BPA Professionalism in Parking Accreditation
A new dawn for healthcare parking
We are all familiar with the long list of legislation, guidance and standards that Estates and Facilities teams have to contend with and the effort it takes to consistently meet those requirements. It requires a wide range of professional skills and ability to keep on top of it all. Healthcare parking is one element of this service that doesn’t receive the professional recognition is deserves.
Often a political and media ‘hot potato’ that triggers heated exchanges whenever the subject is raised; car parking is actually an integral part of the hospital experience for staff, visitors and patients alike. Although the provision of parking services of the quality everyone expects can be costly, parking as a profession focused on achieving excellence is often low on the list of priorities.
Our colleagues at the British Parking Association (BPA) are working to change that with the introduction of the Professionalism in Parking Accreditation (PiPA) which recognises excellence in parking provision as part of the organisation’s wider objective of achieving excellence.
What, though, does it mean to be a professional organisation? It means you take every aspect of your parking operation seriously and you treat your parking staff as ambitious professionals, providing them with the support, encouragement and recognition they need to develop skills within the parking profession. It also means that you are committed to continuously improving your parking services, and in response to feedback from car park users. All of this helps to ensure that you maintain the excellent, professional standards of customer service expected of you.
At a launch event at the House of Commons on 3rd November 2015, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust and Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were the first to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to professionalism by receiving PiPA. Demand since has been overwhelming.
The auditing process for the healthcare parking PiPA is simple. Following your organisation’s initial application, the British Parking Association (BPA) will send you a PiPA audit pack, and you will be asked to submit a pre-audit self-assessment form. One of the BPA’s expert area managers will then conduct a site-audit, focusing on nine key assessment standards:
- Customer service and stakeholder relationships
- Safer and properly maintained parking facilities
- Fair pricing and easy-to-use payment services
- Fair enforcement of parking terms and conditions
- Impartial and fair appeals service, accessible to all
- Clear and comprehensive parking information
- Employee wellbeing, development and recognition
- Social responsibility and equality of service delivery
- Continuous improvement
Throughout the audit process, you will have access to a guidance document, which will suggest possible evidence-types that you may like to consider for each PiPA assessment standard. The area manager will then submit your organisation’s audit results to a moderator, who will ensure that standards are at a consistently high level.
Once you have achieved PiPA, your accreditation will last for two years, with an interim self-assessment to maintain standards at the half-way point.
What does it cost?
A professional accreditation demands a professional audit, and the PiPA audit fee reflects the BPA’s pursuit of real excellence:
- BPA corporate members enjoy the discounted fee of £2,500 for an audit (this is further discounted to £2,000 if an NHS trust has achieved the Park Mark® award for all its car-parks).
- The PiPA audit fee for non-BPA members is £5,000 (£4,000 if the NHS trust has achieved the Park Mark® award for all its car-parks).
PiPA is an accreditation that will make your organisation proud. So why not join the BPA and help make professionalism the new norm in healthcare parking?