Long story short:
PPOC Board changed the # of merits you needed to get your MPA in Sept 2014
The policy change upset a lot of people. Mostly people that didn’t know they had the power to change it back.
Some members wrote a letter in April 2015 to requesting the board repeal the policy. The board did not.
Members are still upset.
Now, There is a vote at the next AGM to repeal the policy and reinstate the old designation qualifications. You as a member can change this policy!
Our current membership: 931 members (17% decline since 2013)*
# of MPA’s: 177 (according to the PPOC website)
# of CPA’s: 45 (according to the PPOC website)
This policy change affected 81% of the PPOC membership or 754 people**
The PPOC is a member run association. If we are unhappy with a policy – WE CAN CHANGE IT.
The old program:
MPA: 1500 merits (750 – service, 500 – print, 250 either)
CPA: 750 merits (500 print, 250 service)
*according to the 2017 AGM Package sent out April 13, 2017
**Based on current membership numbers
The new program:
MPA: 1950 merits – A 30% increase
CPA: 750 merits (250 salon, minimum of 30 accreditation merits, 220 salon or accreditation) (I think I have this right! – please let me know otherwise and I’ll adjust!)
The problem is…the argument a handful of (board) members and the PPOC office is making – is that members were getting their CPA’s and MPA’s faster than in past (see the merit chairs newsletter sent on Thursday, April 20th).
However, if this was the real issue – then policy change would have addressed how long the member had to be a member in good standing before they could achieve a designation.
Instead, they changed the VALUE of the designation. They made it harder to get. They are making us do more work now, then we did before.
Therefore, my question to you and the membership is – does it make sense that I have to do MORE work for the same designation? 30% more work to be exact. It doesn’t seem fair to me.
I don’t think a change to the program is unfound. I think the change that was made, was done hastily and is unjust to the 81% of the membership it affects.
I’m a new member, should I care?
Well, if you join the PPOC thinking that it might help set you apart in your market – then yes, you should care. Our organization runs on the back of our member volunteer. After a certain amount of given back and proving your skill level through salon – you are awarded a CPA or an MPA. Why is this a big deal…well, in the real world, you get to put a few letters after your name and you look like a big deal. In theory, you stand out amongst your competition and are more likely to get jobs and get paid better.
I also believe the policy change was unjust, how can I help change it back?
If you are not attending the AGM in Ottawa next week, then you need to print out this PROXY FORM, fill it out and give it or mail it to someone who will be attending. What this means is that they will carry your vote. So – you need to give it to someone who will vote in your favour. Do not just send it to your Regional Chair – unless you know where they stand on this issue. If you feel uncomfortable having that conversation or don’t have time – send me an email and I’ll tell you who you can send it to.
As I mentioned, I wanted to really understand this issue, so I knew if my concerns were valid. I requested some stats and board meeting minutes from the office – this was the response. (I never received the stats)
I have received your requests for information and am attaching minutes of the meetings of the National Board of Directors for 2013 and 2014.
With respect to the request for a breakdown of the number of MPA’s presented annually over the past 15 years, this will require considerably more time to assemble. As we currently have all hands on deck with the launch of the new website, and preparation for the upcoming convention, AGM and National Board meetings, I cannot give you a date by which we will be able to have this material put together for you. It may not be possible prior to the National convention, which will push us into May.
In assembling the stats you have requested, we will also be looking to assign a number of years of membership prior to the presentation of the MPA, as I believe this is an important part of the equation. Without looking back to confirm numbers from previous years, I can advise that it less that the number of MPA’s being presented has increased, than it is the fact that the time involved in order to achieve these designations has decreased dramatically.
Trusting the attached are what you are looking for –
I understand that if the stats requests have not already been assembled – then I can certainly understand that they won’t come together over night – especially given the time of year. I requested the minutes to read up on what stats were considered in the change, so that we (the members affected) can better understand the need for the policy change.
