IOP® provide CPD accredited online photography courses to over 20,000 students worldwide. What does this mean for you, as an IOP® student? We often get asked questions around accreditation and thought it would be useful to write a short FAQ surrounding this hot topic.
Q. Which accrediting body officially accredits online courses?
A. IOP® are accredited by the CPD, which has been carefully chosen to provide real value to students and to deliver tangible benefits to our student body. However, it’s worth mentioning that there are no official accrediting bodies specifically for online courses in the UK. If you are considering a course and they state that their accreditation makes the courses ‘recognised worldwide’ or similar statements, approach with caution. You can find out more about why we have chosen CPD for our accredited online photography courses.
Q. Are IOP® courses equivalent to degrees?
A. No, the only course you can take which is equivalent to a degree, is well, a degree. If you want to put letters after your name and a formal educational qualification is important to you, we suggest you take a degree in photography from a recognised University. A photography degree can cost in excess of £10,000 and takes at least 3 years.
Q. Why is accreditation important then?
A. We actually don’t think it is that important in itself. Most professional photographers don’t have degrees in photography. Remember, photography is an art form and you are judged on the quality of the work you produce, not on whether you have studied at University. Our aim as a course provider is to make you a better photographer and help you to reach your goals, whether that is a professional career or improvement for your own enjoyment.
Q. Why have you chosen to become accredited?
A. IOP® have been helping people to take better photos for over 10 years and we have thought very carefully about which accreditation route to take. We wanted the accreditation we provided to give our students some tangible value to their CV. This is why we have chosen CPD Accreditation.
Q. What is CPD Accreditation?
A. We are accredited to provide courses by the CPD Certification service (membership number 10007). This means you can gain CPD (Continuing Professional Development) points to put on your CV if you take one of our certified photography courses. Many employers use the CPD point system as part of their training, which is why we have chosen this route. This accreditation has a clear benefit to your employability whether in the photography market or otherwise.
You can see a list of CPD members here – these are organisations that recognise the CPD point system: http://www.cpduk.co.uk/index.php/cpd-members
You can also see our membership here: http://www.cpduk.co.uk/index.php/cpd-members/search-cpd-members/Entry-Detail/1457-The%20Institute%20of%20Photography
Q. OK, so why does all this matter to me?
A. Simply put, a professional and recognised outside body has looked in-depth at the courses IOP® provide and given them an independent seal of approval, which means that you can be confident when choosing IOP® that the courses are a quality provision, delivered by professionals through a tried and tested learning format.