Recognition


Star Ratings & ROPA

Only individual PSA members may apply for Star Ratings and ROPA distinctions.

To achieve a Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA), a PSA member must complete three general steps:
  1. Earn acceptances in PSA-recognized exhibitions
  2. Use acceptances to apply for Star Ratings Certificates
  3. Use the Star Ratings Certificates to apply for a ROPA distinction
Members must maintain continuous PSA membership in order to earn Star Ratings or use their Star Ratings to apply for a ROPA distinction.

Star Ratings Program

 

Senior Director
PSA Star Ratings 

✉ Position Available

  


Overview

Images that are "accepted" for inclusion in an exhibition are eligible to be used by PSA members when applying for a PSA Star Rating.

Stars are awarded separately in each of the PSA Divisions. See links below for Divisional Star Ratings Directors.


News
Fees for Star Ratings Change 1 January 2019 – see below.

Changes to the PSA Stars Buy Back Program, as of 1 October 2018 – See Resources below.

The Process
A member applies to the Division in which the acceptances have been obtained. Download and use the Application File below.



Division Star Ratings Directors check the acceptances and titles in a member's application list against the results submitted by the Exhibitions. Approval letters and certificates are sent to successful applicants. These certificates are required when applying for a ROPA distinction.


Minimum Requirements for Star Ratings Certificates (see below)

Fees
For applications received on or before December 31, 2018, the fee for processing each Star Rating is $12.


Fee change beginning January 1, 2019
For applications received on or after January 1, 2019, the fee for processing each Star Rating is $15.

Printing and postage of multiple certificates earned from a single application, $15 for the first certificate and $3 for each additional certificate.
It is the preference of PSA that individual recipients of Star, Galaxy, and Diamond awards print their own certificates of award from a digital file given to them upon notice of approval.


PSA Star Ratings Guidelines

» Star applications in all Divisions now use the application processes described in these documents:
Star 1-5 Application Instructions: pdf 
Star Ratings Application Spreadsheet: Excel
Guidelines for Using the Star Application spreadsheet: pdf

Galaxy/Diamond Ratings

Acceptances in a division (other than 3D) after a 5-star rating can be applied toward the more advanced, Galaxy and Diamond Ratings. There are 10 levels of Galaxy and 10 of Diamond Ratings. See the complete chart of requirements for each level (below).

» Galaxy and Diamond applications in all Divisions use the application processes described in these documents:
Galaxy-Diamond Applications Instructions: pdf
Galaxy-Diamond Application Spreadsheet: Excel
Guidelines for using the Galaxy-DIamond Application Spreadsheet: pdf

PSA Star Ratings Directors (Each of the following is linked directly to each division Star Ratings page, which includes Director(s) name(s), email(s), and procedures.)

Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA)

Director, ROPA

✉ Gerald H. Emmerich, Jr., HonFPSA, GMPSA/B· 

Overview
Star Ratings Certificates may be converted to ROPA distinctions, based on the number of acceptances that have been verified.


The Process
Members must complete the online ROPA application. A word doc application is also available. Online or emailed applications are preferred, but applications can be sent via snail-mail.

» ROPA Application - Interactive Web Page | Document | pdf

A copy of the qualifying PSA Star Rating certificate(s) must accompany each application. Only the highest-level Star Rating certificate in each Division is required. Any Star Rating certificate from any PSA Division can be used.

See more details at the link "Information needed for a ROPA application" at the bottom of this page)


Minimum Requirements for ROPA Distinctions (see below)
(Star Ratings Certificates are proof of the number of acceptances you have received.)


Fees

For applications received on or before December 31, 2018, there is a $40 processing fee for each ROPA application, to be paid after the application is approved. 

Fee change beginning January 1, 2019
For ROPA applications received on or after January 1, 2019, the fee for processing each ROPA application will be $50, to be paid after the application is approved.

For QPSA, PPSA and EPSA applications, a paper copy Certificate will be issued.  For all other applications, the member may choose to receive a paper copy Certificate OR a plaque at the following fees (which includes the application fee):
MPSA or MPSA2: $75 | GMPSA: $100 | GMPSA/B: $110 | GMPSA/S: $120 | GMPSA/G: $130 | GMPSA/P: $140

There is no fee change for plaques on or after January 1, 2019.