If it seems that there were no stats/facts considered and the policy work was just based on a perception – then what I would like to do (I’ll do it formally) is request that the policy change be reversed until the proper statistics are collected and then reviewed by a committee comprised of members at all stages of membership, and eventually resubmit a policy change to the board. I realize this may take some time.
I agree that the amount of time to achieve the designations should be considered as well as many other things (how many of the additional merits offered are actually being claimed – cause I know those blog merits offered were not enough to excite anyone to help me with it! 🙂
I realize I am asking for a lot of work over a policy that has already been put in place – but for a change that affects so many hard-working members (the majority without a voice at the table), I feel passionately about not only defending my colleagues who have earned these designations over the past few years (the facebook rhetoric that the association has been giving these designations out like candy is horribly insulting to all of those people who will be and have been recently awarded) and making sure that whatever policy changes are coming into place, are based on facts and are fair to all of us who are the future of the association.
If I can be of help compiling data – I am more then happy to dedicate my time and brain – just let me know.
Thanks again for your time.
With much respect,
Relevant Board Report and Board Minutes and the Policy change motion that was passed:
JANUARY 2014 (Alison Berk was Merit Chair at the time)
One thing I would also like to add is that we must discuss the merit and print system in regards to getting designations. Tanya and I have had some off the record conversations about this…. At this point in time we feel like we could basically hand out a CPA in the welcome package, it’s that easy to get to the CPA/MPA level. These awards are supposed to be prestigious and I feel like they are losing that. Now with salon you have the opportunity to enter 4 images, a master print if you are an MPA, and 3 Albums… if successful that is 480 Print points!!! It used to be a max of 240…So I really feel something needs to change. I would love some discussion on this.
- Merits There was discussion of a member who wanted merits for being a full time student. The consensus was that she will be able to claim for the equivalent of attendance at a 3 to 5 day event. The question of offering merits for the “My PPOC” contributors was raised. The consensus of the board was that these articles are not technical etc, and there is not a need to reward these with merits. Alison Berk discussed her concerns about the ease with which members are now able to achieve designations. PPOC has continued to add merits to the system, but never takes them away. There was discussion of the fact that it is conceivable for a member to earn enough print merits in a single year to earn a CPA. Alison was asked to come to the spring meeting a proposal for a revamp of the merit system as it relates to designations.
Greetings PPOC Board of Directors, I will start this report off by saying that Tina and myself have been working on some proposed changes to the Merit system. As you are all well aware, merits these days are very easy to come by if you put just a little bit of effort into anything. Print merits are at an all time high to achieve if you do well in competition with the chance to enter five images as a master, and a possible 3 albums…. That adds up to a lot of points. So below is what we have been talking about to make changes in earning designations. There is still a lot of work to be done in regards to service merits and what you can claim for – it’s a work in progress. Here are the changes we have been talking about…. Changes to Merit System Craftsman of Photographic Arts 300-Service Merits 750-Print Merits Must obtain a minimum of 1 accreditation and can use a maximum of 3 accreditations towards this designation. Master of Photographic Arts 600-Service Merits 1050-Print Merits 300-Combination of service and print merits can be used Must obtain a minimum of 2 accreditation and can use a maximum of 4 accreditations to towards this designation. Service of Photographic Arts 1250-Service Points MPA-1st Bar 400-Print Merits 500-Combinations of print and service merits SPA-1st Bar 750-Service Merits page 57 Notes/Questions: -We need to come up with a timeline that we feel is justifiable to the membership on implementation if this goes through. -I also want to make sure we aren’t harming our accreditation portfolio so maybe we need to make it clear they can use those additional print merits towards their MPA bars? As you can see, this won’t be an “easy” change – but it is something that needs to be done so there is a value to earning a designation. (In my opinion) Respectfully Submitted, Alison Berk, MPA, SPA
- Merits Alison Berk is suggesting the system be adjusted to make it more current. There was discussion regarding implementation of limitations. This topic is deferred to meeting of the board in late May. The PPOC Office will provide a report on who is close to achieving a major designation prior to this meeting to see how many members may be affected. Alison was directed to revisiting the criteria to consider increasing the number of merits required for the MPA only.
