The benefits of photo ID cards

Thinking about making photo ID cards standard issue for your organisation? Badging staff with photo ID cards can play a significant factor in ensuring the security of your building, and the protection of your employees. A photo ID programme is almost always beneficial to companies with large numbers of staff, particularly if they work across multiple locations. But they also have their place in smaller enterprises too.

Identity card
Implementing photo ID cards increases security

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.

If you’re currently considering the merits of photo ID cards, here are a few things to consider.

How will you manage the programme?

Who will be responsible for creating the 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 you’re bringing this in for security purposes, stick to it.

Don’t make it one rule for one, one rule for another. That means senior management 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.

Make sure you 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.

But I forgot my card today…

If someone forgot their pass, make sure they’re given a temporary one for the day, rather than adopt a “It’s ok Susan, I know it’s you” attitude. The receptionist might know them, but that doesn’t mean the whole company does.

Some other things you should ask yourself before you press the ‘buy’ button:

– Do you want the cards to do anything else?

Do you want your photo ID cards to double up as access control cards or cashless vending cards? We regularly supply ‘smart’ photo ID cards – we’ll be happy to advise you if you have any questions.

– Who should you choose to print your cards?

Once you’ve gathered the data together (photographs and details), look for a plastic card supplier you can trust with your information. Check their credibility. It isn’t particularly wise to choose a supplier based in China you’ve never heard of – even if they are cheap – integrity of data won’t be guaranteed. Ask questions – how will the supplier store your information? Are their staff CRB checked? All of these are sensible questions to ask to prevent identities being stolen.

– Do you want someone else to issue the cards for you?

Don’t want to deal with the hassle of administration? Some plastic card manufacturers operate a card issuance service, where the cards are sent with a personalised letter directly to employees. We have done this for a number of large organisations, please contact one of our friendly staff for more details.

–       How will you deal with new staff and changes during the year?

You don’t want to be raising new Purchase Orders and buying large packets of ID cards just because you have one new joiner. Think about investing in a plastic card printer that will allow you to create a handful of cards yourself, when you need to. Or look for a plastic card supplier that allows you to buy more than you need and ‘bank’ them with them. Anyone buying photo ID cards from us can take advantage of our ‘card bank’. Any cards that aren’t used can be drawn on as many times as you like throughout the year, at no extra cost.

Why choose The Card Network?

We have been in the Card Identity business for nearly 20 years. All our Card Bureau staff are CRB checked and we have invested in the latest technology systems to ensure the integrity of your data. Charities, healthcare institutions, schools and businesses trust us to print their photo ID cards. Our packs of 20 cards cost just £70, complete with card holders, lanyards and clips.

Send us your details and we’ll do the rest. We’ll always send you a PDF proof to approve before we print your cards.