IPI_Generic_APO_Logo_FinalBy Casey Jones, CAPP

I earned my CAPP credential almost 10 years ago now. At the time, there were only about 100 active CAPPs in the world. I was also the only CAPP in my organization of more than 60 people. Since then, the number of parking professionals who have successfully completed the credential’s requirements has increased significantly and today, organizations like SP+, Arizona State University, Dallas Forth Worth International Airport, Kimley-Horn, and many others employ several CAPPs. These organizations understand the value of CAPP and continue to invest in their people by securing the professional development and recognition earning and maintaining CAPP provides. What’s more, possessing the CAPP credential has become a requisite for senior level positions in our industry. This is a sure sign that the credential is a well known and trusted commodity and has high value not only for the hiring entity but for the prospective candidate as well.

Just less than a year ago, IPI launched the organizational equivalent to CAPP—the Accredited Parking Organization(APO). An APO is an organization that has met a prescribed number of criteria spanning a broad range of operational areas including governance and organization; financial budgeting and financial management; customer service; access and revenue control; safety, security and risk management; marketing and communications; data security; and more. Applicants must provide evidence that they meet a required number of 150 separate criteria and pass a physical site inspection for included parking facilities. In 2015, five organizations completed the pilot program to become the inaugural class of APOs, and more are soon to follow.

Just like the CAPP experience, APO will become the recognized standard across our industry. Consumers will come to recognize parking facilities that are part of an APO and seek these out because APOs provide a safe, secure, convenient, comfortable and positive parking experience. Think of the APO like you might a Better Business Bureau company or a product bearing the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. As consumers, we’ve come to trust and seek out BBB businesses and Good Housekeeping products because the standards behind these highly recognizable marks equate to quality, integrity, responsiveness, and other important attributes.

Earning APO status is challenging but immensely rewarding and critically important for our industry and the people and communities we serve. Are you ready to accept the challenge and join other APOs as industry-standard bearers? To learn more about APO accreditation, visit the IPI website or join us at the 2016 IPI Conference & Expo in Nashville for an informational session to be held at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 19.

Casey Jones, CAPP, is vice president, institutional services, with SP+.