View Current

Key and Lock Policy

This is the current version of this document. You can provide feedback on this policy to the document author - refer to the Status and Details on the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Overview

(1) The purpose of this Policy is to regulate issuance, control, accounting, and the return of all keys issued under the Master Key Lock System.

Top of Page

Section 2 - Policy

Facilities Management Services, Building Maintenance Unit

(2) Estate and Built Environment is authorised to initiate, through the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer, the necessary Procedures required to implement and maintain this Policy. The Estate and Built Environment is responsible for designing, developing and managing the schematics for the master key lock system, maintaining the master key system records, managing the lock smithing services, system design advice, providing all of the required forms used in the procedures and providing periodic reports that may be needed by University.

Approving Authorities

(3) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer and others who are authorised by the Chief Operating Officer may approve key issues for employees within their jurisdictions. The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer's delegate will approve a list of persons authorised to issue keys.

(4) The responsibility for keys after they have been issued rests with the Unit Head who authorised the issue. This responsibility begins at the time the key is collected from Estate and Built Environment and ends when the key is returned to Estate and Built Environment. It is the responsibility of Unit Heads to secure all keys from personnel (faculty, staff or students) terminating from the University.

(5) Unit Heads are responsible for keys not returned by unit personnel or students and/or for the cost of resecuring areas resulting from lost or non-return of keys. Such costs will vary, depending on the extent of the University facilities affected by the loss or non-return. This could range from resecuring one door to resecuring an entire campus. Unit Heads may request authorisation for additional keys for personnel who have documented special needs for extra keys. Additional issues will be subject to sufficient documented need as assessed by Estate and Built Environment or the Chief Operating Officer.

(6) Those persons approved by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer and/or the Chief Operating Officer as authorised to sign key issue requests are listed in Appendix A of this document.

Key Recipients

(7) Employees who have been issued with University keys thereby accept the responsibility for those keys and are authorised to use the keys only to gain access to their workstations or areas. Using a key to gain entrance to other University offices or facilities is strictly prohibited. Employees are responsible for reporting lost keys immediately to the proper authorities. Keys are to be returned to the Unit Head or to Estate and Built Environment whenever they are no longer needed.

General Conditions

(8) Locks will secure all University property, except office equipment, and provision will be made for incorporation into to the University Master Key Lock System.


(9) Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken in the event of failure to report lost or stolen keys, unauthorised transfer of keys to another individual, possession of unauthorised keys, or having University keys duplicated.

(10) Sanctions may include a fine, suspension, or termination of employment depending upon the extent of the liability accruing to the University from the misuse of keys. Such issues will be referred to the Chief Operating Officer for advice on process requirements.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Procedure

Key Issue and Return

(11) Once the need for a key is determined, the requesting Unit will complete the Key Request Form as indicated. Two account numbers are needed when the paying account is short term, such as a Research Grant account. The key Request form is official when it has been completed, approved, and signed by the Unit Head and/or authorised person.

(12) After the request has been approved, it is forwarded to Facilities Management Services. If an additional signature is needed (Key Types 1, 2, or 3), include a letter of justification with the form(s). Estate and Built Environment will forward the documents to the appropriate office for additional signatures as needed.

(13) If this is a key transfer request, complete the Custody Receipt Form, attach the white copy to the Key Request, and proceed as above. Only one key transfer request may be issued per form.

(14) FEstate and Built Environment will follow the appropriate procedures as outlined:

  1. Verify the approving signature(s);
  2. Arrange for the key to be cut and prepare a Key Issue-Return Receipt (as appropriate);
  3. Complete all other records needed prior to issue; and
  4. Notify the authorising unit that the key is ready to be picked up. If keys are not picked up within 30 days, they will be destroyed and the requesting department charged for the keys. The individual named on the Key Request picks up keys at Facilities Management Services. Appropriate identification will be required prior to release of the key. The "Recipient's Copy" of the Key Request Form will be given to the individual signing for the key.

(15) Distribution of the various forms is made by Estate and Built Environment in accord with the unit's procedures.

