visitor management system

Your school’s visitor management system is your first line of defense between you and anyone who shouldn’t be in your school. Ensuring every part of your system is working properly will guarantee it is ready when you need it most.

Testing your system is also helpful for reviewing practices, meeting maintenance and review guidelines, and increasing adoption from your teachers and staff, who are on the front lines of enforcement. 

Why is it Critical to Test Your School’s Visitor Management System?

Your school has invested in technology to keep students and staff safe, so it is essential to keep it in working order or the value is lost. 

The best visitor management systems make it easier for administrators to do four things in their schools:

  1. Vet visitors.
  2. Make check-ins and check-outs seamless.
  3. Gather information about who is on campus at any given time.
  4. Locate visitors and account for their time and whereabouts.

But those tasks are the least of most school administrators’ worries. The real concern is what happens if those tasks aren’t performed correctly every single time. Now, more than ever, school safety is a leading public health concern. And as a school administrator, keeping your students safe is your top priority. 

Research shows that students learn better in a safe and positive school climate (defined as feelings and attitudes that comprise a school’s environment). Violence, even the perceived threat of violence, can be significantly tied to decreases in both school performance and mental health markers. 

Performing a safety audit helps school safety personnel discover gaps in school infrastructure, planning, and policies. Running real-world scenarios will reveal whether your school’s visitor management system can effectively serve its intended purpose. 

  • Is each visitor’s ID run against state offender registries each time they visit?
  • Is your staff made aware of family members involved in custody disputes?
  • Can you see where visitors are on your campus and monitor their movements? 
  • Are you able to instantly locate visitors in case of emergencies? 

Those answers help your team hone its processes and find opportunities to use visitor management technology better.

Regular testing of your system will also reinforce a culture of safety amongst your teachers, staff, and students. Safety is one of the five categories researchers use to measure school climate, and it is linked to reduced violence, better attendance, and fewer negative student behaviors. 

visitor management system

How to Test Visitor Management Systems

There are two primary tests for visitor management systems: one to determine your school’s ability to deter unauthorized individuals and the second to test the quality and execution of your school’s visitor protocols. 

Intruder Assessment

Here is what you’ll learn from an intruder assessment:

  1. Does your safety system (infrastructure and policies) identify visitors, authorized and otherwise, before they enter the school?
  2. Do you have vulnerable access points?
  3. Are your teachers, students, and staff fully educated and engaged in safety policies and procedures?
  4. Are your safety technology and infrastructure working together?

The first goal is to calculate the time someone takes to access the building. Have a safety professional whose face is unfamiliar to the teachers, students, and staff try to discreetly gain entry to the building. 

Common methods of access points for intruders are: 

  • Outward-facing gym, auditorium, and service doors
  • Propped-open doors in high-traffic entryways 
  • Following closely behind teachers, students, and staff
  • Motioning to a student to be let in

Once in the school or on the property, monitor the time to engage or report an unauthorized visitor.

Most schools use multiple technologies and building designs to keep intruders out. However, because so many people move through various access points and often multiple buildings, teachers and staff need to be vigilant in engaging and reporting unauthorized visitors. 

Having a culture of safety means the people in your school scan for suspicious activity and report it immediately. 

As a part of the intruder test, monitor and make note of violations of school safety protocols like:

  • Unlocked exterior doors
  • Opening and holding doors for unauthorized visitors
  • Any areas unmonitored for prolonged time periods 
  • Malfunctioning technology
  • Security infrastructure that is not being used or needs to be repaired

Visitor Protocols Assessment

The visitor protocol assessment will test your technology and team’s ability to execute daily visitor policy and procedures. This test is much less involved and should simply require an anonymous guest to check in as a visitor, much like a secret shopper visit. Assess the following. 

  1. Does your technology correctly identify visitors and screen for sexual offenses and custody issues?
  2. Does your software (or staff) compare identity to the school’s proprietary banned visitor list?
  3. Do office workers collect all required information (including destination and purpose of visit) every time? 
  4. Is every visitor given a visitor badge?
  5. Are visitors monitored for length of stay and location of visit?

visitor management system

What Schools Learn from School Safety Systems Testing

School administrators learn two key things from a proper school visitor management system test:

  1. Physical asset performance. Does the technology and infrastructure work?
    1. Can intruders access the building?
    2. Where are security or structural weaknesses on campus and in the building? 
    3. Is the security technology and equipment easy to use? Does it function properly?
  2. Personnel performance. Are the people bought in and on the same page? 
    1. Are there visitor safety policy training gaps for your teachers, students, and staff?
    2. Do new policies need to be developed, or existing policies better enforced?
    3. Are staff effectively utilized during check-ins and check-outs?
    4. Is there a technology solution that can automate any processes? 

CENTEGIX Visitor Management

CENTEGIX gives schools the power to check every single visitor every single time, screening for sexual offenses, custody issues, and your school’s proprietary banned visitor list. 

CENTEGIX visitor kiosks serve as self-check-in stations for all visitors, who are first required to scan their state-issued ID into the system, even if they’ve had a background check before.

The system can also admit late-arriving students, issue them a hall pass, and alert administrators to an alarming trend of tardies or absences. 

Enhanced Visitor Management combines the screening system with wearable badges and real-time visitor location reporting. The enhanced platform lets you easily check in, authenticate, and locate visitors in real-time, giving you confidence and peace of mind that only permitted, verified visitors are on your campus. Our dashboard gives you full visibility and reporting for visitor and volunteer actions.

Enhanced Visitor Management is even more robust with the following features:

  • Location data of visitors and volunteers while on campus through wearable badge technology.
  • Detailed location history reports of all visitors.

Even schools with the most robust systems should run safety assessments to refine policies and protocols further. Most importantly, the more you test and practice, the greater your school’s comfort level with the visitor management system will be, and the more empowered they will feel to maintain a culture of safety. 

Implement a Visitor Management System You Can Put to the Test

CENTEGIX empowers schools with a safety platform that works in critical moments when every second matters. 

See how a CENTEGIX Visitor Management System could help protect your students, teachers, and staff.