Deadline
ROPA applications can be made at any time of the year.

PSA members can use the ROPA acronym letters after their name as soon as their applications are approved.


PSA Journal and Website Listing 

The ROPA Distinctions that are approved each quarter are listed in the PSA Journal in March, June, September, and December and on the PSA website in January, April, July, and October.

ROPA Photo Galleries
Once a member's ROPA application has  been approved, the member may place up to 20 images (depending upon the distinction earned), a biography, and his or her portrait in a ROPA Gallery on the PSA website. When a member receives a new distinction, the ROPA gallery is updated and moved to the appropriate section. Members may add additional images to an existing gallery if they move from QPSA to PPSA or EPSA, EPSA to MPSA or MPSA2, or MPSA (MPSA2) to GMPSA and above.

Additional guidelines may be viewed (or hidden) by selecting the topics, below. To see all available guidelines at once, choose "Show All."


 
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  • Star Ratings Guidelines

    The following are basic Guidelines, more detailed Guidelines are contained in the downloadable Instructions above.

    • Only Individual PSA members are eligible to earn PSA Star, Galaxy and Diamond Ratings.
    • Acceptances earned during PSA membership can be applied to Stars/Galaxies/Diamonds in each Division.
    • To use Acceptances earned before becoming a PSA member see PSA Stars Buy Back Program.
    • Members must maintain continuous membership once the First Star is earned. Lapses in membership can be bridged by paying a fee for each year.
    • Members must apply for Star, Galaxy and Diamond Ratings, they are not automatically awarded.
    • Only acceptances in PSA Division recognized sections of exhibitions can be used in Star, Galaxy or Diamond Rating applications.
    • Only acceptances earned in one Division (for example, Nature) may be used for a Star Rating in that Division (Nature). The entrant must keep a record of which PSA Division or Divisions have recognized each exhibition that the entrant entered. 
    • Some exhibitions with PSA-recognition (PSA logo used) are only recognized for one of several sections and only acceptances in that one section can be used for PSA Star Ratings.
    • The same title must be used with a particular image every time it is entered or exhibited.
    • The entrant's name must be used in the same way for each exhibition entered in order to have the entrant's acceptances recorded properly.  For example, use only one of: M. Harry Smithers; M. H. Smithers; Smithers, Michael Harry; or Michael Harry Smithers. 
    • Star Ratings Certificates are needed to apply for PSA Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA) Distinctions (QPSA, PPSA, EPSA, MPSA, MPSA2, GMPSA, GMPSA/B, GMPSA/S, GMPSA/G, GMPSA/P).
    • Members must follow PSA Ethical Practices
  • PSA Stars Buy Back Program

    The Stars Buy Back and Bridging Buy Back systems are the processes by which members may use acceptances gained prior to joining PSA (or gained during a gap in membership) when they apply for Star, Galaxy or Diamond ratings.

    For more information:  Download PSA Stars Buy Back Rules pdf. 


    How to Pay for Buy Back Fees:

    To pay Buy Back fees (for acceptances gained prior to joining PSA), go to: www.psa-photo.org/index.php?new-member-stars-buy-back

    To pay Bridging Buy Back fees (to pay for gaps in membership), go to: www.psa-photo.org/index.php?bridging-buy-back


    Contact PSA's Membership Coordinator (membership@psa-photo.org) if you have any questions.




  • Information needed for a ROPA application

    The Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA) Awards of Distinction program was established in February 1997, for the purpose of recognizing Individual PSA member achievements in PSA-recognized international exhibitions. After receiving acceptances in international exhibitions, individual PSA members in good standing may apply for the various levels of ROPA distinctions.  A scan of the latest qualifying certificate(s) from the PSA Division Star/Galaxy Directors (SRDs) granting Star or Galaxy ratings must accompany each application. (Only the highest-level certificate is required.)

    There are six levels of distinction awards – Qualified (QPSA), Proficiency (PPSA), Excellence (EPSA), Master (MPSA), Master 2 (MPSA2) and Grand Master (GMPSA).  The GMPSA distinction has five sub-levels. The number of acceptances required for each level is outlined in the link (below) for Minimum Acceptance Requirements for Star Ratings Certificates and ROPA Distinctions. In order to qualify for the ROPA distinctions, you will need proof of acceptances in the form of Star Ratings Certificates from one or multiple PSA divisions.

