What being a Fellow of the PSA means
Fellowship of the PSA (FPSA) is our highest grade of membership for which you can apply, awarded only to individuals who earn significant income from speaking and who are deemed by other Fellows to be worthy of this status. (The highest status within the PSA is the Professional Speaking Award of Excellence – PSAE, which is by invitation only on the decision of the Board of Directors.)
The FPSA status is internationally accepted by the Global Speakers Federation as equivalent to the Certified Speaking Professional, awarded by the American National Speakers Association. Both the FPSA and the CSP require considerable evidence that the individual is a professional speaker. Fellows of the PSA are also qualified to apply for the designation “Global Speaking Fellow”, which is awarded to those speakers who demonstrate significant expertise on the international speaking circuit. An individual cannot gain the Global Speaking Fellow without first having CSP or FPSA.
Each new application for Fellowship is scrutinised by our Membership Committee before being peer-reviewed by all the existing Fellows. And even once that is done, granting of Fellowship is not necessarily guaranteed as every application has to be approved by the Board of Directors.
This process helps provide meeting planners and event organisers with the reassurance that by booking a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association they are getting an individual who is one of the most able in the profession.
Fellows are individuals who meet all the requirements for being a Professional Member. In addition, applicants for Fellowship must also meet the following criteria (as of March 2015):
- At least 12 months’ continuous Professional Membership of the PSA immediately prior to applying for Fellowship
- Thirty-five thousand pounds (£35,000) of gross income from speaking and speaking-related activities (see note below) for each of two years in the preceding four year period. Evidence of income must be supplied (names of clients, dates, invoices, bank statements etc.)
- Speaking professionally for a minimum period of three years
- Sponsors must be Fellows and must have no professional or business relationship with the applicant that could be construed as a conflict of interest
- PSA subscription in good standing
- Compliance with the PSA code of ethics, and no ethical sanctions levied by PSA or any member of GSF for the previous five years
- If the applicant has not been seen speaking to a live audience by the proposer or seconder, applications must include a video recording of the applicant speaking to a live audience. The video must be of one of the presentations being counted in the application
- Details of five clients who might be contacted for verification of fee and testimonial purposes
- Demonstrate a commitment to the PSA, in terms of support for aspiring speakers and attendance at regional and national events
- No objections received from other Fellows, or if objections are received, they are deemed irrelevant by the PSA Board
- A final review by the PSA Board to ensure that professional standards being are upheld
NOTE: Speaking-related income is that which accrues as a direct result of a speaking engagement, and includes, but is not limited to, book and DVD sales, online courses, offline courses, webinars and digital services.
Andy Lopata FPSA – President of the Fellows Community
Andy Lopata FPSA is the first President of the Fellows Community. Elected at the Annual Convention in October 2018, Andy has been a member of the PSA since 2003 and a Fellow since 2011. He is an internationally recognised expert on networking and referral strategies and a former PSA Board Member.
Andy’s objectives as President of the Fellows Community are predominantly focused around the Community element of his title. He has committed to run regular events to bring Fellows together with a specific purpose of learning from and supporting each other and there is a new Facebook page exclusively for Fellows to encourage further collaboration.
Andy also represents Fellows interests to the PSA team and to the Board, raising ideas and questions with Membership Director Tiffany Kemp.UPGRADE from Professional Member to Fellow