How DRP ensures compliance
In today’s blog, Katrina Clure, Head of Compliance and Annabelle Rodan, Compliance Assistant, share insight into how data is treated at DRP and why adherence to rules is imperative for any successful business.
Firstly, over to Katrina…
I have worked with Debt Recovery Plus (DRP) for almost 7 years now and in that time the role of compliance across the industry has changed and increased in prominence. The compliance team has operated as its own function for over 4 years now, initially in response to changing GDPR needs, but has grown and continues to evolve to ensure a robust and efficient internal operation.
The overall aim of the compliance team is to protect the business, clients and customers by ensuring all data that is provided to or utilised by DRP is treated fairly and correctly. This includes complying with GDPR, adhering to multiple codes of practice and working in tandem with the DVLA. When data is no longer in use, we ensure it is removed safely and appropriately.
We have to be flexible and ensure that information is always up to date, as well as communicate important updates when industry changes happen, such as when the Debt Respite Scheme (also known as Breathing Space) came into effect. In scenarios like this, we are responsible for preparing training and delivering this as well as making sure our technology, such as our case management system, is prepared to adapt and work intuitively to suit these changes.
One constant that has never changed is that some members of the public believe misconceptions that are shared about private parking infringements not being enforceable. It can come as a shock to some that if they ignore contact, this can escalate and end up going to court. Vehicle owners must keep logbooks updated to avoid being drawn into a situation simply because they did not think they needed to take the time to follow government guidance.
DRP has an open-door policy regarding compliance and team leaders will often come to us with individual needs or concerns. We are driven by the complaints we receive to report and improve on every scenario. This mantra has seen our success rates remain strong. We are audited regularly by industry bodies (our latest being a pass from the BPA in January 2022) and we are starting to see more and more clients, especially large groups, ask to factor these into our partnerships as well. DRP always welcomes audits as they are an opportunity to prove we do what we say and demonstrates with third-party accountability the measurable commitment we make towards compliance.
Secondly, over to Annabelle…
I joined DRP just over 6months ago and previously studied Law at university, which undoubtedly has given me a good foundation for working in compliance. I had a real interest in data protection and have already enjoyed learning more about how businesses like DRP approach this essential task.
We are constantly sharing updated information via emails and forms, reiterating consistent rules and regulations so that everyone involved in the process understands how and why DRP works to the high standards the company sets. This includes educating clients where necessary, acting as an extension of their team, so they can discover the latest compliance developments that otherwise they may never have been aware of.
We also act as an escalation point for complaints, governed by The British Parking Association (BPA) and the International Parking Community (IPC). We carry out a deep investigation into every complaint, but as a last resort, can also refer these to the relevant governing body, unless the complaint is regarding data. In these cases, we always refer the complaint straight away to the ICO.
A lot of complaints are resolved once they reach our team as our advice is always based on evidence and data. It can be surprising how many people overlook signage or ignore what you or I would perceive to be clear rules on times in and out of a parking agreement. Fortunately, the technology available today often means we can analyse individual complaints for evidence and provide proof that the infringement being suggested is valid or otherwise.
One common theme I have already encountered in my time here is when vehicle owners have not updated their details with the DVLA. If the registered keeper is wrong or out of date, this is not just an admin problem, it can directly affect if you find yourself contacted about a parking violation. It is your responsibility to ensure these details are correct, but too many people seem to overlook this part of the car-buying process!
By ensuring DRP and its employees follow all laws, regulations, standards, and ethical practices, we are setting a precedent to our industry, our customers and the people we engage with daily. If somebody finds themselves in contact with us because they have not been compliant with a parking contract, we want to ensure that they view us as a benchmark for the benefits of taking compliance seriously in future.