A guide to the Approved Operator Scheme.
To check whether an operator is a member please check this page.
Can just anybody join?
Membership to the AOS is open to any operator that wishes to conduct enforcement operations on private land, or that is linked to the enforcement process in any way.
How do you know that they really are compliant?
Compliance to the Code is something that we take very seriously, and we take every opportunity to make sure that our members are following the rules:
- We audit their business when they apply to join the scheme.
- We visit them and conduct an audit within four months of them joining.
- We visit them and audit their business at least once a year thereafter.
Our Investigations Team works to ensure compliance is maintained to the Code of Practice. We also work on the intelligence that we obtain from inside and outside the industry, and will investigate any allegations of breaches of our Code of Practice.
Do you have statutory powers to regulate members?
The BPA is a private membership association, and so has no statutory powers to punish operators that have broken the terms of our Code of Practice. However we do operate a scheme of sanctions that we apply if an operator is found to be in breach of our Code of Practice.
Sanctions points are applied to the operator's membership file, and if the operator reaches 12 points or more in any rolling twelve month period, that operator could face disciplinary action and suspension or expulsion from the AOS and the BPA. This will in turn mean that the operator will be unable to access the DVLA's keeper details database, and so will be unable to pursue outstanding parking charges, which will have a considerable financial impact upon their business.
Why is an Independent Appeals Service beneficial to my business?
Parking operators are required to offer the motorist access to the Independent Appeals Service (POPLA) when the dispute cannot be resolved. The Independent Appeal Service is a prerequisite to achieving keeper liability for unpaid parking charges.
For more information please read the FAQs on The Protection of Freedoms Act
When parking on private land should the parking company place signage at the entrance to a car park?
Please see the Code of Practice and relevent Appendix
I received a parking charge notice from a private company but the registration is incorrect, is the ticket still valid?
Parking tickets issued on private land are not regulated by law, so if a small mistake appears on a parking ticket, it does not necessarily make it invalid. If the parking ticket has been issued to the correct party, then it is considered to be legitimately given.