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Award as campus forms go digital

Here’s one of the recently announced winners of the annual Aucso security officer and team awards, made by the UK-based association for university heads of security.

The Midlands chair of Aucso, Laurence Perkins, Head of Security and Security Operations Manager, at the University of Leicester, nominated two of Leicester’s security team, Jeana Frid, and Steve Fay. They identified the fact that patrolling officers, on foot or vehicles, were having to carry a large amount of forms, for filling in as part of attendance at an incident, whether crime reports, Health and Safety, Building check reports or general incident reports; or, to carry out regular tasks, whether daily, weekly and monthly. All required completion of forms to provide evidence of task completion for health and safety and insurance purposes.

Laurence writes: “As an example, the minor task of vehicle safety check lists for three vehicles, one for the beginning of every shift handover, requiring nine forms in a 24 hour period, three forms for weekly checks and three forms for monthly checks. All of which were approximately 290 hard copies stored and each month the hard copies physically given to Insurance services, this being only a small proportion of the numerous forms used.

“Jeana and Steve worked together for a solution to a cumbersome system in an effort to lower the effect environmentally, time taken to complete forms, negate storage and fiscal need to purchase paper for the university, along with making the age old clipboard redundant.

“Jeana and Steve used the car checks as a starting point and created QR codes for each vehicle and fitted it to each vehicle, which when scanned with the officers’ (university issued) mobile phone launched the web page that created an electronic form mirroring (but much updated version) of the vehicle check sheet. The officer then completes the form that had been pre-populated with drop down menus and tick box options along with a free text area for any comments. The form is then automatically saved (in the cloud) with full audit history. This saves time, effort and space of storage along with security of documentation.

“The vehicle QR having been launched was found to be easy and effective to use by staff prompting exploration of further ideas and usage for QR codes.

“The QRs can be password protected and then used for identifiers of locations, particular rooms, assets, training for certain areas. A QR code next to a laboratory, when scanned will inform you what you need to do in that location/risks/expensive assets/research, how to use the alarm, etc. This would give instant clarity for staff on the ground.

“The process of moving documents from hard copy to digital is clearly not new but has certainly been challenging to get in a useable format for staff delivering a service on foot or via mobile patrol. Moving the documents to QR codes and digital templates on phones has allowed our patrollers to carry numerous documents in one place and provide them with a quick and easy solution. Jeana and Steve have recognised a problem of efficiency, environmental impact, cost and accountability and have taken ownership to develop their idea. They have engaged with internal stakeholders such as IT to progress their idea and make it happen!”

Also nominated in the category were Michelle Longhurst, Patrol Officer, University of Essex; and Simon Kupec, Director Community Safety and Security (CSS) Portofolio, Monash University, Victoria, Australia.

Separately, Joshua Rising, Control Room Operator at Leicester, won the officer award in the category ‘Excellent Service’. For all the winners, visit the Aucso website.

Photo by Mark Rowe; barriers at road entrance, Leicester campus; autumn 2019, sunny morning.


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