The Society acknowledges photographic excellence with four awards - a Certificate of Merit and three formal distinctions. These are:
- The Certificate of Merit;
- The Licentiateship (LOPS);
- The Associateship (AOPS);
- The Fellowship (FOPS) - applicants must have previously been awarded an Associate-level distinction by a recognized photographic institution.
Detailed information relating to each award may be found by following the above links, visiting the FAQ section, and also by reading The OPS Distinctions Handbook. This handbook may be downloaded free of charge as a PDF file, or purchased as a printed booklet at a current price of £3.50 plus tax and delivery.
A photographer who is awarded one of the Society's distinctions may use the relevant letters (LOPS, AOPS or FOPS) after his or her name throughout life. No fees or subscriptions are payable. The award of a Certificate of Merit does not incorporate the right to use any letters after a successful candidate's name. Note that an applicant must be under the age of 18 on the relevant date of assessment to make an application for a Certificate of Merit, and must also provide evidence of consent via the Certificate of Merit Consent Form.