Star Ratings

PPD Procedure for Converting Stars

The PSA Board of Directors approved a Universal Star Ratings Program at the September 2009 Conference. The Star Ratings Directors will perform the conversion process and begin using the new requirements July 1, 2010. Individuals with stars may convert to the new system at any time beginning July 1, 2010. Some will not need to do anything and will be converted automatically when they submit their next application for a star. Only one conversion is allowed for each individual in each of the four PPD sections: large and small monochrome and large and small color. The new requirements are shown on Schedule A: Star, Galaxy and Diamond Acceptance Requirements. 

  • There is no change to the judging credits, acceptance limits for Star Ratings and titles and acceptance credits.
  • The new Star criteria are effective July 1, 2010, and star ratings for all acceptances received after July 1, 2010, will be based on the new criteria. Note: acceptance date is the closing date of the exhibition.

Who Needs to Convert?

Anyone with more than 288 acceptances on June 30, 2010 will want to convert. If you have not yet achieved the 96 titles needed for the fifth star under the new rules, we recommend that you hold your conversion application until you apply for the next star. Individuals with lower levels than those listed above may convert if they wish, or wait until they apply for another star.

What Needs to be Converted?

The former PPD star rating system for awards above the 5 star level allowed the use of unlimited numbers of acceptances per title, with a requirement of an average of not more than 5 per title. The new, uniform PSA system replaces that with a Galaxy/Diamond system that puts more emphasis on titles and less on acceptances: only three (or six at the Diamond level) acceptances per title are used, and the title must have earned three (or six) acceptances to be used for an award. Hence, we need a system to insure that exhibitors get full credit for acceptances earned under the old rules when they start to operate under the new rules.

Under the new Galaxy/Diamond system, you need 25 new titles with exactly three acceptances to reach another Galaxy level, until you reach Galaxy 6, then you need 50 new titles until you reach Galaxy 10. After Galaxy 10, you need 50 new titles with exactly 6 acceptances each for Diamonds 1-5, and 75 titles with 6 acceptances each for Diamonds 6-10. That means any acceptances above three or six would be lost, as well as acceptances on “old” titles–those used for previous stars. Those acceptances and titles need to be converted, so exhibitors do not lose credit for acceptances earned under the old rules. Any acceptances earned since the last star application on titles used for that star or previous ones are eligible for conversion. Further, any new titles which have been accepted four or more times are eligible for conversion. You will not earn conversion acceptances on new titles for which you have one, two or three acceptances, because those titles and acceptances can be used for galaxy awards under the new rules. Any unused acceptances received prior to July 1, 2010 which will no longer be eligible must be submitted at the time of conversion.

All other acceptances should be listed on applications for new awards and the new criteria will apply.

How to Apply for the Conversion

If you have more than 288 Acceptances, these steps must be followed for each application for conversion. Note: Old title–any title you have used for an approved star application in the past. New title–any title you have not previously used for an approved star application.

  1. Applications for conversion can be sent after July 1, 2010 or with the application for additional awards. There is no formal time limit for conversion applications.
  2. Determine which acceptances must be claimed during the conversion to prevent their loss. See “What Needs to be converted,” above.
  3. Prepare a listing of the acceptances that need conversion. This includes all acceptances of old titles since your last approved star application, and new titles with four or more acceptances. Do not include new titles with only one, two or three acceptances. 
    a. Sort by Exhibition, then by year 
    b. Number the acceptances 
    c. Annotate which are old titles and which are new. 
    d. Label each page with your name and Conversion Acceptances
  4. Prepare a complete, alphabetical list of all titles used for all stars including conversion titles. Number the titles. Label with your name and Cumulative Titles.
  5. List any unused judging credits: exhibition, year and number of judges. These will be analyzed separately to insure that you do not lose credits you otherwise could have used. Either they will be counted in the conversion or they will be noted so you can use them despite the rule that judging credits used for a galaxy must have been earned since your last galaxy or fifth star.  
  6. There is no fee for the conversion. 
  7. Send the following to the proper Star Ratings Director 
    a. Copy of Membership Card 
    b. Conversion acceptance listing 
    c. Complete titles list. 
    d. Judging list, if applicable 
    e. A covering note with your name, exactly as you want it to appear on certificates, your mailing address, your email address, the class (large monochrome, small monochrome, large color or small color) you are applying to have converted, and whether you want a certificate only for the highest level you have reached after conversion, or certificates for all the lower ones as well. 
  8. New levels attained will not be listed in the PSA Journal. Certificates will be issued automatically for the highest new level, and for all the lower new levels if you ask for them. The cover letter will indicate the amount of carry-forward (above your new level) due to the conversion. Tabs and trophies have been discontinued. 
  9. If you are applying for additional awards, you must include the proper application and applicable fee. “Additional awards” are any that require counting acceptances that are not “conversion acceptances” as outlined above. Judging credits or acceptances after June 30, 2010 are examples. 
  10. If you prefer, you may send conversion applications by email. Put the cover letter information in the body of the email, and attach the lists as .xls (Excel) files. Do not send .xlsx.

If you have fewer than 289 acceptances: You will not lose any acceptances in the transition, and there is no need to apply for a conversion. You can convert when you apply for the next star. However, if your previous star level now converts to a higher level and you don't want to wait, merely send in a request, citing the previous acceptance and title totals. If you want to use acceptances and titles since your last star, send in a regular application for your next star, not a conversion application. Since you would not lose acceptances, you have nothing to convert.

Send to:

Monochrome Prints: Tom Hady, APSA, EPSA,  Star Ratings Director, Monochrome Prints,  6719 Bellamy Ave. Springfield, VA 22152 USA email:

Color Prints: Stuart Bacon, 1320 Benito Avenue, Burlingame, CA  94010-5626, USA, email:

If you prefer, you may send conversion applications by email. Put information that you are supposed to send in a covering note in the body of the email, and attach the lists as .xls (Excel) files. Do not send .xlsx.