Keeping college and university communities safe has always had its challenges − campuses are spread out, the number of staff, faculty and students on campus on any given day fluctuates and events bring in a whole host of additional people to keep track of. And, with the ever-changing dynamics of cultural and political events happening around the world, campus police and security teams must also be prepared with well thought out and professional safety response plans to address any unrest that may occur as a result.

By implementing a modern guest management software solution, higher-education safety teams can approach these challenges with confidence and mitigate many of these safety risks.

Guest pre-screening, background checks and watch lists

Visitor management systems offer campus safety personnel the ability to pre-screen guests they know are coming to campus, say for a concert, sporting event or workshop. The security team can develop a questionnaire based on security policies that guests can respond to on their mobile devices prior to their visit. If the responses raise any red flags, the system can deny entry. Many universities now also incorporate a COVID-19 pre-screen questionnaire as a part of the pre-registration process to quickly identify those that could pose a health risk to students, faculty and staff.

Another nice add-on feature is the ability to run a background check or a quick check against a third party database like Family Watchdog or Visual Compliance. This process allows the team to deny event access to anyone deemed potentially dangerous by these third party watch organizations. And, these individuals can be added to a “do not admit” list that the security team maintains within the visitor management software which can be shared across multiple campus locations as an extra precaution.

Flexible solutions to meet real-time policy and process changes

Successful security teams regularly evaluate and adjust policies and procedures to mitigate any potential new threats. Visitor management solutions should adapt in real-time, with the ability to provide updated visitor lists, “Do Not Admit” lists, individual hours of entry, and also adapt with your policies as they change.

Improved emergency response planning

With a web-based software as a service visitor management system, a dashboard of data is available that allows for real-time tracking, host notifications (text and email), security alerts for unwanted visitors, and more. Campus police can easily pull up-to-date evacuation lists from the dashboard in the event of an emergency. Being able to pull visitor names and correlated information on demand to identify the number of individuals on-site, who they are and where are they located at the time of an emergency is critical to any strong emergency response strategy.

COVID-19 capacity management and contact tracing

While the global rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine brings hope for a return to “normal”, medical experts warn that we will continue to live on with the virus for years to come. What that means is managing the safety of staff, students and guests from a health perspective will remain a top priority. Visitor management software can capture detailed data in a more simplified way than can be done with traditional visitor management processes. For example, knowing who is coming, how long will they be there, who are they with and where they visited on campus can all be tracked within the system. This information can be helpful when managing the capacity of an event on campus and can also aid in contact tracing efforts, if needed.

Learn more about Entrust ID software here: