How to set up photo ID cards in your workplace

 

photo id cards
Photo ID cards improve security & bring a sense of community

Bringing photo ID cards into your organisation can play a significant factor in ensuring the security of your building and the protection of your staff. So how do you go about setting it up?

First, think about what you want to achieve.

Do you want the photo ID cards to just identify the wearer, or do you want them to also act as access control cards (to gain entry to your building) or as smart cards (to pay for their lunch in the canteen for example)?

The answer to this will determine what kind of cards you need, and how much investment/time will be involved. If this is purely an exercise in badging, a plain PVC card will do – which you can choose to print yourself by investing in an ID card printer, or by using a card bureau service. You can buy cards that come with signature strips, or mag stripes that work with simpler loyalty systems for example.

If you want your photo ID cards to work with your existing access control system, speak to your installer about whether your existing cards can be printed on – or indeed whether you need to swop from a token or fob to a card. Most access control cards can be printed on with a specific type of ID card printer.

If you truly want a smart card, you’ll need a card that comes with a chip embedded – for example Mifare cards (think an Oyster card), or one that’s capable of taking on smart card capabilities. Again, these can be printed on – usually by a card bureau.

Then consider how you’ll manage the programme.

Who will be responsible for creating the photo ID cards, managing the records and dealing with the day-to-day administration? Usually this responsibility lies with HR, but if you don’t have your own HR department, give at least two people responsibility. That way, if one person is on holiday when a card is ‘forgotten’ or ‘stolen’, things won’t grind to a halt.

If your photo ID cards are doubling up as access control cards, put robust procedures in place for what happens if a card goes missing. Your access control software will allow you to block or delete a specific card – ensuring it doesn’t allow access to your building if it drops into the wrong hands.

If you’re bringing in a programme for security reasons, make sure you stick to it.

Don’t make it one rule for one, one rule for another. That means senior management need to be onboard too, otherwise it undermines the whole programme. If the primary purpose for bringing in photo ID cards is to improve security, everyone needs to wear a badge.

That means following procedures for ‘forgotten’ badges too. Give out temporary badges to members of staff who have left theirs at home that day.  

Police it.

Giving all staff a Photo ID card for security purposes is only effective if it’s going to be enforced. If you have someone permanently in Reception, give them the responsibility for checking everyone is wearing a photo ID card when they enter the building. Most importantly, they should stop anyone who is not.

In some industries where security is paramount, for example in healthcare or schools, staff should be given permission to challenge anyone not wearing a badge. This secondary level of checking should reveal anyone who made it past reception unnoticed.

Now you need to consider how you’ll create the cards.

There are two ways you can print your photo ID cards: by investing in a plastic card printer and doing it yourself, or by sending the data to a card bureau for them to print them for you.

Keeping your card printing in-house

There is a wide range of card printers available on the market. At the entry-level end, you can pick up the Evolis ‘plug & print’ Badgy for less than £600.

But if you’re printing a large quantity of cards, or you need them to do more clever things (like print volumes of double sided cards with smart card capabilities) then you could be looking at spending more like £1200. Then you’ll need to factor in the running costs, in terms of blank cards, ribbons and cleaning kits.

Keeping your card printing in-house is sensible if you have a regular need to print new photo ID cards, for example for temporary workers, or contractors.

Outsourcing to a card bureau

If you don’t want to shell-out for a card printer, look for a plastic card supplier with a track record in printing photo ID cards. They will take your data and print the cards for you.

But make sure you check their credibility. It isn’t particularly wise to choose a supplier in China you’ve never heard of – even if they are cheap – integrity of data won’t be guaranteed. Ask sensible questions to protect the identities of your employees – how will the supplier store your information? Are their staff CRB checked? We would expect to be asked this type of due diligence.

Some plastic card printers will also take away the hassle of administration from you. Many, like The Card Network, operate a card issuance service, where all photo ID cards are sent with a personalised letter directly to employees.

On a simple level, photo ID cards identify the wearer, and whether they have the right to access the building. They also make it much harder for the cards to be ‘adopted’ by anyone other than the rightful owner, which automatically tightens security. They also bring a sense of community to your workforce, a benefit that can’t be underestimated.

Inexpensive ways to improve your visitor experience

Would you want the next visitor into reception to be able to see all of your personal details laid out on the visitor’s book?

Probably not, especially if you’re pitching for some business.

