UK Press Cards

The BPPA is proud to be one of the gatekeepers of the National Press Card scheme. Members of the association and other qualifying freelance photographers can apply for a UK Press Card through us. We apply exactly the same criteria as the other gatekeepers with one added criterion – that applicants must be working as photographers supplying images to the news media.

If you want to apply for a UK Press Card through The BPPA you will need to complete the following five steps before we can assess your application:

  1. Fill in all sections of the on-line application form 
  2. Pay the non-refundable admin fee of £40.00 to (see “Important Notes” below regarding costs for non-members)
  3. Upload a UK Passport standard photograph of yourself
  4. Send us a scan of the page on your current passport which has your date of birth and photograph – your application will be subject to an identity check.
  5. Print, sign and post the application form to us. Print the form before pressing submit

Once we have your payment, form, ID evidence and photograph we will then assess the application against the strict criteria laid down by the UKPCA. We would then inform you of our decision and, if you were successful, let you know what extra fees were required. This would add up to paying for membership of the association up to the second anniversary of the issue of the card or the equivalent fee for those who are not members of the association.

The definition of eligibility is that a newsgatherer must be “wholly or significantly concerned professionally as a media worker who needs to identify himself or herself in public”. In simple terms, s/he must earn most or all of his/her income on the front-line of the news business. The principal occupations covered include reporters and writers, photographers, TV camera operators and crews, and other broadcasting workers such as producers, researchers, dispatch riders and drivers.

Please do not apply for a UK Press Card through The BPPA if you are not a professional news photographer. You will still be asked to pay the admin fee which is non-refundable.

Your data and privacy

Your data will be held securely by The BPPA and only shared with the UK Press Card Authority and the secure card production company in order to process your application and the production of the card. The UKPCA holds that data for the purposes of user verification. The BPPA is registered with the Information Commissioners Office and is compliant with GDPR and other relevant data protection regulations.

About the UKPCA

The UK Press Card Authority Ltd (UKPCA) manages a voluntary scheme for issuing press/media credentials – the UK Press Card – to professional newsgatherers working in the UK. It is wholly owned and collectively controlled by the UK’s major media organisations, industry associations, trades unions, and professional associations. The scheme was launched in 1992 by all the major industry bodies with the help of the Metropolitan Police. The aims were:

  • The end of the proliferation of press cards
  • An agreement on a universally recognised card (bearing the word PRESS).
  • A single card formally recognised by all police forces in the UK, by the Ministry of Justice, and de facto by other public bodies

The scheme is managed through 17 gatekeepers. These are national organisations which represent or employ journalists and other media personnel (employed or freelance) whose work involves gathering material for editorial publication in all media — print, broadcast and electronic. The UKPCA is governed by a board of directors representing every gatekeeper (each of whom holds one of the company’s 17 shares). There are also a secretary and independent chair. It has a Gatekeepers’ Committee (in practice a mirror of the board) which oversees the operation of the scheme, but does not itself issue cards. The committee can direct applicants to the appropriate gatekeeper if necessary.

Each gatekeeper issues the UK Press Card to its members, or to those whom it or its members employ. The gatekeeper is responsible to the UKPCA Board for ensuring that the conditions of the scheme are adhered to.

The UK Press Card is produced by a single card contractor who holds a database of all holders. The card itself is produced to the highest modern standards, and its features are described on a poster which can be downloaded from this website. Cards have both security and verification features, and every card has to be renewed at least every two years.




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thebppaUK Press Cards