Many companies and government agencies issue photo ID cards to their employees. These are essential for limiting access to sensitive areas and information, as well as maintaining high security standards.

Yet many of these organizations do not have an explicit policy outlining precisely what is expected of employees concerning the use of those ID cards. Failure to establish and uphold strict protocols regarding identification on company premises could lead to miscommunications and wasted time, as well as the potential for genuine security breaches.

The following checklist is designed to help you develop a robust ID card policy, adapted to the needs of your organization, which is both practical and enforceable.

  1. Who is expected to carry an ID card?
    Will every single employee within your organization be expected to carry identification, or just those who will have access to sensitive data or restricted areas? A company-wide ID policy will make it easier to uphold security protocols, but restricting it to a select few employees will be cheaper and quicker to roll out.
  2. What are the procedures for obtaining an ID card?
    Whenever a new employee joins your organisation, they will need an ID card as soon as possible. Otherwise they will have difficulty accessing the premises, which will waste everyone’s time. Ideally, there will be a procedure for employees to obtain an access card on their first day. Ask them for their relevant details as well as a passport-style photo before they begin working for you and you can have their ID ready for them when they arrive at the office.
  3. When are they expected to carry their ID cards?
    Should your employees be carrying their ID cards at all times, or are they only required to swipe in and out of restricted areas? Many organizations and government agencies enforce identification spot checks, so you don’t want to create a situation simply because an employee left their ID card in their bag. If employees are expected to have ID on them at all times, you need to make this clear during the onboarding process.
  4. Are the cards to be displayed, or simply available for inspection?
    Some employees carry their ID cards in their pockets, bags, or wallets. Other organizations, however, require staff to display their identification at all times, perhaps via a lanyard worn around the neck. Having them on constant display makes identification easy, and speeds up inspections. Some staff members may prefer a more discreet option, but this is up to you to decide.
  5. What should an employee do if they forget their ID card?
    Everyone forgets things now and then, and there will no doubt be instances when your employees turn up to work without their ID cards. Sending them back home will be a huge inconvenience for everyone, so there must be a procedure in place for these situations. One solution may be to offer a temporary replacement that is only valid for the remainder of the day before expiring.
  6. What are the procedures for replacing a lost ID card?
    You may also get employees who lose their ID cards completely. As well the inconvenience this creates, it also poses a potential security risk as someone else could have found the identification. Again, a temporary card can be issued until a permanent replacement is established. The lost ID card should be deactivated so it cannot be used by someone who should not have access.
  7. Who should be contacted if someone finds a stray ID card?
    If a lost ID card has been found by a member of the public, there should be a clear way for them to return it to you. Including company contact details on the front or back of the card will make the process a lot easier.
  8. What are the procedures concerning ID cards upon termination?
    When an employee leaves your organisation, they should be required to hand back their ID cards before leaving the building. This is an absolute priority, as once they are no longer an employee, they pose a potential security risk. Although most employees will have no malicious intent, there have been cases where terminated staff members have attempted to steal sensitive data or cause trouble in other ways.
  9. What is the expiration or replacement cycle for ID cards?
    You may not feel the need to impose an expiry or replacement dates upon your ID cards, but they can become damaged and ineffective over time. Especially if they undergo constant use. It may be more efficient to replace each ID card after a set period to ensure they are accounted for and working correctly.
  10. For ID cards with color codes or different formats, what do they signify?
    It’s common for larger organizations to have different levels of access depending on seniority or job function. Each employee’s specific access level should be made clear on their ID card, so it is easy to identify who each person is and where they are allowed to go within the building.
  11. What ID cards are required for visitors, vendors, contractors, temporary staff, etc.?
    Temporary visitors will need some form of identification that covers them for the period they are on site. There should be a process for providing an interim ID card with a custom expiration time.
  12. Where can employees find the ID card policies?
    An ID card policy can be complicated, so it’s understandable your employees may wish to refer to the guidelines. These should be provided to all new employees during the onboarding process and easily accessible for anyone who wishes to access them. These documents should be immediately updated in the event of any changes.

If your company policy answers most of the above questions, implementation of your ID card program should proceed quickly and smoothly. If you are looking to print employee ID cards for your organization, get in touch today.