Why become an SPA Judge?

 Here are some quotes from existing SPA judges:

 I enjoy seeing changing trends in photography and absorbing new ideas from those who put work in front of me.  – Bob Webzell ARPS EFIAP

 As a Judge, you will start out believing that your efforts are, in a small way, helping the photography scene in general. As time goes by however, you will also realise that you have yourself gained a wider and deeper understanding of all genres of photography. In addition, you will have enjoyed the company of many like-minded men and women, Judges and Club members, many of whom you can now call your friends. Your photographic life will have been enriched beyond measure. – David Harford LRPS

 I enjoy looking a great photography and gain inspiration from the work of others. I go to exhibitions and judging means expenses paid entry to frequent exhibitions! – Eddie Hyde LRPS

 The role is a very rewarding experience, in many ways, here are just a few:

  • Use your photographic skills in a wider context
  • Be inspired by lots of great photographs
  • Give something back to club photography
  • Extend your photographic ability & knowledge
  • Share your knowledge with clubs & their members
  • Join a growing team
  • Continued personal learning
  • Gain a growing reputation within the club scene

What’s it like to be an SPA Judge (frequently asked questions)?

How often do I have to judge?

As often as you like, there is no minimum.

Do I get any fees?

No, but you do get travelling expenses paid at the agreed PAGB rates of up to 45 pence per mile.

Do I have to accept invitations to judge anywhere in the SPA region?

No, if a location is too far for you just let the club know when they enquire.

What times do I judge?

Judging takes place on club nights between 8.00pm & 10.00pm with a 30 minute break, but you need to arrive in good time, so normally between 7.30pm & 7.45pm. You may also be asked to occasionally judge at club exhibitions at weekends, this is optional.

What are the judges’ lists?

New judges begin on the New Judges’ List, unless they come with significant experience from another region. New judges normally move to the B-List within 1 or 2 years. B-List judges can apply for a promotion to the A-List, which constitutes judges with longer experience, very good feedback and an ability to judge at a higher level, including Federation competitions.

What types of competitions will I have to judge?

As a new judge you may be invited to judge PDI, print, open and or set-subject competitions, plus panels, and maybe some other variants or combinations of the above. With experience as a B-list judge you may be asked to judge in inter-club competitions. You do not have to accept any format or subject you do not feel confident or wish to judge. Just decline politely.

Will clubs report on my performance?

Yes, clubs are invited to give a confidential report on any judge’s performance, in a constructive manner. This is kept private and any concerns will be addressed to you personally from a member of the SPA Judges Committee if necessary, this only happens on rare occasions, and is handled sensitively.

What are the criteria to become a judge?

There are some criteria to become a judge, these are set to make sure the applicants have a good chance of succeeding through the assessment process, and most do.

The main criteria are around a minimum level of personal photographic capability, a sample of your work will be reviewed, good club standard is enough, and normally this would mean being in the Advanced Section of your club, if it has one. In addition an ability to be reasonably comfortable with public speaking, and to be able to constructively critique photographic work of advanced & beginner photographers.

Click here, to see the full criteria.

What support do I get to become an SPA judge?

Firstly, you can contact anyone on the SPA Judges Sub-Committee to enquire about becoming a judge, click here or email judgesandlecturers@surreypa.org.uk

We have a structured programme for becoming a judge:

  1. There is an application form to apply. To access this, please click here.
  2. We hold an Introductory Evening annually (this is arrange with prospective new judges prior to the training days)
  3. We hold an Annual Judges Training Session (see the Calendar of Annual Judging Events)
  4. We have a simple mentoring system for anyone who is unsure & needs early guidance before passing the assessment and/or in their first months as a judge (please contact a committee member for details)

After the assessment the assessors will make recommendations to the SPA Judges Sub-Committee about who to appoint as new judges, once ratified you will be notified.

 What happens after I become a judge?

Judging is an on-going learning experience.

There is a Judge’s Annual Forum where you will get top-up training, advice, and a chance to mingle, chat & share notes with other SPA judges. It is where you get an opportunity to ask questions and discuss your experiences as a judge

There may from time to time be other educational events to support you.

You have access to the SPA Judges Sub-Committee at any time should you so need & there are often experienced judges prepared to mentor new judges in various ways.