Key Transfers

(16) Key transfers are permitted if the key has not been reported lost, if the keys in question are legitimate keys supplied by Estate and Built Environment, and if Key Policy regulations have been met.

(17) When keys are left with the unit for eventual transfer, an acknowledgment of the receipt of the key(s) will be given to the individual leaving the key(s), and Estate and Built Environment will be notified within a reasonable time that the key(s) are being held in escrow. Key(s) must be transferred within ninety (90) days or returned to Estate and Built Environment. The intent of this provision is to have keys available for replacement personnel, and to make it possible to hold keys through an academic term when they are not being used.

(18) Unit Heads shall make sure that all keys assigned to personnel terminating employment from the University are held for transfer or returned to Facilities Management Services at the time of termination.

(19) Keys held by units for transfer are coded "ESCROW" in the database, and periodic lists are sent to the appropriate units. Keys that are lost while in "ESCROW" are coded "LOST-ESCROW", indicating that the unit was responsible for the loss.

Master System Identification

(20) The methodology for the identification of keys is confidential and not available to staff.

Locks Removed from the Master System

(21) Circumstances may be justified that result in specific areas within the University requesting removal from the master key system. Guidelines have been established to determine the necessity and the approval of such requests.

(22) Classification of the need for locks off the master system may be placed into two categories:

  1. Mandated by Law and/or High Risk Areas
    1. Areas where removal is mandated by law and/or high risk areas are as follows: alcohol storage, pharmacies or drug storage, volatile storage, radiology storage, Finance Office, vaults where money or valuables are stored,
    2. Estate and Built Environment combinating room, areas within the University Safety, Security and Information office and areas where contagious disease experiments are conducted. Only the operating key and the control key may operate these locks. Master keys will not open them.
    3. To remove specific areas from the master key system, the appropriate Dean or Director is required to forward a letter to Estate and Built Environment documenting the need. Final approval will be at the discretion of the Chief Operating Officer.
    4. In the event that University Safety, Security and Information and/or Emergency Personnel (eg Fire Services) are unable to contact the individuals having keys to such an area and forcible entry is necessary, the unit will be responsible for the cost of any repairs. Duplicate keys or unit keys will not be provided for these areas.
  2. High Security Areas
    1. If removal is deemed appropriate, approval from the Chief Operating Officer will be required. High security areas include General Stores, Audio-Visual Services, Parking Services and Fees, and the University Book Store. Although these types of operations will be removed from the master key system, they will still be included in the secondary master system. University Safety, Security and Information and emergency services will have a master key that will open all of these areas in the event of an emergency.
    2. No other master keys will be cut for high security areas in this classification.

Control and Security of Master Keys

(23) With appropriate authorisation and justification, master keys will be issued to individuals having a continuing need for the key(s) requested. All costs incurred to resecure areas affected from the loss of master keys rests with the Unit requesting the issue of that key. Individuals accepting custody of these master keys will be required to sign a statement acknowledging their responsibility for their use and care. All master keys requiring approval of the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer or Chief Operating Officer must be re-justified annually.

(24) Master keys used intermittently must be secured in sequence locks when not in use. Examples of such use would be keys shared by two or more individuals or keys used by maintenance personnel during normal working hours. If these keys are inadvertently taken home, they must be returned to the University and secured in the sequence lock as soon as the error is discovered. Exempted are keys in use 24 hours a day such as those rotated shift to shift by the University Safety and Security, emergency and nominated maintenance staff.

(25) Special keys (access keys) will be issued to individuals who are authorised to use secured master keys. Anyone taking custody of an access key will be required to sign a statement acknowledging the responsibility for the use and care of a master key.

Special Event Keys

(26) Special Event keys are keys that will be required for specific events, such as Residential Schools or Special Functions in the Arts Theatre. The key(s) will remain secured at the University after working hours and are not to be taken home by the individuals using them. The keys will be assigned to a nominated member(s) of the unit (eg. Theatre Manager), and said nominated individual(s) will be responsible for their use and security. Requests for the issue of Special Event Keys must include a letter justifying the need, the number of keys requested, and the controls to be exercised by the unit to ensure their security. This information shall be forwarded to Estate and Built Environment, together with the nominated deposit as determined from time to time, for approval.

