Become a Certified Judge

Become a Certified CAPA Judge

CAPA offers a designation of a “CAPA Certified Judge” to individuals who meet and maintain a high standard for judging. With this designation you are permitted to identify yourself as a CAPA Certified Judge & are qualified to judge local camera club competitions, CAPA zone and national competitions, and international photography competitions. On becoming a CAPA Certified Judge your name will be entered into the national CAPA Judging database and you can be called upon by local camera clubs or CAPA’s Director of Competitions to judge competitions.

CAPA Certified Judges should not receive payment for judging at regular club, zone, or national CAPA competitions. However, clubs and CAPA may reimburse a judge for expenses involved in onsite, inperson judging. In some situations local clubs or CAPA may provide an honorarium to an individuals called upon to judge a competition.

The CAPA Certified Judge designation is ONLY valid for a 5year period, and under the following conditions.

The individual must:

  • Maintain their membership in CAPA while a CAPA Judge;
  • Retake a CAPA Judging Course within each 5 years of having been certified, or recertified, as a CAPA Certified Judge; and
  • Agree that CAPA has the unqualified right to suspend and/or revoke the CAPA Certified Judge designation if:
    a. A Certified Judge fails to maintain their membership in CAPA while a CAPA Judge, and/or

    b. On expiration of each 5th year of certification they failed to successfully retake a CAPA Judging Course, and/or

    c. Following upon an investigation of any issue(s) or concern(s) concerning the
    maintenance of CAPA’s judging standards, the President of CAPA, the Director of
    Education, and the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer conclude the individual has not
    satisfactorily addressed or remediated the issue(s) or concern(s).

    The candidate to become a Certified Judge must:

    1. Be a current CAPA individual or family member;

    2. Have completed the CAPA Judging Course within the past two (2) years and have been
    awarded the designation of a “CAPA Trained Judge;” and

    3. Be willing to have their name entered into the national CAPA Judging database as a “CAPA
    Trained Judge

    Upon satisfactory completion of the CAPA Judging course you must:
  • 1. Contact the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer at and indicate that
  • Want your name added to the national CAPA Judging database as a “CAPA Trained Judge;” and
  • Are interested in being evaluated with the objective of becoming a CAPA Certified Judge.
  • 2. Complete CAPA’s Judge’s Information Form, which will be provided to you by the Judges Liaison Officer. The form will ask you to indicate the photographic genre(s) on which you are interested in being evaluated, and whether you are willing to judge online’ [‘remotejudging’].
  • 3. Attest by signature on the CAPA’s Judge’s Information Form that you will maintain CAPA’s judging standards & will consistently provide comments that are educational & unbiased by personal opinions & preferences. The CAPA Judges Liaison Officer will discuss with you the various avenues by which you can become qualified as a CAPA Certified Judge. Depending on how well you perform in your initial judging opportunities you will be required to undertake some combination of these avenues. Some candidates take longer to become qualified than the minimums stated below, not everyone who goes through the process becomes qualified as a CAPA Certified Judge, and some conclude they are not comfortable judging in competitions. After having successfully completed a CAPA Judging course you must successfully complete a combination of the following avenues:
  • Avenue A: Receive a series of images predetermined by CAPA, in one or more photographic genre sets. This path is an online system in which:
  • a. You receive the images electronically;
  • b. You view each image on your computer monitor and record your score plus associated comments for each image; &
  • c. Your scores and comments on each image will then be evaluated against CAPA’s standards by highly qualified CAPA Certified Judge(s), and feedback will be sent to you. With this avenue you are selfpaced, and CAPA can assess you on a wide range of photographic genres, based on your scores and written comments. Using Avenue A, you must achieve a fully satisfactory rating on a minimum of four (4) different sets of images within 18 months.
  • Avenue B: Volunteer your services to camera clubs in your area. In doing so, you may serve at the club’s discretion as one of the three primary judges or as a 4th judge. As a 4th Judge your scores will not be tabulated in determining the winners of a competition, but you will have the opportunity to practice judging. One or more of the club’s primary judges MUST be CAPA Certified Judge.

A local club may conduct their competition judging inperson or online. For an inperson competition at least one of the club’s judges must be a CAPA Certified judge who has been explicitly asked by you or the club to evaluate you, and they must provide the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer with their views on your judging abilities by submitting CAPA’s Judge in Training Evaluation form. If the local club conducts its competition judging online the club’s competition coordinator must also forward to the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer a copy of all the scoring sheets, including those by the individual being evaluated. Using Avenue B, you must achieve a fully satisfactory rating on a minimum of six (6) different club competitions within 18 months.

In both avenues a “competition refers to a single judging occasion or event, even if it consisted of several components [e.g., print open, digital open, print landscape, digital landscape, etc.]. Further, CAPA Trained Judges being evaluated to become certified and looking for additional experience can indicate to the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer their willingness to also volunteer to be a 4th judge for a national CAPA competition. This opportunity is NOT normally available in the initial phase of being evaluated. Generally, you first must have satisfactorily judged in some competitions under one or both of the above two avenues. With this additional opportunity you:

  • a. May be contacted by the Director of Competition and asked to be a 4th judge in a forthcoming national CAPA competition (‘remotejudging’);
  • b. Must provide satisfactory evidence of extensive experience with the photographic genre being judged;
  • c. Access the CAPA competition judging website area using a password given to you for the occasion. You will enter your score and comments online; and
  • d. Will receive feedback on your score and comments in comparison to CAPA’s judging standards.

After each national competition in which you judge CAPA’s Director of Competitions will forward all the recorded scores & comments, including yours, to the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer for his/her review. The President of CAPA, the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer, and the Director of Education monitor the judging scores/comments for all national CAPA Competitions to ensure
consistency & that CAPA’s scoring standards remain at a high level.

Regardless of the opportunities used the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer will evaluate your scores & comments you have provided for the competitions in which you judged, as well as the evaluations on you from CAPA Certified Judges. He/she will provide you feedback & suggestions to assist in your progress towards becoming a CAPA Certified Judge. You will only be granted the designation of CAPA Certified Judge when and if the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer and the Director of Education are satisfied that you meet CAPA’s judging standards.

If you have any questions about our judging certification program, please contact the CAPA Judges Liaison Officer Glenn Bloodworth at


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