The International Parking Community (IPC) has provided insight and key considerations for the UK’s new Parking Code of Practice, which is currently being prepared by the government to improve the regulation of the private parking industry.
In his opening address to delegates attending the IPC’s 2021 Annual Conference, which was held on September 16 in Milton Keynes, the IPC’s chief executive, Will Hurley, remarked on the significant cultural shift underway in the private parking sector as the industry prepares for the introduction of the new unified Code of Practice.
“Although final details have yet to be confirmed by the Government and the operational costs of the new regulatory framework are still an unknown, development of the new code has certainly helped to focus minds,” said Hurley. “The IPC’s longstanding drive to encourage closer industry dialogue has finally come to fruition and there is now widespread acceptance that future progress will be dependent on clear evidence rather than alarmist or isolated anecdotes.”
Hurley also pointed to the way IPC members have responded so effectively to the IPC’s compliance mantra of recent years. “I’m sure this commitment to compliance has helped to improve operational resilience for all members and provided the agility and a firm footing for the shape of things to come in the new era,” he added. “Such qualities will be of paramount importance as the new code is rolled out and as we all move through the transition period toward new processes, procedures and working practices.”
This year’s IPC Annual Conference included the theme ‘Cracking the Code – Moving ahead with confidence’ and was structured to provide members with the knowledge and insight to minimize operational and commercial disruption and to hit the ground running once the new code has been confirmed.
Chris Naylor, the IPC’s membership and operations manager provided delegates with an overview of the latest developments and expected timings for the new code and an indication of the steps operators should be taking to get ready for the new certification. He also outlined the central role likely to be played by UKAS and the relationships between the various organizations within the new regulatory framework.
Members of the IPC Steering Committee and Approved Service Provider Panel also hosted a Q&A session. Many of the issues highlighted by delegates focused on the potential impact of the new code, with the host speakers emphasizing the importance of reflection, rethinking former commercial models and of maintaining close engagement with the IPC throughout the transition period.
A series of special breakout sessions hosted by expert speakers was held for delegates covering a wide range of topics. These included recent developments in HMRC’s policy on VAT for parking operators, an update on the Biometric and Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s Third-Party Certification Scheme and the practical application of the law in parking management enforcement. There were also sessions on High Court Enforcement, the parking industry’s role in transitioning to zero emission vehicles as well as a taster session for Disability Equality Training.
The 2022 IPC Annual Conference will be held on Thursday November 24.