Merit Report I am going to start this report out with the changes that were brought forward at the last meeting for the new board members to see what we are talking about…. Here are the changes we have been talking about…. Changes to Merit System Craftsman of Photographic Arts 300-Service Merits 750-Print Merits Must obtain a minimum of 1 accreditation and can use a maximum of 3 accreditations towards this designation. Master of Photographic Arts 600-Service Merits 1050-Print Merits 300-Combination of service and print merits can be used Must obtain a minimum of 2 accreditation and can use a maximum of 4 accreditations to towards this designation. Service of Photographic Arts 1250-Service Points MPA-1st Bar 400-Print Merits 500-Combinations of print and service merits SPA-1st Bar 750-Service Merits At the April meeting it was discussed that we would possibly leave the CPA requirements and change the MPA requirements. So there are 46 members that currently hold a CPA and working towards the MPA designation. I would like to purpose that those members are “grandfathered” so to speak for three years to achieve the designation. If they don’t – they have to abide by the current structure. I would send each a letter explaining the changes to the members. Also – we had discussed that you could only use (3) accreditations towards your CPA – Rather than saying you can only use (3) we could do the following: item 8.0 page 49 – no more than 50% of your total print points can be from Accreditation (which is 8 accreditations – I am not in favor of this) OR – say that only 150 print merits can come from accreditation. (that would be 5) Discussion please. Also – I would like to purpose that in regards to claiming merits for accreditation pre-screening judging that you will receive one merit per judging – up to 15. The chair would have to claim merits for each judge so we knew how many each actually did. I think that is all I have for right now! Thanks to Tanya in the office for all her hard work!! Alison
- Merits Alison Berk reported that the speed with which many members are accumulating merits for CPA and MPA designations is rapidly increasing. Alison suggested that, with respect to the changes she is proposing to introduce, if the existing CPAs were grandfathered it should not create backlash. Tanya Thompson noted the debate she and a senior member had about this very issue, noting that the senior member felt that a member with many accreditations had in fact proven themselves to be an expert on multiple disciplines, whereas a portrait photographer could earn an MPA through image salon, with nothing put images of flowers. She also suggested that changing the language to state a certain number of print merits are required from salon, as well as from accreditation, may also help. Mark Orenstein noted that any change to the merit system will have to be able to be administered through IMS. He suggested a 3rd tier of merits would need to be created, essentially dividing print merits into Accreditation merits and salon merits. Alison believes that because members are able to have multiple attempts at earning an Accreditation, salon experience is also an important part of earning designations. Tina Weltz believes PPOC needs to put value back into the PPOC designations, and that this proposal would help to accomplish that. Alison will draft motions to be presented tomorrow that will address the scenarios that have been discussed.
- Merits (con’t) Alison Berk circulated three emails regarding merits. Louise Vessey wondered why changes to the merit requirements were not also being proposed for CPA designations, only for MPA? Alison noted the board had this discussion in April and the consensus at that time was to increase the MPA only. Right now many members receive their MPA within a year of their CPA. It will create a bigger distinction between CPA and MPA.
