Club members can also pursue a number of accreditations to show their photography has reached a set standard.  Again this isn't mandatory but it does appeal to some club members who like the challenge of attaining an increasingly higher standard.  Below we set out some of the options available to club members.  Again, all these award schemes are external to the club.

You will see references to many of these awards when seeing work from accredited photographers, as all these award schemes permit the use of set letters to be used after the photographer's name.

Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB)
The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB)(*) is the umbrella organisation for all the regional camera club feredations, so our regional body, the Lancashire & Cheshire Photographic Union (L&CPU)(*) is our regional representative.  The PAGB oversee an award scheme which enables club photographers to progress through three levels of accreditation.  These are: 

  • Credit (CPAGB), which is deemed 'good' club photography standard.  Successful candidates receive a blue badge and certificate and can use the letters CPAGB after their name.
  • Distinction (DPAGB) is deemed Open Exhibition photography standard, and success at this level gains a red badge and certificate and the letters DPAGB.
  • Master (MPAGB) is the toughest award, classed as the highest standard of UK photography, confirmed with a yellow badge and certificate and the letters MPAGB

Each award is for life without any fees payable.  Applicants are required to be a member of an affiliated club for a minimum time.

Awards are granted through a panel of judges who assess a set of images from the candidate, which must be either all prints or all projected images, but not both.  Check out the PAGB(*) website for full details, as the criteria do change from time to time.  Note that there is an initial fee payable to apply for an award.

The L&CPU offer a mentoring scheme which has dramatically improved the chances of candidates passing the benchmark for these awards.  Further information on this is available on the L&CPU APM & Mentoring(*) website.

British Photographic Exhibitions (BPE)
The British Photgraphic Exhibitions(*) are a series of 20 exhibitions around the country at various points in the year.  Anyone can enter images, and any that are 'accepted' into the exhibition gain 1 point for the author.  By accruing enough points, there are a number of awards that can be achieved, ranging from BPE1* ("BPE 1-star") through to BPE5*.  Again the standard is very high, though it is possible to enter the same image into several exhibitions, though of course there is no guarantee that an 'accept' in one will mean an 'accept' elsewhere.  There are entry fees to be paid, and it can be quite costly to pursue awards, especially at the higher levels.

Federation Internationale de L’Art Photographique (FIAP)
FIAP(*) is the international body to which national federations like the PAGB are affiliated.  There are a series of 10 distinctions at progressively higher standards, which involve strict requirements to be satisfied.  There is more information on the PAGB website FIAP pages(*), who oversee all applications from British camera clubs.

(*) shows that the link is to an external website.  LInks to external sites are provided in good faith and Darwen Camera Club accepts no responsibility for the content of external sites.