PAGB Awards

The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain is the body that oversees club photography in the UK.  In addition to providing the framework organisation for UK clubs and organising national competitions, the PAGB also provide awards to recognise achievement at various levels of club photography. There are three levels of PAGB awards:-

  • CPAGB (Certificate Award) – representing good club photography.
  • DPAGB (Distinction Award) – representing exhibition standard photography.
  • MPAGB (Masters Award) – representing the very best of amateur club photography.

I achieved my CPAGB award in November 2019, which involved submitting 10 print images for assessment, then went on to achieve my DPAGB award in May 2021, which required 15 print images to be assessed. The images are mixed in with other applicants and are scored as individual images, so there is no requirement for them to form a cohesive panel of linked images. Each image is scored by 6 experienced judges who award a score of 4 if they think it is to the required standard. A score of 3 indicates a ‘near miss’, 2 is a failure, and a 5 indicates the image is good enough for the next PAGB level. The pass mark is 200 at CPAGB and 300 at DPAGB, requiring an average of 20 pts per image, so even if some judges think an image is a ‘near miss’ it can still contribute to a winning score. In fact, marks above 24 are relatively rare, as judges have to consider an image to be clearly at the next level before awarding a 5.


The 10 images I submitted for my CPAGB are shown below – scores and titles can be seen by clicking on any image to launch the slideshow. My overall score was 219pts, so a successful submission.


The 15 images I submitted for my DPAGB are shown below, along with the scores.  I decided to re-use four of my CPAGB images for my DPAGB submission, though I slightly re-edited some of them.  I also supplemented my landscapes with a number of character/creative images. This was partly because opportunities arose to attend photo sessions to capture this type of image, but also because they had done well in exhibitions in the period after achieving my CPAGB award. My overall score was 318pts, so another successful pass.


The standard required to achieve an MPAGB award is very high, and requires images that are likely to win multiple awards in exhibitions. I know I am not yet at that standard (and may never be!), so for now, I am happy to have achieved the DPAGB award, and any further progression will depend on results in future exhibitions.

Gordon  – 5th July 2021