September 18th, 2014
Motion No. 89-BD-14/Proposition 89-BD-14
To divide the recording of print merits into two categories, Accreditation and Salon, effective January 1, 2015. Afin de diviser les points mérites pour impression en deux catégories, soient ceux pour l’accréditation et ceux pour le Salon de l’Image, et ce à compter du 1er janvier 2015. MOVED/SECONDED – PROPOSÉ PAR/APPUYÉ PAR: Alison Berk / Mark Orenstein All in favour – CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY Vote Unanime – ADOPTÉ À L’UNANIMITÉ age 27
MOVED/SECONDED – PROPOSÉ PAR/APPUYÉ PAR: Alison Berk / Mark Orenstein All in favour – CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY Vote Unanime – ADOPTÉ À L’UNANIMITÉ age 27
Motion No. 90-BD-14/Proposition 90-BD-14 That the merits required for being eligible for an MPA designation be increased from 1500 to 1950, being 600 service, 60 accreditation, 990 salon, and the remainder comprised of a combination of service, accreditation and salon. Afin d’approuver que les points mérites nécessaires pour être admissible à une désignation MPA soient augmentés de 1500 à 1950, comprenant 600 points mérites pour services, 60 pour accréditation, 990 pour le Salon, et le reste constitué d’une combinaison de points mérites pour service, accréditation et salon. MOVED/SECONDED – PROPOSÉ PAR/APPUYÉ PAR: Alison Berk / Mark Orenstein All in favour – CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY Vote Unanime – ADOPTÉ À L’UNANIMITÉ
MOVED/SECONDED – PROPOSÉ PAR/APPUYÉ PAR: Alison Berk / Mark Orenstein All in favour – CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY Vote Unanime – ADOPTÉ À L’UNANIMITÉ
Motion No. 91-BD-14/Proposition 91-BD-14 The merit allocation to be eligible for a CPA designation be changed to 250 service, 30 accreditation and 250 salon, and the remaining 220 from a combination of Salon and Accreditation. Afin d’approuver que l’attribution des points mérites pour être admissible à un titre de CPA soient changés à 250 points mérites pour service, 30 pour accréditation, 250 pour le Salon, et les 220 points restant à partir d’une combinaison de Salon et de l’accréditation. MOVED/SECONDED – PROPOSÉ PAR/APPUYÉ PAR: Alison Berk / Mark Orenstein All in favour – CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY Vote Unanime – ADOPTÉ À L’UNANIMITÉ
MOVED/SECONDED – PROPOSÉ PAR/APPUYÉ PAR: Alison Berk / Mark Orenstein All in favour – CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY Vote Unanime – ADOPTÉ À L’UNANIMITÉ
Motion No. 92-BD-14/Proposition 92-BD-14 That any member with a CPA designation as of December 31, 2014 be grandfathered such that they are exempted from the changes to the merit allocation per Motion No. 91-BD-14, for a period of three years, commencing January 1, 2015. Afin d’approuver que tous les membres ayant un titre CPA au 31 décembre 2014 aient un droit acquis et soient ainsi exemptés des modifications à la répartition des points mérites selon la proposition no 91-BD-14, et ce pour une période de trois ans à compter du 1er janvier 2015. MOVED/SECONDED – PROPOSÉ PAR/APPUYÉ PAR: Alison Berk / Mark Orenstein All in favour – CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY Vote Unanime – ADOPTÉ À L’UNANIMITÉ Letters should be sent to all affected members, and an announcement should also be made through eContact. The Regional Boards and Merit Chairs also need to be advised. Tanya Thompson and Alison will work to draft a letter. The letter will be provided to the Board members so they can disseminate the information to their Regional boards. age 28
Motion No. 93-BD-14/Proposition 93-BD-14 To accept the merit report as presented. Il est proposé d’accepter le rapport du dossier Merits tel que présenté. MOVED/SECONDED – PROPOSÉ PAR/APPUYÉ PAR: Alison Berk / Rodney Braun All in favour – CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY Vote Unanime – ADOPTÉ À L’UNANIMITÉ
After reading the reports and minutes, I concluded that there were no statistics or numbers reported anywhere supporting their claims. How could a policy that affected this many members go through without any kind of hard data? I rallied a few other concerned members. Here is the letter to the Board of Directors sent two years ago. It’s worth noting that we did not receive ANY RESPONSE until October 6th, 2015.
April 9th, 2015
Dear Board of Directors,
As proud, dedicated members of the Professional Photographers of Canada, we write this letter in response to the recent policy changes to the CPA and MPA designations.
We would first like to applaud your desire to keep the Craftsman of Photographic Arts and Masters of Photographic Arts designations prestigious. We also understand the time and thought that goes into policy changes and respect those of you in the positions elected to do so.
Our concerns united after recent conversations the topic. Many questions came up regarding the policy change, revealing the complexity of the system and issue. It was suggested by Alison Berk that a letter be written to the board.
