Here at Invictus we come across a lot of schools, businesses, and organizations that employ a sign-in / sign-out system of visitor management. As the name implies, this is a straightforward system where visitors sign in when they arrive at the facility and sign out when they leave. Often this involves giving the visitor a badge to wear while they’re onsite. There are even some apps for phones and tablets and software for computers that can scan visitors’ licenses and print out badges.
We believe very strongly that visitor management is an important facet of keeping your people and facility safe from intelligent threats. What I want to discuss today is the sign-out part of the sign-in / sign-out procedure. Most organizations that employ a sign-in / sign-out system are pretty good at getting people to sign in and wear their badges while onsite. The weakness we encounter most often with this type of system is having people sign out when they leave.
Listen, I’m guilty of this myself – I sign in at my children’s school when I’m there to be a mystery reader or eat lunch with them or volunteer for their teachers. And then I have occasionally walked out of the building when I’m done without signing out. I suspect we’re all guilty of this at some point, and my purpose here is not to point fingers at the person at the front desk of a facility that has a sign-in / sign-out sheet. People are forgetful, and in general the sign-in / sign-out system is an inexpensive and effective method of visitor management.
What I would like to suggest is an end-of-day review of the sign-in / sign-out sheet. Visitors that have not signed out can simply be called or texted to make sure they’ve left the facility. Holding people accountable in this way will help them remember to sign out the next time they visit. It will also help keep your people and facility safer by knowing that all visitors have indeed departed the facility at the end of the day.
With that said, a sign-in / sign-out sheet should only be one facet of your visitor management policy. Gates, fences, locked doors, vetting of visitors, escorting visitors to their destination, and having eyes (i.e., cameras) on the perimeter of your site are other important parts of visitor management.