Access control guidelines

Campus physical security guidelines and minimum standards for access control systems at the University of Waterloo


Access control systems at the University of Waterloo require a set of operating guidelines and minimum standards to meet the needs of clients, Information Systems & Technology (IST) and Campus Security.


The goal of these guidelines is to: 

  • Streamline the process for installation and upgrades of access control systems by clearly identifying roles and responsibilities of those involved. 
  • Provide a structure to effectively manage the access control system at the University of Waterloo. 
  • Restrict entrance to a building or a room by unauthorized persons.

Installation, repair and servicing

The client is responsible for contacting IST-Network Services (Infrastructure Team) to ensure correct installation, addition or upgrade of the access control system. The client should submit a request using the IST Request Tracker (RT) system or send email to

IST-Network Services (Infrastructure Team) will confirm user requirements and generate a quote. At the discretion of IST-Network Services (Infrastructure Team) some portions may be sub-contracted to third party installers, however, all work will be supervised and coordinated by IST-Network Services (Infrastructure Team) and will adhere to their standards.

Once approved by the client and an account code is provided IST-Network Services (Infrastructure Team) will order appropriate parts (where required) and schedule the physical installation and testing.


Once a request has been submitted, IST-Network Services (Infrastructure Team) will work with the client to determine how to best meet the clients needs.


An access control system utilizes an electronic locking system in combination with a proximity card reader [and optional keypad] and will provide access when the correct card and code are presented. This type of system is particularly useful for areas that have a large number of users entering at various times of the day or night. Access control systems can be put on schedules to auto lock or unlock at various dates and times. Clients should note that Campus Security will only monitor and respond to intrusion detection systems, not access control systems. 


IST-Network Services (Security) will provide the necessary instruction on basic access control operation to the client. IST-Network Services (Security) will provide Campus Security with any codes or cards required to access an area. 


Clients are responsible for the operation and administration of their access control system once it has been installed.

Clients are required to ensure that their users operate the access control system correctly. Clients are responsible for providing a minimum of two controlled access area contact names, including work and home numbers, and an email address for routine correspondence by Campus Security and IST-Network Services (Security). IST-Network Services (Security) is your primary resource for instruction. 

These instructions should address the following areas of access control systems operation:

  • Local administrators are required to add, remove or change access codes or program proximity card credentials in their area of responsibility. 
  • In the case where an access code or proximity card does not function properly the user is required to first contact their local access control administrator.
  • IST-Network Services (Security) should only be contacted when there is a mechanical fault with the access door itself.

Note: There may be cases where IST-Network Services (Security) takes on the role of local administrator. These cases will be dealt with on an individual basis.  

These guidelines are subject to periodic review and update.