Imagine the scenario: it’s taken you months to get the appointment, and you’ve finally secured a meeting with the MD. Unbeknownst to you, one of the next visitors to sign-in is one of your competitors. Thanks to the Visitor’s Book, they now know they’re in a pitch situation, and you’ve lost the advantage.

Keeping visitor details confidential is simple and inexpensive

You don’t need to invest in expensive visitor management software to handle visitors appropriately and meet your health & safety requirements at the same time.

Such software is great for dealing with large amounts of visitors on a daily basis, and for tying visitor procedures into access control system. But for smaller organisations, a paper-based visitor system does the job, and at the right price.

Visitor details board
A discrete bottom sheet keeps visitors’ details hidden

Visitor pass ‘in system’

You can buy visitor passes as part of a ‘system’ – essentially a sheet on a writing board that allows you to record visit date, name, host, company and vehicle information. All these details are held on a discrete bottom sheet, whilst pre-numbered visitor passes are handed to the individuals. This maintains the privacy of the visitor by keeping their information hidden.

It also creates a reference log of all visitors for the future, and more importantly, a current fire register: a health and safety requirement.

Standard visitor passes systems and contractor pass systems generally include passes, writing board, storage tower, pen set and wallets and clips. Our off-the-shelf systems including 200 visitor passes start from just £84.35.

Custom printed visitor passes increase security further

Standard visitor pass systems are readily available, so it’s easy for someone to get their hands on one and wander around your building without raising suspicion. But a branded version is far more difficult to copy.

As well as including your logo on the visitors pass, you can also include specific health and safety information, internal maps, onsite instructions for contractors, or highlight different access rights.

Let’s also not forget the fact that a branded welcome also presents a more professional image to visitors.

Interested in branded visitor passes? Contact our friendly team for a quote.

Is security in schools about technology or common sense?

Should we turn our schools into fortresses?

Security within schools has always an emotive issue, and given the recent events in Leeds, it’s been thrust centre-stage again.

There has been a tide of articles in the press recently questioning what security processes can be put into place to keep our schools safe. Installing metal detectors and security technology such as locked gates, personal alarm buttons and access control systems are all being discussed, but do we really want our schools to turn into fortresses?

One of the hot topics is naturally concerned with visitors, and how to make sure you don’t receive any unwanted ones.

Do you rely on technology to control visitors, or common sense?

The answer will probably be related to the number of pupils, layout of the school and the funding available. Small primary schools are unlikely to have the budget – or need – for extensive CCTV systems or biometrics access control technology. Others will benefit from having areas within the school that can only be accessed by staff with the right cards, or doors that automatically lock for certain parts of the day.

But what about those who simply don’t have the funds?

A lot of security comes down to common sense

A lot of ways to prevent unauthorised visitors comes down to common sense, which won‘t impact on an already stretched school budget. For example:

– Ensure only one main entrance is in use during school hours

– Keep it locked from the outside, so visitors have to call or ring for entry

– Have the entrance ‘manned’ by a receptionist or secretary at all times

– Make sure all playgrounds can only be accessed from within the school

– All visitors – even parents who are known to the school – should use this main entrance and report to the receptionist/secretary

Have a clear procedure for dealing with visitors

The easiest way to deal with visitors is to issue school visitor passes or contractor passes to all individuals, regardless of the purpose of their visit or how well known they are to the staff.

It’s important to adopt a one rule for all stance – if you break the rules for one visitor, your staff will lose faith in the procedure.

School visitor passes usually come as part of a ‘system’ that allows you to record visit date, name, host, company and vehicle information. All these details are held on a discreet bottom sheet, whilst pre-numbered passes are handed to the individuals. This creates a future reference sheet and a current fire register, which meets your health and safety obligations.

Some processes to follow:

– Ensure ALL visitors wear a badge clearly identifying them as such

– Make sure the badge is visible at all times

– Give all visitors information about fire evacuation procedures, child protection procedures and any other relevant health & safety information

– Allocate a person who will be responsible for them during their visit

– Ensure that visitors can’t wander around the school on their own – either bring the allocated person to reception to pick them or escort them to their contact

– If in any doubt, ask for a form of ID before handing out the visitor’s badge.

Make sure all staff are briefed on your policy

One of the reasons security processes fall-down is because not everyone is aware of the policy. Make sure all staff know that every visitor should be clearly identified as such, and give them permission to challenge anyone they don’t know within the school if they aren’t accompanied or wearing school visitors passes.

School visitor passes can be bought off the shelf, or customised to your own branding. You could choose to include specific school health and safety information for example.

