In order to rise up the rankings one has to compete. In the UK this means fencing in open competitions, which take place all over the country throughout the year. However not all competitions are equal, some tournaments will attract a large number of fencers including those from the top echelon of the sport while others may be smaller with only local fencers attending. Getting a reasonable result from the former type of competition may garner more ranking point than winning one of the latter.
Reasonable results at national competitions isn't sufficient to get to the top of the rankings though. To get this far one has to fence abroad where competition is harder but where one can accumulate a plethora of points from a good result.