June 8, 2023
VCU is the first university in the state to achieve institute’s Accredited Parking Organization with Distinction award
“This is the standard every parking organization should meet,” said Josh Stone, executive director of VCU Parking and Transportation.
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In its first attempt at accreditation, VCU Parking and Transportation won high honors, earning
the prestigious Accreditation with Distinction designation from the International Parking & Mobility Institute, the world’s largest association of professionals in parking, transportation and mobility.
“VCU is the first university in Virginia to receive this award,” said Josh Stone, executive director of Parking and Transportation, who drove the application process. “This is the standard every parking organization should meet. I thought, ‘I don’t know if we are going to meet the standard, but that should be our goal.’”
Stone and his team will be recognized this month at the 2023 IPMI Parking & Mobility Conference & Expo in Fort Worth, Texas.
To become an Accredited Parking Organization, an applicant must demonstrate its commitment to ongoing evaluation and improvement by implementing industry best practices. The APO process includes 14 categories, each with a number of criteria that must be met.
The APO with Distinction designation is reserved for organizations that exceed the standard and meet additional criteria.
VCU exceeded the 80% threshold for both accreditation and accreditation with distinction, and it is now in the country's top 10% of parking organizations. The university met 225 of the 240 individual criteria, 100% of the required, 94% of the non-required criteria and 92% of the distinction criteria.
Three facilities were submitted to the APO board (the West Broad, West Main and Eighth Street decks), and each has been awarded Premier Facility status.
The accreditation process was “meticulous and spanned eight months. Our team worked in close collaboration, diligently compiling the required documentation to meet the numerous guidelines,” Stone said. “The designation gives us more credibility and allows us to mentor other organizations on what we did that worked and what didn’t work.”
He had to select site reviewers that would report findings to the APO board.
“We wanted someone who understands the university parking world and health care parking,” Stone said. “We had meetings with the site reviewers by Zoom. They came here in December and spent a whole day walking through the parking areas and went through the criteria.”
Stone wasn’t expecting VCU to be as far along as it was.
“I’m beyond thrilled,” he said. “We touch people at VCU and VCU Health who interact with parking in some way every day, and we are at the top of our game.”
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