Deter opportunists

Whilst these measures won’t be able to prevent tragedies like Ann McGuire’s death from happening again, they will put off those opportunists who look for open doors or unmanned reception desks. They are an important way of safeguarding our children during a normal day at school.

 

The benefits of custom printed visitor passes

How do you currently manage visitors in your organisation or school? If you’re in the majority, you’ll probably use a paper visitor pass system, where visitors sign-in to a visitor book and are given a visitor badge to wear around their person. This makes them easy to identify, and also ensures you are meeting your health and safety obligations.

Custom printed visitor passes can improve security further

Custom printed visitor passes make it harder for a third-party to ‘blend-in’.

Standard visitor pass systems are readily available, and are used by many organisations and establishments. Which means a third-party can easily get their hands on a standard ‘visitors’ badge, and also a standard ‘visitors’ lanyard. But they can’t so easily access a branded version.

Branding your visitor passes makes it far more difficult for a third-party to replicate them, and therefore makes it more difficult for them to gain entry.

Portray a professional image

Having custom printed visitor passes also presents a more professional image to visitors. A ‘branded welcome’ is always going to impress visitors more – whether you’re a company or a school that has parents or school officials visiting.

Personalise your passes further

As well as branding your custom printed visitor passes with your logo or corporate information, you can also include other relevant information. For example, you could include health and safety regulations specific to that location, or fire evacuation details. You might want to list items that are prohibited onsite for contractors, or highlight different access rights.

Interested in custom printed visitor passes? Please contact us for a quote.

 

School visitor policy: mainly common sense?

Security within schools is always an emotive issue, particularly given recent headline hitting events in the US.

Is your school at risk from unwanted visitors? Are your procedures adequate?

Most importantly, are staff fully briefed on your policy? Would they challenge visitors they didn’t know within the school, if they weren’t accompanied or wearing school visitor passes?

A lot of security comes down to common sense

A lot of ways to prevent unauthorised visitors comes down to common sense, which won‘t impact on an already stretched school budget:

  • Ÿ  Ensure only one main entrance is in use during school hours
  • Ÿ  Keep it locked from the outside, so visitors have to call or ring for entry
  • Ÿ  Have the entrance ‘manned’ by a receptionist or secretary
  • Ÿ  Make sure all playgrounds can only be accessed from within the school
  • Ÿ  All visitors – even parents who are known to the school – should use this main entrance and report to the receptionist/secretary.

Have a clear procedure for dealing with visitors

The easiest way to deal with visitors is to issue school visitors passes or contractor passes to all individuals, regardless of the purpose of their visit or how well known they are to the staff.

It’s important to adopt a one rule for all stance – if you break the rules for one visitor, your staff will lose faith in the procedure.

School visitor passes usually come as part of a ‘system’ that allows you to record visit date, name, host, company and vehicle information. All these details are held on a discreet bottom sheet, whilst pre-numbered passes are handed to the individuals. This creates a future reference sheet and a current fire register, which meets your health and safety obligations.

School visitor passes can be bought off the shelf, or customised to your own branding. You could choose to include specific school health and safety information for example.

Cost effective measure that won’t impact on your budget

There are, of course, many other ways to increase security within your school, from sophisticated access control systems to ID cards and biometric solutions. However not all schools want to introduce such measures, nor do they have the budget.

Our packs of school visitor passes in a system start from just £64.40 for 200 and include a writing board, wallet storage tower, pen set, wallets, clips and lanyards.

ID cards: would you challenge someone without theirs?

Or more to the point, would your staff challenge someone who didn’t have an ID card around their neck?

Many organisations that provide photo ID cards to their staff aren’t vigilant enough about policing them. This is often because there isn’t a company-wide ID policy in place that includes all visitors to the building, therefore people aren’t sure who should or should not be badged. In organisations where there is a reception with reception staff or security staff, there is a tendancy for employees to default responsibility to them.

Which means there is a good chance that an unwelcome visitor could gain access to your building.

Photo ID card packs
Make sure everyone is aware of your photo ID policy

In the healthcare sector for example, and certainly in all NHS Trusts, every member of staff is empowered and positively encouraged to challenge anyone not wearing ID cards whilst on the premises. Staff are encouraged to freely move around public areas, but to question anyone without a badge in ‘higher risk’ areas such as wards or restricted areas. This policy helps to keep staff and patients safe, as there is an approved badge system for all staff, official visitors and contractors throughout the Trust. Everyone is aware of the policy and its importance, and everyone has a vested interest in making sure it’s adhered to.

