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A view from the jury room

David Peach shares his experience of being an awards judging panel member

David Peach
01 October 2023
The British Parking Awards trophies

 

For everyone that took part in the British Parking Awards in London on 15 September, it was a fun and glitzy occasion bringing together so many people from across the sector. I’ve been given permission to share a little of what’s involved in making these awards happen, now having celebrated their 21st anniversary.

I was honoured this year to be invited as a judge on the panel for the British Parking Awards. I agreed willingly, while being a little apprehensive about what might be involved.

Judges, in pairs or threes, are allocated one of 19 categories to judge. Every judge chooses their approach to scoring, but most choose a numeric approach to allow comparison between their partner judges and the rest of the panel.

In principle that all sounds straightforward and my fellow category judge and I chose a numeric approach with each of us scoring independently initially. However, with each entry being judged against 29 criteria (in our category) it was critical that each entry was absorbed completely before then scoring them against each of the criteria.

From this first stage my fellow judge and I then met on Teams to go through each entry and compare views. The result of this exercise was a further review, a second meeting and then a consolidated score sheet on which we were both agreed. From this and the other judge’s scores a shortlist is created and publicised by Mark Moran in the build-up to the awards.

The final stage of the judging process involved an all-day face to face meeting with the entire judging panel. Each of the category judges presents their findings to the panel and the views and scores are critiqued to arrive at a consensus view. There was generally agreement at this stage among the judges, but inevitably some differences of opinion that lead to engaged debate and alternative views.

I can honestly say I felt a lot of responsibility for my part in the proceedings and I know that was shared by all the other judges. The entire panel – representing a cross-section of the parking sector, different backgrounds and different areas of expertise – were wholly engaged and keen to ensure fair play and detailed scrutiny.

For anyone who ever doubted the thoroughness of the process, rest assured, the process is rigorous!

And therein is the importance of the awards. The quality of the entries is incredibly high with every entrant justifiably proud of their submissions. The judging panel brings together a wealth of expertise and experience so that being shortlisted is, in its’ own right, an accolade.

But, of course, there can generally only be one winner, although one category was so closely matched that it was literally impossible to separate them. Every winner can be justifiably proud of their efforts and their award. It is no mean feat to get to that point and the award is justly deserved.

I spoke to a few people at the awards that felt they may have had a good potential entry but were a bit too bashful to put it forward. Having seen the process from the inside I’d strongly urge anyone, whether personally or as an organisation to enter. There’s a broad range of categories and it was clear from the entries that everyone gained a huge amount from taking part.

I look forward to seeing your entries 2024!

David Peach is managing director of Workflow Dynamics

British Parking Awards jury

Entries to the British Parking Awards are assessed by a jury drawn from across the parking, transport and motoring sectors.
There were over 120 entries to the 2023 competition, plus a series of nominations for special awards such as those for the Lifetime Achievement and ‘Parking Rosettes’.

The judges

  • Chair and organiser: Mark Moran, editor, Parking Review
  • Jason Benjamin, independent consultant
  • Harry Clarke, director, Arlander
  • John Elliott, Local Government Technical Advisers Group (TAG)
  • Mark Frost, director, Fern Consulting
  • Elisabeth Gilliard, independent management consultant and vice president, Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport (CILT)
  • Phil Grant, principal, Professionals in Parking
  • Nick Lester-Davis, director, Nick Lester-Davis Consulting
  • Mike Marrs, independent consultant
  • John McArdle, independent consultant
  • Chris Naylor, membership and operations manager, IPC
  • Paul Necus, independent consultant
  • Angela O’Shea, independent consultant
  • Laura Padden, director, PATROL
  • Anjna Patel MBE, parking professional and chair, BPA
  • Andrew Potter, director, Parking Perspectives
  • Mark Potter, director, Potter Church & Holmes Architects
  • Manny Rasores de Toro, principal, MR Parking Consultancy
  • Kelvin Reynolds, director of policy & public affairs, BPA
  • Mahmood Siddiqi, past president, Local Government Technical Advisers Group (LGTAG) and CiHT technical champion
  • Richard Talbot, director, The Railway Consultancy
  • Steve Thompson, independent consultant

The experts’ experts

Mark Moran, editor of Parking Review and jury chair, said: “One of the reasons that the British Parking Awards trophies are so coveted is that from the competition’s inception the winners have been selected by an independent jury. The judges assess, discuss, argue over and then agree on the shortlist and eventual winners in a series of meetings that are in themselves truly fascinating and informative.”

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