After six months of gathering documentation and reviewing processes, UC Riverside’s Transportation and Parking Services department became the first UC to become recognized as an Accredited Parking Organization by the International Parking Institute, known as IPI.
According to IPI’s website, this Virginia-based institute is the largest association of parking professionals in the world. Within IPI is the Accredited Parking Organization, designed to establish national and international standards for professionalism, accountability, innovation, responsibility, and performance.
The accreditation came during the summer break, said Irma Henderson, director of Transportation and Parking Services, also known as TAPS.
In a letter from IPI, the organization leaders explained that APO “is a certification for parking organizations that have achieved a comprehensive standard of excellence. APO recognizes best practices in responsible parking management and operations, customer service, professional development, sustainability, safety, and security.”
For Henderson, this process was an opportunity to review internal processes and benchmark them against the industry. Being recognized as an APO meant six months of research and compiling paperwork, all of which translated into nearly 50 gigabytes of documentation.
The process allows TAPS to demonstrate accountability to its customers, said Henderson, who is also an active member of IPI.
“The APO award is like a checks and balances, it states that we are doing what we say,” she said. “It’s an outside industry validation.”