Access Control and Visitor Management

Monday, 7th December, 2015

Managing visitors and contractors

We all know what a headache managing temporary guests into your building can be, ensuring you know where they are and being confident they can’t wander into rooms or zones they shouldn’t be in can challenge even the best building managers.

Now to be honest in some businesses you’ll be able to adopt a more relaxed approach, either because you are very small or you don’t have too many visitors, so issuing a temporary badge once visitors have signed in is probably be enough. But in some organisations and especially in the education sector a more robust ways of managing visitors and contractors is needed for very obvious reasons.

The right solution

There are a number of ways open to you and your choices will depend on your size, budget and the level of security you need. At the top end is a fully-fledged visitor management system and at the opposite end is the already mentioned basic signing in book and visitor pass. Smaller business or education sites might have not have the luxury of spare money to spend on a dedicated system but will still need more than the basics.

One option, which is a simple and very cost effective way of managing visitors/contractors, is to fully utilise an access control system. AIT is a SALTO partner, SALTO are at the forefront of providing technologically advanced access control that goes beyond just managing doors.

Make your access control solution do more

The SALTO system has its own basic built-in visitor system for producing ID cards for contractors/visitors. The cards work for specific amounts of time and come with pre-defined rights. The ID cards can be personalised to include the visitors name and a photograph, this would be done as part of the signing in process. Alternatively, the cards can be a pre-printed generic card, with ‘visitor’ printed on it, that have rights assigned, additional rights can be added  (or removed) as part of the signing in process.

This works by creating an access group called ‘visitors’ in the management software and assigning pre-defined rules to the group. This might include expiry dates/times or restrictions such as not allowing a contractor to be able to set a room to private or to default it to open. As the visitor signs in these rights can be amended if needed depending on the contractor or visitor.

ID cards can be issued for the duration of a contract or as a temporary day pass that is time sensitive. You can also give a contractor/visitor ‘One Shot’ rights, they can access a room once to carry out work and once they leave the room, the right is revoked. This is particularly useful in a high security setting.

Updating access rights is easy

Visitors can have their rights updated or re-issued via an online door or reader.  In the One Shot example, if the contractor left their toolbox in the room, they could advise the building manager by phone that they need to re-enter the room. The building manager can update the  contractors rights in the management software and tell them to go to the nearest online door to update the ID card  – on big sites this saves a lot of time and works to keep movements of unauthorised people to a minimum.

Other advantages of utilising your SALTO access control system to manage visitors/contractors include:

  • Using the roll call functionality as an evacuation list will include any visitors so you can be confident they are accounted for in an emergency
  • A full audit trail of contractor/visitor movements is available in real time and retrospectively
  • In an education setting, it supports Keeping Children Safe in Education guidance as it controls where and when contractors can go.
  • Again, in education, as all visitors wear badges they are easy to identify, pupils can be told to avoid or report anyone not wearing a badge.

If you would like to know more about AIT and SALTO’s access control solution please click here or if you would like talk to us about your visitor management needs please call us on 0113 273 0300 or email