Vendor's Keys

(27) Contractors and contract maintenance staff needing access to specific areas within the University (telephone service, elevator maintenance, vending, etc.) will be issued keys through Estate and Built Environment or the appropriate Dean or Director. The contractors and staff will have the same liability for lost keys as University employees. Additionally, the unit responsible for issuance of the key(s) will bear the cost of resecuring the area involved as necessary.

Ownership of Keys

(28) All keys remain the property of the University of New England. Keys that are not utilised by the unit or are obsolete must be returned to Estate and Built Environment for disposal. This action will clear the unit's account and the employee charged with the responsibility for the key(s):

  1. Lost, Found, Stolen or Identification of Keys
    1. A lost or stolen key is to be reported by telephone and in writing to Estate and Built Environment, Safety, Security and Information, and the unit that authorised the issue of the key as soon as the loss has been discovered.
    2. Any keys that cannot be identified can be bought to Estate and Built Environment by an authorising officer for identification.
  2. New Keys for Transferring Employees
    1. All personnel transferring from one unit to another shall return and/or account for all keys issued by the former unit prior to receiving keys for the new unit. If the original keys are still needed, a note from that unit head confirming the continuing need is required is to be sent to Estate and Built Environment for the updating of records.

Account of Permanent Responsibility

(29) Since some accounts are of short duration (eg research grants), it is necessary to provide information for both the account to be charged and the permanent unit account. This will insure that an individual's keys will be listed under a single account when Estate and Built Environment issues reports.

Unreturned Keys

(30) It is the responsibility of the authorising unit to secure key(s) from personnel terminating employment from the University or students upon completion of requirement. When UNE Representatives/Students who have terminated from the University fail to return key(s), the authorising unit will try to recover them by whatever means are available. Should attempts fail, the keys will be declared lost. The area controlled by those keys will be subject to re keying under the conditions listed in paragraphs 3-6 of this policy. In addition, each authorising unit will be levied a $10.00 fine per key for keys reported lost or not recoverable. This charge will apply when keys are reported lost to Facilities Management Services or when personnel changes or re keying efforts make it apparent that keys have been lost or not returned to the authorising unit.

Regular Reports

(31) The following reports will be prepared and distributed

Report Recipient Frequency
Key Issues Chief Operating Officer July 1 of each year
Complete List of Active Keys Chief Operating Officer July 1 of each year or as requested
List of Active Keys by Account Number Approving Authority As requested
Locks off the master key system Chief Operating Officer July 1 of each year
Lost Key Report Chief Operating Officer July 1 of each year
EXCROW Key Report Approving Authority Each Academic term

(32) The Student keys report will be issued 30 days prior to the end of each academic term. Each Unit head will be required to sign and return the report to Estate and Built Environment, indicating whether the students and staff members listed are still with the unit and still have a need for the key(s) issued.


(33) An annual inventory of the active keys will be conducted during the months of January and February. A separate record for each individual is prepared annually and is mailed by January 10 to units. A summary report of the results and a listing of units that did not respond to the annual inventory are forwarded to the Chief Operating Officer for noting and further action if required.

Quantities of issue

(34) The following table represents the Positions and quantities of keys for issue. Issues for levels above Dean, Director or Head of College are not listed.

(35) Any key issues required over the stated quantities will require sufficient justification, to the acceptance of Student Experience Transformation or the Chief Operating Officer to approve same.

(36) Example Only

Position Key Type Issue Quantity
Dean   1
Faculty Executive Officer   1
Head of School   1
School Executive Officer   1
Staff Member   1
Student   1

Appendix A

(37) Positions authorised to sign University Key Issue requests

  1. Administrative Units Human Resources Director
  2. Financial Services Director
  3. Director Estate and Built Environment

(38) Example Only

Faculty School Position
Arts   Dean
  Administration Faculty Executive Officer