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CPP Certification Provides Competitive Advantage
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By Andrew Barlow, CPP

When you get up in the morning and look in the mirror, who looks back at you?

In today’s parking industry, it better be a capable, knowledgeable person; keeping up with technological changes, new methods and regulations. Is this you?

Does your company invest in people? Do you have the best people working with you?

Do you believe your most important resource—a major differentiator between you and your competition—is the people in your company? What do you do to make that a reality?

How Good is Your Training?

The answer to all of these questions is training.

Most of us have had some training in the parking industry, and some have had a lot. Many of us provide some type of training as part of our responsibilities.

So what kind of training do you provide? Is it relevant? Is it organized? Is it comprehensive? Is it measurable?

When the training is completed, and knowledge tested, have you or your "student” earned a designation recognized throughout the parking industry?

The National Parking Association provides this kind of training through the Certified Parking Professional (CPP) program.

CPP Provides Comprehensive Industry Overview

CPP certification is earned through testing of a candidate’s knowledge of the 13-chapter Certified Parking Professional Study Guide, which provides a comprehensive overview of parking in the areas of human resources, customer service, marketing, administration, accounting, auditing, facility design, maintenance, safety, disaster planning, equipment, operational mode and valet.

Once enrolled in the program, a candidate is provided the study guide and has six months to successfully complete the exam. During this time, a candidate has access to the CPP Peer Network and additional group question/ answer and training opportunities as provided by NPA.

Some organizations have enrolled candidates in groups (received a group discount) and held intercompany "study groups.” What will you and your company do?

Certification Growing in Importance

I have had my CPP designation for two years. I use it on my business card, mail and email signature after my name. I have been surprised by the number of people who ask me what the initials CPP represent.

However, there is an ever increasing number who understand exactly what the CPP designation represents, and my CPP has helped my company and me gain a competitive advantage.

After you earn your CPP, get involved. Join the NPA and serve on a committee and/or be an active member of your state or regional parking association.

Our industry has changed significantly in 16 years since I first became a parking manager, and I expect it will progress even quicker over the next 16. Get involved, make a difference, and help determine the future of our industry.

Andrew Barlow, CPP, is district manager for the Cincinnati area for Central Parking and chair of NPA’s CPP Peer Network. He can be reached at abarlow@parking.com.

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