Ask yourself the following questions:

–  Do you always provide visitors and contractors with ID cards or visitor pass / contractor passes?

–  Do you provide staff with replacement ID cards if they’ve forgotten or mislaid theirs?

–  Have you communicated to staff that they should stop and check with anyone not wearing an ID card?

Increasing security is simple: make sure every person in your building is identified and that everyone is aware of your policy.

Parking problems? Car park passes could help

There’s nothing more annoying than turning up at work or school and finding that someone has taken your car parking space. Having some simple car park passes printed could make that frustration a thing of the past.

Ease parking frustrations with car park passes

We’ve all been there. You’re running late and when you turn up at work there aren’t any parking spaces left. Which can only mean one thing: people are parking where they shouldn’t.

Getting some car park passes printed is a really inexpensive way to make sure that the right people are accessing the car park. We can print 100 plastic car park passes to your own design for just £99.00 (and we’ll include 50 self adhesive holders too). These can be written on in permanent marker, so you can write on car registration numbers or names for your staff, or have a handful of blank cards for contractors.

The cards are made from specially designed tough polyester to withstand UV and high & low temperatures. They’re also wipe clean.

Problems with parking is well known to be one of the major frustrations of the daily commute. Car park passes are an inexpensive and really effective way of easing that frustration.

Design and artworking is included in the price.

Safeguard your school with school visitor passes

It’s the new school term, have you got everything you need for the year ahead? The start of September often has schools and colleges looking at security on their premises with fresh eyes, which includes looking at school visitor passes.

If you’re an educational establishment, having adequate security measures in place to safeguard pupils and staff is paramount. Are you meeting your health & safety responsibilities and fulfilling your duty of care by having an up-to-date signing in system for visitors, parents and contractors?

 

School visitor passes
Keep track of all visitors to your premises

School visitor passes and signing-in systems are a quick and easy way of identifying visitors and recording their details – and are very inexpensive. You can buy off-the-shelf packages (often known as passes ‘in system’) which include 200 pre-numbered passes, writing board, wallet tower, pen set and visitor wallets and clips from £64.40.

The visitor passes system records the names and details of all visitors to your school or college and provides a paper pass or badge for them to wear whilst on the premises. The details form a timed and dated fire register, ensuring you meet your health & safety regulations and fulfil your duty of care. A discrete sheet keeps each visitor’s details confidential.

Customise passes to your own requirements

As well as standard visitor and contractor ‘in system’ passes, you can also design school visitor passes to include your school’s colours and logo, or incorporate specific health and safety regulations or safety and fire evacuation details. You might want to list prohibited items for example, or use different colours to highlight different access rights – useful for when contractors are on-site, and you only want them to access specific areas.

Car park pass for schools
Eliminate parking problems with car park permits

Invest in car park passes to ease parking issues

Parking is often a hot topic of debate in schools. Ensure that staff and visitors park where they should by providing car park passes. The Card Network provides custom printed car park passes (so you can incorporate your own branding) from £64.50 for 100. These are lightweight polyester cards that are designed to withstand UV and low & high temperatures.

The Card Network can customise passes to any requirement. Please contact us for a quote.

 

Visitor passes: are you meeting health & safety obligations?

All employers have a list of responsibilities to safeguard the health and safety of their employees, which increase when you have 5 employees or more. Organisations are also responsible for any visitors to their premises, such as contractors and suppliers. Every company should have a clear set of procedures for dealing with visitors, which often includes making sure they are clearly identified as such – through Visitor passes or Contractor passes that clip onto clothing or hang on lanyards around their necks.

Visitor passes and accessories
Badge visitors whilst keeping a record and fire register

Having a Visitor pass system or Contractor pass system allows you to record the details of every visitor to your premises, including name, host, company, date and vehicle information. A privacy sheet hides names from view, whilst creating a reference sheet for the future. Most importantly, the pass system creates an up-to-date fire register, a vital part of your health and safety responsibilities.

Standard visitor pass systems and contractor pass systems contain everything you need to capture visitor information and include passes, writing board, storage tower, pen set and wallets and clips. Our systems including 200 visitor passes or contractor passes are just £64.40.

As well as buying standard visitor pass systems and contractor pass systems, you can also create your own bespoke passes. For example you can include specific health and safety information, fire procedures, internal maps or site specific information. You might also want to design your own lanyards with your company branding, or to denote which areas a visitor is allowed into. Please call or email us for a quote.

See http://www.hse.gov.uk/ for more information.