physical access control policy in an organization


Physical Access control is controlling the movement of people and vehicles when they entry and exit from the site. There are many methods of controlling the movement and level of implementation. However, the basic principle remains the same.

Access control policy;

The security manager and other management teams will work together to develop a suitable access control policy on a site. Security staff must have good knowledge of these policies to conduct access control effectively.

What contains physical access control policy?

  • How site users are categorized e.g. visitor, employee, etc.
  • Permission levels granted to a category of a site user
  • Identification requirements
  • Progression routes through the access control point
  • Access logging requirements
  • Incident escalation procedures

Principles of access control

  1. Access permission: The key card is issued to an authorized person
    • Who?
    • Where?
    • When?
  2. Identity verification: the card reader recognizes the signal emitted by the key card as correct for that location
    •  Positive ID
    • Legitimate holder
  3. Controlled entry: Electronic lock releases allowing the key cardholder to pass through.
    • Barriers opened
    • Progression permitted

Access control roles and responsibilities 

Security staff who work in the access control point have multiple roles depending on the size of the access control point, available technology, and the number of security guards.

If there are many security guards perform the same duty some roles may not require, however,  it is vital that you are competent at performing all types of tasks manually.

There are 3 main roles of the security guard in the Access control point as following;

  1. Movement controller
  • Controlling the flow of people or vehicles into the ACP
  • Pre-screening of site users, directing different categories of the user to the appropriate area within the access control zone.
  •  Maintaining order at the approaches to the ACP
  • Identification and early detection of possible security threats

2. Access controller

  • Inspecting ID
  •  Verifying access permission including;
    • Visitor pre-approval lists
    •  Contractor work orders
    •  Staff access permission
  • Delivery confirmation
  • Issuing badges and passes
  • Logging details of site users granted entry
  • Organizing escorts as required

3. Escort

  • Direct supervision of visitor movements
  • Monitoring of actions and activities carried out by contractors or maintenance teams
  • Communication with the security control room on location and movements
  • Returning visitors and other unauthorized site users to the ACP for outward processing

4. Entry control point supervisor duties and responsibilities;

Access control supervisor responsible for the overall security arrangement of the ACP performing the following duties;

  • Coordinating the rotation of duties within the ACP
  • Ensuring staff enforce the access control policy correctly
  • Resolving complex access issues Preparing incident reports

Conclusion: The physical access control policy is important guidance for the security guard to perform in ACP. In the complex security, environment the organization uses modern technology to control the movement of people, property, and information.

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