRPS or ARPS Distinction without having to submit a portfolio.

Do you qualify?→


Learn more about The Society’s Qualifications: The Imaging Scientist Qualification (ISQ) & the Creative Industries Qualification (CIQ).

Learn more→
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Distinction Stories

Eddie Morton

”Even though it has been a long journey for me with a very rewarding conclusion I certainly can recommend the experience to anyone who has never tried gaining a photographic Distinction.“

Eddie Morton ARPS

”When you go for a Distinction you are only really competing against yourself and even if you are not successful your photography improves by the very act of preparing for it.“

Tim Pile ARPS