The six quarterly competitions are organised as three pairs. Each pair consists of a print competition and a PDI competition. A competition has six sections (definitions below) which are record, portrait, natural history, monochrome open, colour open and set subject. Details of the set subject for each competition are published in the SPS syllabus and on the SPS website.
An external judge assesses each competition; they give each entry feedback (comments) and a mark out of 20. First, second and third places are given in each section. Placed images gain points (first 3, second 2 and third 1) which accumulate towards annual cumulative points competitions. The person with the most points in each cumulative competition is awarded a trophy at the annual exhibition.
- A maximum of eight entries per author in a competition
- A maximum of three entries per author in any section
- An image can only be entered as either a PDI or print in one pair of quarterly competitions
- No image can have previously been placed in a SPS quarterly or annual competition
- An image can have previously been entered no more than three times in a SPS merit, quarterly or annual competition
- Entries together with an entry form must be submitted two weeks before a competition
- Except for final printing, images must be entirely the work of the author.