How Does Visitor Screening Work And When To Use It

By Bernhard Mehl
June 29, 2020

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Access control is important for any business. It's vital to know who enters your premises, why they do so, who they saw, and when they departed. With this type of data at your disposal, it's so much easier to keep your workplace safe and secure. 

With mobile and card access technology and remote management solutions developing at a rapid pace, it's much easier to keep your finger on the pulse these days. In fact, visitor screening is far simpler than ever before, and it’s a good thing too. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, these processes are no longer optional. 

Here is what you need to know about visitor screening in 2020 and the steps your business should be taking to safeguard your premises.

Visitor Screening in 2020: Why & How You Should Screen in 2020

What Is Visitor Screening?

The term 'visitor screening' refers to the process of assessing whether a prospective visitor to your business premises is in the clear to do so. At the moment, there is a lot of focus on the health of anyone who wants to enter a corporate space due to the impact of the COVID-19 virus. Companies want to ensure that they keep their employees safe and healthy. 

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However, a visitor management system can actually have a variety of screening features. It all depends on the nature of your business. For instance, certain companies have to screen visitors against predetermined watch lists. This includes enterprises in the export, trade, and financial industries, as well as government agencies, security firms, and bureaux of industry. 

Universities and other research facilities also need these safeguards in place to ensure the security of their research and proprietary technology. Spaces like these need to screen everyone from students and staff to visiting researchers, as required by law. In cases like these, screening takes place in accordance with the contents of restricted and denied parties lists. 

What Does It Consist Of?

It all depends on each individual business’ protocols, as well as the variables for which they choose to screen. In the case of screening for potential COVID-19 symptoms, the protocol could include some or all of the following: 

  • Mandatory temperature measurement to check for fever (a known symptom of the virus), as well as hand sanitizer application. 
  • Sign-in questionnaires that ask whether visitors have traveled in the last two weeks and if they have any known symptoms. This would include being short of breath, having a fever, suffering from a cough, etc. Certain companies also ask whether a visitor has been in touch with someone who has the COVID-19 virus. 
  • Signing a legally binding document that confirms that, as far as they are reasonably aware, they have not been exposed to COVID-19. 
  • Sharing informative videos and/or written content on how a visitor is expected to conduct themselves on the premises. E.g. That it is mandatory to wear a mask at all times and sanitize your hands every time you enter a different department. Policies regarding handshakes and other measures to curb person-to-person contact may also be shared. 

Forward-thinking businesses are choosing to keep their screening processes as ‘hands-free’ as possible to safeguard their personnel. As such, many companies elect to invest in visitor management systems with flexible workflows and integration options. These can identify risks swiftly and without the need for personal interaction. 

Why Is It Important To Screen Visitors?

Having to close down your business due to COVID-19 exposure is costly. It can seriously affect the productivity of your personnel - even if they are able to work remotely. As such, it only makes sense to ensure that your workforce’s exposure to potentially infected visitors is limited as much as possible. 

Additionally, it’s also best practice to be aware of who enters and moves around on your premises at all times. Where your business is concerned, it’s always best to be sure of exactly what is going on. 

There you have it - the importance of visitor screening in a nutshell. It’s time to embrace the new normal, and it all starts with knowing who’s coming through your door. 

Bernhard Mehl

Bernhard is the co-founder and CEO of Kisi. His philosophy, "security is awesome," is contagious among tech-enabled companies.