A case of mi s s in g i d e n t i t y


aking the wearing of ID cards the norm gives you a range of additional benefits. Discover a few really simple things you can do to get the most out of your ID cards.

to see who doesn't belong. In all honesty, if you are only using your ID cards for your access control system to open doors, you might as well just swap to key fobs.

However, if you are in a school, a hospital, or a more security sensitive situation, having a culture where people are happy to have their ID checked can greatly increase the efficiency of a security system you are already using.

That may be the last time anyone actually looks at your ID card. It will be relegated to your wallet until you finally have a chance to update that awful photo and, even then, you’ll want to keep the original one when you realise how old the new photo makes you look.

Where is your ID card at the moment?

Is it in your wallet? Or it may be floating around at the bottom of your purse so you can wave it in its entirety at your access control system to unlock the doors. When was the last time you actually took it out and had a look at it? Humour me, do it now. If you have been issued a photo ID card it should be on display.

Which really raises the question: What's the point in having an ID card if no one is going to check it?

And if you have a related policy and you are not going to enforce it, what is the point of having the policy in place?

Wearing ID cards should be the norm

You need to create a culture where having your ID card checked is the norm, and the easiest way to do that is to give your staff a simple way to display their cards. Everyone wears their ID card on a clip or lanyard, with no exceptions. This way it makes it really easy


Making the most of your ID cards A current photograph

No one likes them and you will have more complaints about this than anything else, but you should have a photo on your cards and it needs to look like you. This is the you who turns up at work every morning, not the spruced-up version of you from five years ago. This needs to be a current photo and it also needs to be big enough to be seen. If you take a look at your driving licence, the photo on there is probably the bare minimum size this needs to be.

Name and title

Your name should be on there, but it doesn’t really matter. If someone doesn't know who you are, just your name isn't going to help and if there's no photo it's useless. One of the benefits of having your name on the card is it makes it easy for people to chat to one another. If it’s displayed as it should be, it acts as a name tag. Teachers don’t need their full names to be displayed and a pronoun could be included, so people will know how to address them.

Expiry dates are useful, but you don’t really need job titles. Knowing someone is a department head doesn’t really help security and, if job roles change, you can save some

www. c i t y s e c u r i t yma g a z i n e . c om money by not having to print a new card.

Colour coding for access One really clever idea that we’ve seen a few companies use is to have colour coded stripes on their cards. For example, big colourful bars on the sides or the top of the card allow you to know on sight that if a person has a red stripe on their card they need to be escorted at all times or, if the card has a blue stripe, they are allowed access to a pharmacy.

Brighton and Hove Bus Company gives out a helping hand card to users who might need a little more help. By discreetly showing the driver the card as they get on the bus, it's a clear indication that they might need their stop to be shouted out, or that it will take them longer than most to get off the bus.

Another scheme that started at Heathrow Airport, and has made its way into supermarkets across the country, is the sunflower lanyard. This colourful addition to a person's wardrobe allows staff to easily identify which customers might need a little more help, owing to disabilities that might not be obvious.

Simply displaying your ID card gives you a range of additional benefits for very little, if any, cost. It’s said that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but maybe you could be learning a huge amount more from your ID cards. That is assuming that they are not hidden in your pocket.

Wayne Street Technical Manager ID Management Systems >


“I got a new ID card at work today”

“Ooh let’s see”


“..and you’re stuck with it till 2021 as well”

“That’s an awful photo”

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