Step 1: Applying

This step walks you through how to submit your initial application for an LRPS, ARPS or FRPS. It also includes all the forms and other information you need.

We recommend applying for a Distinction in the following order:


  1. Download the relevant PDF Distinction Guidelines and see if you feel you could meet the submission criteria - all applicants MUST read the respective guidelines.  Printed copies are available on request.
  2. Decide what format you would like to submit your images for assessment: Prints, Images for Screen, Book, Multimedia or a Dissertation. Digital images are not accepted at FRPS level.  Choose one of the following only i.e. I will apply for an ARPS in book format with 30 images:

    10 images
    15 images
    20 or 21 images
    Images for Screen
    10 images
    15 images
    Books 20 images
    30 images
    40 images
    Multimedia 8-12 minutes
    12-18 minutes 18-25 minutes
    Dissertation  ✓
  3. If you are applying for an ARPS or FRPS you may choose to submit your work in one of the following specialist categories:
    • Applied Photography – This category includes Documentary, Wedding and Portraiture and can be defined as photography that has a specific end purpose or use. Documentary photography provides a straightforward and accurate representation of people, places, objects and events, and is often used in reportage. Other disciplines covered in this category are theatrical, architectural, astronomy, visual journalism and palaeontology.
    • Conceptual and Contemporary Photography – Applications should explore, define, illustrate or evaluate issues through photographic images.
    • Creative Photography - Submissions must be based on photography, but the photographer will subsequently have creatively altered the images through manipulation either in-camera or post-processing.  All imagery must be photographically based and must be produced by the applicant.
    • Fine Art Photography - From 2017, The Creative and Pictorial categories will be merged into Fine Art Photography.  Submissions in this category will consist of photography produced to fulfil the creative vision of the photographer in expressing and sharing perceptions or emotions.
    • Multimedia – This encompasses Audio Visual, Moving Image and Multimedia including Interactive Multimedia.
    • Natural History Photography – This includes zoology, botany, meteorology, astronomy and palaeontology. Manipulation that alters the truth of image of any kind is not permissible.
    • Pictorial Photography – The emphasis is on the use of the camera to create the image. Images are not fundamentally altered in post-production or with in-camera manipulation.
    • Travel Photography – anything that records an impression of a time and place. Environmental portraits, architecture, landscape, street life and still life. If it identifies a location, event or show, it qualifies as photographic travel.
  4. If you are unsure if your work meets the required LRPS, ARPS or FRPS standard, you may decide to apply for Online Advice if you are a member (which can be found in the Member Only tab in My RPS) and/or attend an Advisory day for constructive individual guidance prior to booking your Assessment.  You can find information on Advisory days in Step 2 and can book them via our Advisory Day Dates page.
  5. If you are happy you can produce a relevant body of work to the required standard, check the Assessment Dates page and book on one that suits you (contact LRPS = £65 members/£90 non-members, ARPS = £100 members/£125 non-members, FRPS = £150 members.
  6. Send in your completed Application Form (downloadable below).  At this stage you will receive confirmation of your booking and information on how to submit your work (including information for any guests attending the Assessment with you).

    Once you have completed the above steps move onto Step 2 - Preparing Your Portfolio