The events in the recent past have forced all schools to relook at their security arrangements. Keeping track of their visitors is one of the key areas that schools are focusing on as part of their security measures. Administrators now want to make sure that all visitors to the school are properly identified and that their visits are well documented.
It is essential to screen people before they enter the school campus for a host of reasons.
- Preventing crimes like violence, abductions or sexual assault is the obvious reason.
- Keeping track of everyone in the campus in case of an emergency is another reason.
- Custody disputes are also another cause for schools to worry. An improper visitor management procedure could cause confusion and may lead to a child leaving the school with the wrong parent or guardian.
- Communication is crucial for coordination during any crisis situation. Equip your security and management team with two-way radios and smartphones with access to student data and emergency contact numbers.
Most schools still use paper logs, in which a visitor writes his or her name and relationship to a student, along with the reason for the visit, time, date, etc. It is indeed time to upgrade to the electronic visitor management system due to the inconsistencies involved in the paper based system.
- Incorrect, incomplete or illegible paper sign-in systems are of little use in case of an incident.
- They usually run the risk of being damaged, misplaced or forgotten during a crisis situation.
- There is no chance of accessing the information remotely as there is no back-up.
- The paper visitor cards or badges can be easily duplicated or reused after being discarded by an unsuspecting user.
An electronic visitor management system enables all visitors to check in and check out through a computer. The computer can be linked to a database for immediate documentation and verification of visitors and individuals allowed to check in or check out students. It can also click a photograph of the person, and print a customized badge or card for visitors to wear while on the campus.
Advanced features of a visitor management system may include pre-registration of visitors via the web-portal, live dashboard with a quick view of all visitors in a graphical format, information like status of visitor passes, pre-registered visitors, new visitors, frequent visitors, etc., creation of ‘blocked visitors’ list’, graphical visitor reports, and so on.