I gained the Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society way back in 1973, after joining the RPS the previous year. The distinctions include Licenciate (introduced in the mid 1970s), Associate and Fellow. Members can apply in one of a number of categories – which at that time included ‘Pictorial’ (which I did), ‘Applied’, ‘Audio Visual’, and so on. An RPS distinction is not a qualification, of course, but perhaps it marks a certain standard. More important for me, it provided a positive target to work for, and helped me to become critical of my own work. Rightly or wrongly, my ARPS is something that I'm very proud of. Click the images for technical details and extended captions.
At that time, gaining Associateship in the Pictorial section involved submitting a panel of 12 prints or 18 colour slides, which were required to show ‘variety of subject matter’ and ‘evidence of a distinct photographic style’. My panel of prints is shown above; all of them were nominal 20" x 16" flush-mounted prints (but not the thin ones, obviously). I might not succeed with the same prints today, as standards and styles have changed. But some of the prints did quite well for me in exhibitions at the time (click the thumbnails for the details).