What’s your role at the University?
I work as an Access Control Adviser, mainly responsible for administering the University’s online security management systems (Pegasys and SALTO). I also design and project manage new installations of automatic and access-controlled doors.
How has your role changed as a result of Covid-19?
Normally, my working day involves adding new access control panels and doors but, because of Covid-19, I have spent many hours manually re-programming doors, ID cards and access fobs for students living on campus.
What specific additional tasks have you been asked to do?
So far, I have been asked to:
- Change the operation of all 50 access-controlled buildings on the Canterbury and Medway campuses so they can only be accessed using KentOne ID cards during lockdown.
- Prevent around 25,000 staff and student ID cards from working on doors/ buildings to which they would normally unlock.
- Remove access from 1300 accommodation fobs, which were taken off-campus by students who moved out of their halls.
- Provide all resident students with access to Rutherford College so they can use the catering facilities.
- Re-program ID cards for circa 700 staff, who appear on the approved list of key staff and are permitted access to work on campus; for example, Security, Maintenance, Estates Support Services, Kent Hospitality etc.
How have you been finding your “new” role?
Although these tasks have given me a huge amount of extra work, I’ve really enjoyed doing my bit. I’ve been asked to carry out some very important tasks, allowing me to use my expertise in re-designing how we use our access systems. It shows my senior managers have real trust in my work – which is great!
Have there been any major hurdles along the way?
When I found out that no-one was going to be allowed to work on campus unless they had been authorised, this meant the work involved was going to be a lot more than I initially thought – I would need to find a way of preventing just some staff and students ID cards from working on the readers.
I tested a number of different software configurations before I identified the ones, which would not only enable the campus to operate when required, but would be easy enough to revert back once the campus returns to normal.
What’s been the feedback so far from colleagues?
My senior colleagues have been very appreciative of my work and how fast I’ve done it. Colleagues in Estates, including Security, Maintenance & Support Services, have been extremely helpful and carried out a number of tasks I would have done if I’d been working on campus. I’d like to say a big thank you to them!
Colleagues I’ve worked with outside of Estates and who’ve requested my help, have also been extremely helpful, friendly and very understanding of the work involved.