Protecting students and staff in the heart of the City

Sponsored: King’s College has seen an evolution in its security capabilities, thanks to Gallagher’s access control technology

King’s College London is a world-leading university and a founding college of the renowned University of London.

Divided into nine academic schools, King’s College is spread across four Thames-side campuses with another in Denmark Hill in south London. The sheer scale of the University has dictated the need for a flexible and truly scalable enterprise access control system.

King’s College has seen an evolution in its security capabilities. Replacing the variety of access control products used simultaneously to manage the College’s security, in 2005 the Gallagher system was selected as the access control platform of choice for the entire college. Key to the requirement was a standardised system, which could operate college-wide and be scaled to include new builds, and thus Gallagher’s comprehensive security suite was chosen.

In 2005 Gallagher’s access control products were installed and swiftly integrated with King’s College’s existing systems including staff and student databases, and sources for cardholder information. The technology also integrates with the College’s enterprise Identity Management system, called FIM, which provides daily updates on joiners, movers and leavers to allow for accurate decision-making by the Security team. Additionally, Gallagher products work alongside SITS, the College’s student management system, to provide rapid updates of new students so that individual ID cards can be issued once the registration process is complete.

Being based in the heart of the City, the threat of terrorism has become a concern for KCL especially in more recent times where previous attacks have taken place extremely close to KCL buildings. Using a robust system such as Gallagher, which is continuingly updated, allows KCL to protect against the changing threat landscape.

Gallagher has developed readers which can now be accessed via a mobile phone through its Mobile Connect app. KCL have invested in this new technology but it is still early days. Using mobile technology will not only allow students and staff to access designated areas but they will also be able to control lighting, visitor access and more.  Features will also be added making the system adaptable to future requirements.

The overall benefits of the Gallagher security solution deployed at King’s have proved significant. According to Nick O’Donnell, Value Creating Real Estate & Facilities Executive, “It improves service to King’s College’s facility users, especially its students, and reduces the College’s reputational risk by removing technical barriers to comprehensive security management.” Moreover, the streamlining of individual campus’ differing security systems to management across the board has many additional advantages. By introducing a standardised system college-wide, the University has considerably reduced its costs for training, special projects and operator skills.

Gallagher’s proven technology has also boosted King’s College’s confidence in its electronic system; when there are alerts, the University’s security services can consult a single system and react quickly. Card holders are also now registered on one system, allowing the tighter management of passes. Overall, the College reports fewer system failures; with better decision-making between its numerous estates and libraries, while multi-site students, staff and visitors have experienced easier card management.

Gallagher integrations allow for extra security features to connect to Gallagher Command Centre, which allows for a central administration system, therefore keeping things simple to administer. Integrating with Aperio ensures doors are locked when people leave the room – ensuring peace of mind that rooms won’t be accidentally left open overnight or during the weekend.

The efficiency of the Gallagher security system has yielded very positive results. A reduction in alarms has been a major point to tackle for King’s College, as Nick O’Donnell explains, “Gallagher has enabled us to report information from across King’s in a single source and use that information to highlight maintenance, operator, staff and student-user issues.” Indeed, the significant decrease in alarm figures “would not have been possible without the reporting abilities of a single system”. This information also enables immediate reporting on high-risk areas to identify specific security threats, further demonstrating the value of the Gallagher security system.

King’s College is an evolving educational establishment, with numerous building projects in the pipeline. Providing a key component of the University’s security response is a matter of great pride for Gallagher, ensuring that the operations of the historic King’s College run efficiently, while maintaining the protection of its many occupants.

As KCL’s requirements change the Gallagher system will evolve with them to ensure students and employees are as safe and secure as they can be.

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