After reviewing the merit reports and board minutes from the past two years, we realized that the statements from the board leading to the policy change were not supported by statistics. For example:
“merits these days are very easy to come by if you put just a little bit of effort into anything.“
“the speed with which many members are accumulating merits for CPA and MPA designations is rapidly increasing.”
According the PPOC website there are currently 204 members with an MPA designation and 43 members with a CPA designation. Using the membership count from the September 2014 board meeting minutes, this means that this policy change affects 79% of the membership.
While we are not suggesting that no policy change is necessary, we believe that the policy implemented without statistical evidence to support the claims made is unjust.
Therefore, we would like to formally request that the board rescind the policy changes made at the September 18th, 2014 meeting. We would also like to request that a committee be struck that represents all accredited stages of membership to gather and analyze the needed statistics to support any policy changes to the CPA and MPA designations. This committee could also be assigned to review the entire merit system and produce a report with recommendations. We have included talking points on the issue for the board and/or committee to consider.
The Craftsman and Masters of Photographic Arts are prestigious designations both which attracted many of us into this association. Once again we applaud your desire to keep these designations prestigious and hope that any changes made will be done with due diligence and fairness.
Tracey Harper MPA
Sara Rostotski CPA
Berni Wood CPA
These were questions sent into the board. We have never received a response to them.
TALKING POINTS FROM THE CURRENT POLICY CHANGES
1. When considering the increase in MPA’s awarded…did the board look at membership increase as well over the past 10 years? 857 to 1034…An increase in membership should have an effect on the increase of awards given out.
2. Was it also considered that a portion of the increase in awarded MPA’s had to do with leveling the playing field? By offering more opportunities for merits, meant that people living in rural areas were able to also collect merits as quickly as their city colleagues – qualifying them for MPA’s faster than they would have in the past? What percentage of members are claiming these additional merits? How many members are actually claiming more than 240 salon merits per year?
3. Did the board consider a 6 year minimum accredited membership in good standing clause for the MPA instead of a merit increase? Did they consider limiting the # of albums submitted instead of a merit increase?
4. It is noted in the letter to the membership the list of increase salon merit opportunities. Why wasn’t there an increase to the MPA bars – especially since one of those extra categories (Masters Class) is only for MPA’s?
5. Was it considered that the increase of MPA’s may be attributed to the current state of our industry and that having credentials in this day and age is much more valuable than it was 10 years ago? Perhaps more of our membership is motivated to participate now than they were in the past, so that they can set themselves apart in their communities?
6. What is the average time it takes a member to achieve an MPA now vs. 10 years ago. Was this policy created based on a recent handful of over-achievers vs. the average member?
7. There seems to be concern is that it is possible achieve an MPA in 4 years, how many MPA’s have actually achieved this feat? Why is this a concern? Why is the designation less “prestigious” if the member is committed and talented enough to achieve it within a shorter period of time?
8. Why were accreditation merits devalued in the CPA? There are a number of members who have been focused on their accreditation merits since joining and are now set back even further from the CPA because of the change. Was there any consideration given to these members?
9. Were the effects to the accreditation program considered in the policy change? What is the motivation of a member to collect accreditations if there is a limit to how many they can put toward their designations? What is the financial implication of this change on the association?
10. Did the board consider the members who were unable to qualify for their CPA because they have not yet the 3 year minimum requirement? Did the board consider longtime accredited members who have been plugging away slowly at these designations?
11. Was it considered to grandfather in all accredited members as of February 28th, 2015?
12. Why wasn’t the merit system reviewed along side of the designation program?
13. Additional PPOC Policy change to be considered to avoid similar situations in the future: Every 5 years or for every 100 merits added to the system a mandatory review of the merit and designation program should be done by committee to avoid situations like this in the future. (Committee could be comprised of at least: the NEC Chair, Merit Chair, 3 additional members: 1 MPA, 1 CPA, 1 Accredited member)
My follow email: Sept 30th, 2015