Announced at the Canon AIPP Australian Professional Photography Awards by AIPP Chairman Felicity Biasi, the AIPP Accreditation standards, which have been in place for five years, have now received certification from Government body the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as meeting the requirements necessary of a professional body for the grant of a certification trade mark. [AIPP Featured Promotion]
This means that effective immediately, only AIPP Accredited Members can appropriately call themselves accredited professional photographers or video producers.
It’s a bold statement, but in an industry with minimal regulation and sadly many ‘less-than-professional’ practitioners, it’s a step that many committed photographers have been calling for for a long time in order to safeguard their businesses and reputation.
The ACCC certification also helps create the first formal recognition of the photographic industry as a ‘profession’ ““ a grey area up until this point.
Defined by the Professional Standards Council of Australia as ‘a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards, and positions itself as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from research, education and training at a high level”¦’, the certification by the ACCC means that the AIPP is now the only de facto membership body for the profession of photography in Australia.
AIPP President, Ross Eason, comments, “We are delighted to have received the green-light from the ACCC to enhance our members professional status. For some time our members and photographers around the country have been asking the Institute to develop standards to protect the perception of the “Professional” within our industry and we have been working for five years to refine our Accreditation system to a standard the ACCC, all working photographers and the consumer can trust. We believe certification by the ACCC gives us this standard.
“Whilst we understand and respect that not all working photographers will see membership to the AIPP as necessary, for those that rely on consumer confidence and reputation, the ACCC certification is of great benefit. It acts as a clear benchmark of quality for anyone looking to employ a photographer and offers reassurance of that person’s trusted experience and commitment to improve. For our members we know that it will really make a difference.” concludes Eason.
The first phase of the AIPP’s rollout of the ACCC certification is awareness across its membership base of over 2,000 working photographers and video producers in Australia to encourage swift engagement with the new visuals so that public awareness of the official standard can grow organically.
If you’re a current Accredited member of the AIPP, your Accredited Professional Photographer (APP) or Accredited Professional Video Producer (APVP) logos will be replaced and a new Code of Professional Practice and Terms and Conditions will be sent to you outlining the changes. Under the new Code, from January 1st 2016 it will be a requirement to include the new logos on all business documents, with checks being made by the AIPP from June next year. In addition, Accredited members are also encouraged to use the logo on all marketing materials to help promote public awareness of their status.
For non-members, nothing will change, however the AIPP hopes that the benefits of being a member will be highlighted through the increased awareness of its ‘badge of trust’ across both public and private clients.
Regardless of the ACCC certification, complaints made against AIPP members will continue to be handled by the AIPP, with the new Code of Professional Practice laying out revised mandatory guidelines under membership. The AIPP will handle client-practitioner complaints with a Compliance Committee, and internal member complaints through a Review Committee.
Bringing further authority under the ACCC backing, any photographer or video producer using the APP or APVP logos without being an Accredited Member can now face legal action from the AIPP.
See more details on the AIPP website.
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