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nAccess Control Procedure

This Access Control Procedure has been developed so the North Seattle Community College (NSCC) community can enjoy the benefits of an access system that promotes security for persons, property, and records. This applies to all access keys, codes, and electronic devices to all spaces, office equipment, vehicles, padlocks, lockers, safes, etc. that are located, owned, operated, or controlled by NSCC.

This Procedure serves as the framework for how all access credentials and keys will be managed, issued, duplicated, stored, controlled, returned, replaced, and accounted for. It establishes a recorded chain of accountability for all access credentials, keyholders, and locations at NSCC.

The NSCC Executive Team, in collaboration with the Key Management Advisory Group (KMAG) and others in the campus community has developed the Key Management Plan. That Plan is the overall policy statement describing strategies, objectives, goals, and oversight structure for access and key control. The President of the college has final responsibility and authority over access control at NSCC.

For purposes of this document the term “key” refers to hard keys, electronic access, or combinations at NSCC or at other locations where spaces are under the control of NSCC departments.

It is the expressed purpose of this Procedure to allow access into a building or space only to those having a clearly defined need, and for only the duration of that need. Need for access does not necessarily convert into need for a key. Access to secure spaces will be provided for duration of need, not term of employment or desire.

Except for keys which are duly authorized to be under the control of divisions, no person or department shall knowingly receive, borrow, or possess any key for any space without notifying the Lock Shop and having an Access Request Form on file. Keyholders shall not loan their keys to another, or grant access to any non-authorized individual. No person shall knowingly alter, duplicate, copy, or make a facsimile of any key to any lock at an NSCC facility. Duplication or unauthorized use of college keys is illegal. Use of such keys may be considered burglary and/or trespass under RCW 9A.52.030 and/or 9A.52.080.

Persons entering or leaving secured spaces are responsible for re-securing all doors and shall not knowingly or inadvertently prop them open. Individuals shall not store keys in desk drawers or other unsecured areas. Locked and secure key control cabinets will be provided for any division/department to help control issuance of keys.

Violation of any of these procedures may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

NSCC will establish an in-house Lock Shop staffed with a qualified locksmith. The Lock Shop will be centrally and conveniently located for good access by the campus community. The Lock Shop will include cabinets, safes, and other methods to keep all materials, key blanks, and equipment securely locked. Accurate computerized and hard copy records of all key management transactions will be maintained in the Lock Shop. The Lock Shop area will be located so that access is highly restricted to maintain maximum security.

All keys will be issued from the Lock Shop using a properly completed Access Request Form, with all authorizations. A separate form is required for each person, but can include more than one key. By signing the Access Request Form, the keyholder accepts responsibility for use, care, and return of the key in accordance with this Procedure. Keys must be picked up by the actual keyholder in person.

Positive photo identification will be required to receive any key. Acceptable identification may be an employee ID card, or other recognized form of ID. As the ID system at NSCC is finalized, it will be incorporated into this Procedure.

All keys will be issued to a person. Keys issued to a Division/Department will have an individual’s name as the keyholder of record. That person is responsible for that key. When that person is transferred to another location, or leaves the employ of the college, all keys issued to them are to be returned to the Lock Shop. Others who may take over that responsibility must submit a new, properly authorized and approved Access Request Form. Division/Department designated keyholders will not directly transfer any assigned keys to another person.

Division deans, directors or administrative heads shall require individuals terminating employment or association with NSCC, or transferring to another department within the college, to return their keys to the Lock Shop. Keyholders should personally return their keys to the Lock Shop to ensure proper processing of the key return receipt documents. Keys are not to be returned by campus or other mail.

A process will be developed to notify the Locksmith of all changes in personnel assignments.

No keys are to be duplicated outside of the Lock Shop. All locks, padlocks or other security devices at NSCC shall be recorded and under the control of the NSCC locksmith and part of the Lock Shop data base records. All building and room keys will be uniquely identified by a serial number.

Records of keys or combination locks used for student lockers (Wellness Center, student lounges, classrooms etc.) will not be kept by the Lock Shop. Policies and Procedures that govern the use of these locks will be according to the following web address: http://www.northseattle.edu/enroll/admit/policy/slock.htm

Keys remain the property of NSCC. The keyholder is responsible for producing the key at key audits and returning it when access is no longer required by that person. Any keyholder who receives an official notification must present their key to the Lock Shop within a reasonable time. Any key not returned or otherwise accounted for will be considered irretrievable and the Irretrievable Keys Process will be executed.

College staff shall report door or key security issues through the Work Order System.

All keys will be inventoried once per year. Inventories will be conducted on one third of the campus facilities each quarter. The Lock Shop will prepare a key audit report for the KMAG quarterly meetings.

The campus access system will be designed as a hierarchal system. Area master and sub-master keys will be utilized in an attempt to minimize the number of keys a keyholder may need for their access requirements. However, with a greater number of access points comes a greater cost to replace an irretrievable key. The locksmith will collaborate with each Department or Division on the hierarchal design in their area within the overall hierarchal structure of the campus as a whole.

Only minimum number of overall campus Great Grand Master keys will be made and secured on campus in locked key vaults. The number of these keys and their locations will be determined by emergency response/access needs. Divisions or Departments will not have access to these keys for convenience purposes. These keys are not to be removed from campus.

Re-keying the entire campus, including use of electronic access devices and hardware or door replacement, will be accomplished over a multi-year multi-phased program. The scope of each phase will be determined by balancing available funds with the greatest impact on improved security. An example would be to have an early phase include re-keying of an area surrounding a group of offices, but not do the offices themselves until a later phase.

Building Master keys will be issued only to individuals having building-wide access as a regular part of their assigned job duties (IT support staff, custodians, security officers, maintenance staff). These keys will be made in sets of tamper resistant key rings to be used as “shift keys”. They will be left on campus in a key vault, to be checked out at the beginning of each shift, and returned at the end of each shift. All building master key rings will be tracked with check out and return times showing a log of who has used them. Individuals with access to Building Master keys will be authorized through the Access Request Form with approval by the NSCC President.

Divisions/Departments shall not maintain an inventory of non-assigned keys. Some keys may be issued to a Division or Department but are not to be re-issued to individuals. These keys are to be kept in a secure place at the division office. When a Division or Department temporarily issues one of its keys, they are to maintain a log of who received the key and the time in and out. These keys are not to be issued permanently.

Where the access is by code to an electronic device, the Division or Department will control knowledge of that code as if it were a key. They will maintain a log of who has been given the code. Whenever it is necessary to change or revoke that access for any reason, the Division or Department will contact the Lock Shop. The locksmith will change the code and revise documentation about who has been issued that knowledge.

Access to keys is a privilege that must be treated responsibly. If any individual has two or more separate incidents of lost, stolen, or non-returned key violations within a one year period, key privileges may be revoked. Access can be provided by escort, or other means not requiring actual possession of an individual key.

Last Update: 06/2009