Schools are responsible for the safeguarding of their students, staff and visitors. Knowing who is on site and where at any given time is, therefore, essential.
Digital visitor sign in platforms offer a reliable alternative to paper based records, helping schools to streamline and automate the check-in process, with technology to monitor, track and record visitor information.
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Covid-19 regulations and requirements saw a rise in digital sign-in platforms. Many state governments required schools to digitally sign-in all guests, ensuring they could be contacted easily in case of a localised Covid outbreak.
Even in the absence of a pandemic, it is important for schools to know who is on their site, at all times. In the event of an emergency evacuation, such as for a fire, the school needs to account for the whereabouts of all persons. This includes staff and students, as well as contractors, parents and other members of the public who may be visiting the school. A digital visitor management system can simplify this process.
More long term, digital storage of records makes them easier to search, so you can see who was on your site at any given day and time. Auditing this information is made easy.
Ensuring visitors to the school are easily identifiable is also important for keeping the school community safe. Commonly, schools require visitors such as contractors to wear a name tag or other identifier, so staff and students are confident the visitor is allowed on school grounds. Some visitor management systems can print name tags when a person signs in, reducing the workload for school staff. In most cases, information can be stored digitally, meaning repeat visitors can retrieve their details, rather than entering them again every time.
As an extension to the school-based system, some platforms allow visitors to install an app on their phone so they can sign in and out remotely. Contractors visiting a particular location in the school may find this useful, as they will not need to report to a central location like reception to sign in before beginning work. If a staff member is leaving the school grounds for an unplanned absence, for example if they are unwell, signing out remotely again negates the need for them to visit a central location to sign out.
Thinking of installing a digital visitor management system in you school? School News reached out to Laura Hunt, Operations Manager at Passtab to learn more.
Ms Hunt said a digital visitor management system provides a robust and reliable emergency management solution, and assists in managing a number of time-consuming administration tasks such as registering and tracking items.
“Digital visitor management systems allow schools to maintain accurate information of who has entered the building and document the required licences and qualifications for that person, to easily audit records and ensure accountability. Visitation records can be rapidly filtered and searched to quickly access the information required at any given moment. This is also paramount to support a reliable emergency management process.
“The ability to be highly customisable is important in creating a highly functional system. Being able to set rules of entry parameters, tailored alerts, control what information is captured, how it’s reported and what checks are being made is vital in ensuring every visitor is screened, registered correctly and the data is accessible and easily auditable.”
Ms Hunt said schools should consider a range of factors before implementing a digital visitor management system.
“Privacy and security must be at the top of the list. Data hosted in Australia should be non-negotiable, as is encryption at every point of the data’s life cycle.”
Additionally, Ms Hunt said systems should integrate well with existing systems and technologies, have an intuitive and user-friendly interface and have easy to access reporting capabilities. The system should also be scalable to accommodate changes in the school to grow, develop and improve over time.
“The system should have a module that specialises in the management of workers compliance. When a worker signs in, both their individual and company documents are checked for compliance, where required. The system should also monitor Working with Children’s card validity and teacher registrations for teaching staff.”
Digital visitor management systems can also streamline processes in other areas of the school. “An iPad or computer located in the First Aid room will record information required for accurate documentation, including date and time of visit, student’s details, and details of the incident and treatment. The system can also be used to monitor expiry dates of all medicines and items like EpiPens in the first aid centre.
“Item tracking capabilities allow monitoring of items such as keys, first aid kits, laptops, and equipment. The IT desk at your school can also be streamlined to reduce the workload in collecting relevant details from students and staff. The system can be used to register students’ phones that are being handed in and stored by the school.”