    PSA Membership Required:  All exhibitors applying for ROPA distinctions must be Individual PSA members in good standing.  It is important that a recipient’s membership does not expire before the annual PSA Conference in September or October of each year.

    Photo:  An electronic head-and-shoulder color photo image with a blank background (no hats or props included) is required. The image should have a vertical dimension of 1050 pixels at 300 dpi. The photo will be used for publication on the ROPA page of the PSA website.

    FeesThere is a $40 USD processing fee for each ROPA application, to be paid after the application is approved. For QPSA, PPSA and EPSA applications, a Certificate will be issued at no extra charge.  For all other applications, the member may choose to receive a Certificate at no extra charge OR a plaque at the following fees (which include the $40 application fee):  MPSA, MPSA2 – $75; GMPSA – $100; GMPSA/B – $110; GMPSA/S – $120; GMPSA/G – $130; and GMPSA/P – $140.

    Application Deadline:  There is no deadline for submitting an application for a ROPA distinction. Applications are processed throughout the year. ROPA award certificates or plaques are now prepared and distributed on a quarterly basis, and in the month following each quarter, the awards are sent from PSA Headquarters.  For those recipients who indicate that they will attend the PSA Conference, the ROPA award is presented at the Conference, unless the recipient chooses to have his award sent after the quarter in which it is approved.  

    Information on ROPA Recipients:  Exhibitors are able to use their new distinction “letters” as soon as the recipient receives the distinction approval letter from the ROPA director.  A list of all recent recipients of ROPA distinctions is published quarterly in the PSA Journal in March, June, September, and December of each year.  In addition, photos of recent recipients are published quarterly on the PSA Website.  Also, ROPA distinctions are updated on the PSA membership data base in three to five working days following approval of each distinction.  All ROPA recipients are also encouraged to submit 3 to 6 images of their work and a brief biography for display on the ROPA Galleries pages of the PSA Website.

    Submission of the Application:

    Applications for ROPA distinctions can be submitted

    1. online on the PSA website OR


    2. by downloading the application form from the PSA Website and emailing the completed form along with the required photo and the supporting star/galaxy/diamond certificates to
    ropa-director@psa-photo.org 

    ROPA Director Contact Information:

    Gerald H. Emmerich, Jr., HonFPSA, GMPSA/B·

    ropa-director@psa-photo.org

     

    Updated    10/17/2018

  • Minimum Acceptance Requirements for Star Ratings Certificates and ROPA Distinctions
    Minimum Requirements for
    STAR RATINGS CERTIFICATES
    Minimum Requirements for
    ROPA DISTINCTIONS
    to earn this 
    Star Rating 
    Certificate
    You need this many 
    Acceptance Credits 
    in a PSA Division
    with this
    Minimum Number
    of Required Titles
    1 Star 18 6
    2 Stars 36 12
    3 Stars 72 24
    4 Stars 144 48
    5 Stars 288 96
    Galaxy 1 363 121
    Galaxy 2 438 146
    Galaxy 3 513 171
    Galaxy 4 588 196
    Galaxy 5 663 221
    Galaxy 6 813 271
    Galaxy 7 963 321
    Galaxy 8 1,113 371
    Galaxy 9 1,263 421
    Galaxy 10 1,413 471
    Diamond 1 1,713 521
    Diamond 2 2,013 571
    Diamond 3 2,313 621
    Diamond 4 2,613 671
    Diamond 5 2,913 721
    Diamond 6 3,363 796
    Diamond 7 3,813 871
    Diamond 8 4,263 946
    Diamond 9 4,713 1021
    Diamond 10 5,163 1096
    To earn this 
    ROPA
    Distinction
    You need this many
    total Acceptances, verified
    on 
    Star Ratings
    Certificates from one
    or multiple PSA Divisions
    QPSA
    Qualified
    54
    PPSA
    Proficiency
    288
    EPSA
    Excellence
    700
    MPSA
    Master
    1,500
    MPSA2
    Master 2
    2,250
    GMPSA
    Grand Master
    3,000
    GMPSA/B
    Grand Master, Bronze
    5,000
    GMPSA/S
    Grand Master, Silver
    7,000
    GMPSA/G
    Grand Master, Gold
    9,000
    GMPSA/P
    Grand Master, Platinum
    11,000