In the 2016 IAS Annual Report (it's first) the Lead Adjudicator makes the following points [in bold]
[the operator should] be aware that the burden is on them to establish a prima facie case against the motorist
Regrettably they dont. The single most telling issue here is the use of the Elliott v Loake case and then turning the issue on its head by saying the defendant has to establish their case. The Lead Adjudicator clearly hasn't a clue about the issues outside the few cases he choses to look at.
Although it is sometimes tempting to do otherwise, if the evidence is compelling we have to leave matters of mitigation to the Parking Operator to resolve and deal with as it is outside of the Adjudicator’s remit.
This is one area common to both the IAS and POPLA which is the question of mitigation. Neither will consider mitigation though it makes sense to do so where an operator has clearly taken advantage of a known problems e.g. tickets blowing over at seaside car parks or the many, many faults that occur with Pay and Display machines.
[The IAS] have received 14,010 Appeals this year of which Parking Operators have conceded 2,634 prior to them reaching us
This is a high fallout rate (19%) and suggests that many times the operators reject first stage appeals to see if people will take it further. If you have a "Did not Contest" by the operator, you may want to consider a complaint to the DVLA that your details were accessed without "Reasonable Cause" or consider a claim against the operator for misusing your personal details.
In view of that lack of familiarity it is essential that Parking Operators provide clear and in-focus photographs that are timed and dated to illustrate the condition of the site when the parking charge notice was issued.
There is plenty of evidence from other sources (the DVLA) that clear, timed and in-focus photographs are not presented. The reason is many do not take any photos at all. If there are no photos available again complain to the DVLA about the misuse of your personal details. It is only by drawing attention to these failures that the IPC will change their standards. The IAS appears reluctant to do anything material about it other than suggest
They [the operator] should normally provide photographs of the entrance to the site and the signage there as well as on the route in to the area in which the motorist parked.
As with the comment above, the lack of photos should be followed up with a complaint to the DVLA as both a misuse of personal data and breaches of the IPC Code of Practice.
They [the operator] should also provide maps or overheads of the site showing the positioning of the signs and clear photographs setting out the terms and conditions that regulate parking at the location.
Also check it is the actual car park as a number of operators send in maps of a different car park or the signs indicated on the maps do not exist.
If there are several different signs on site a photograph of each type should be provided [by the operator] and an indication as to where each type is positioned.
Often this information provided is different from the situation on the ground. So check it and if you are appealing, check for accuracy and flag it up.
The fundamental decision that an Adjudicator has to make is as to whether or not the parking charge notice was lawfully issued in accordance with the evidence that the parties choose to put before him or her.
Regrettably the Lead Adjudicator makes no mention of the need for an operator to have authority to issue charges or to take legal action in their own name we often see so-called contracts on the operator's own letterheads and sign by the operator's own staff. The validity of these facsimiles are never challenged by the Adjudicator letters. If you appeal you both challenge these "contracts" and further check them with the occupier themselves.