“Insight, agility and responsibility must be the industry’s watchwords for the future” – Forward-looking emphasis at the IPC Annual Conference
“Insight, agility and responsibility must be the industry’s watchwords for the future”
– Forward-looking emphasis at the IPC Annual Conference –
Speaking at the International Parking Community’s Annual Conference, Chief Executive Will Hurley urged delegates to embrace new technologies and new opportunities with confidence. “Recognising responsibilities and securing the insight required to take change in one’s stride are absolutely vital for the future success of all parking operators. And, as a representative of a large proportion of the parking industry, the onus is on the IPC to lead by example and to demonstrate the agility and responsiveness that’s needed to drive up service standards and meet the rising expectations of service users in the digital age.”
The Conference was held at The Village Hotel on the outskirts of Nottingham and, in keeping with the IPC’s published vision, the focus of the event was very forward-looking. During the day, the association unveiled the first courses of its new Training and Development Academy – a new venture developed in partnership with Trace Training. Other presentations provided delegates with guidance on significant new data protection legislation (GDPR), an insight into the latest developments in electric vehicles and other emerging technologies as well as the association’s progressive steps to improve the experience of consumers.
His Honour, Bryn Holloway, the Lead Adjudicator of the Independent Appeals Service provided an overview of key matters arising from the adjudication process over the past year. And special breakout sessions were also held to reflect the specific needs of the university and local authority sectors, along with advice on helping to minimise blue badge fraud.
“We’re delighted with the positive feedback we’ve received from Conference delegates,” says IPC Chief Operating Officer, Charles Clowes. “The progressive theme
of the event and the selection of speakers reflected the topics that are front of mind for many of our members.
“However, we were also keen to highlight potential challenges the parking industry will be facing in the future as result of continuous advances in technology and a society of increasingly empowered consumers. Turning a blind eye to the significance of such influential matters is not an option for any responsible service provider, and I’m confident we’ve helped to open people’s eyes to many of the challenges – and the huge opportunities – that lie ahead.”
Acknowledging that some initiatives of the accredited trade association have been slower to come to fruition than originally hoped, Will Hurley confirmed the IPC’s determination to set the highest possible standards in everything it does.
“It’s vital that we adapt and flex to take full account of developments in the industry if we are to provide relevant and meaningful support for our members at all times and to deliver ever higher standards for service users,” he said.
“Some of our earlier plans are still at a formative stage. But, our energy will always be focused on the evolving priorities of members and unforeseen developments such as Sir Greg Knight’s Private Members Bill. New initiatives such as the dedicated online portal for Members of Parliament, our formal partnership with the industry’s most respected accreditation scheme for consumers – Peoples Parking – and our new Training and Development Academy demonstrate our commitment to lead from the front at all times.
“And, with new dedicated resources to drive further membership propositions and to open new interactive digital communications channels, we will be giving full consideration to those matters of greatest interest to our members and introducing a host of new initiatives in 2018.”
The guest speakers at the Annual Conference included Richard Syers, Senior Policy Officer at the Information Commissioners Office, who highlighted the implications and content of the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation which will come into effect in May next year.
Helen Dolphin MBE outlined the effectiveness, popularity and importance of the People’s Parking accreditation scheme for improving the parking experience of customers by helping them to find a car park that meets their precise needs. Using a simple self-assessment process, the independent accreditation helps to improve compliance and is aligned with all current government guidelines.
Natalia Silverstone, Senior Consultant at POD Point and Tom Callow, Director of Communications and Strategy at Chargemaster, provided insightful commentaries on the significant infrastructure developments to support the inexorable growth in electric vehicles.
Louis Ellis, Director of Trace, introduced the IPC’s new Training and Development Academy and the series of courses already scheduled for early in the New Year. These include a course on ‘Getting your business ready for GDPR’ being held in the north (11th Jan) and south (18th Jan) of the country, a special full day course on ‘PCN Administration’, a half day course on ‘Parking Signs’ and a full day course on PCN Enforcement Officer training. Further scheduled course will be announced shortly and there is also a scheduled qualification training programme that begins with a four day Level 2 WAMITAB for Parking Enforcement Officers from 15th-18th January.
Ashley Bijster, Managing Director of Imperial, provided a lucid overview of the potential impact of technology on the parking sector. Emphasising that the consumer is now at the heart of everything, she said customer benefits and community outcomes are the key drivers for change and that current developments should be a wake up call for all parking service providers. She highlighted five factors that she believes will have the greatest influence in shaping urban mobility in the years ahead – Space, Lifestyle, Data, Sustainability and Legacy.
The formal Conference proceedings concluded with an inspirational and compelling presentation from Adrian Webster. An accomplished motivational speaker, Adrian used his vast experience as a Sales Manager, motivator and team builder to show how people can fulfil their potential and make a very real difference in their workplace.
The day ended with a very well attended dinner and dance, including a special fund-raising auction where no less than £3,085 was raised for Diabetes UK – the leading charity providing information, advice and support for people affected by and at risk of the fastest growing health threat in the UK.