Key Control Policy

The following information is from Catholic Mutual's Security Policy.

Many churches and schools give keys out to staff, volunteers, and even outside groups using the facilities. If an administrator is not careful, before long he or she will lose track of who has keys to the facilities, creating a variety of safety and security issue for the location. Catholic Mutual suggests establishing and maintaining a key control policy, and reviewing the adequacy of the policy on a yearly basis. The Diocesan Office of Risk Management supports Catholic Mutual’s position on a well-developed key control policy and advocates that each location review their current policy or use the guidance below to develop their own policy.

Download Catholic Mutual's Key Control documents here:

Key Control Policy - Word Version

Key Control Policy - PDF Version

Key Assignment Agreement - Word Version

Key Assignment Agreement - PDF Version

The first step towards key control, according to Catholic Mutual’s Security Policy document, is developing an adequate method to key each building. Catholic Mutual recommends maintaining a variety of keys, such as the following:

Great grand master key – This key opens executive offices, all buildings, and all locks. Great grand master keys should be kept by top personnel (for example, the pastor or principal).

Grand master key – This key opens all buildings and all locks, with the exception of executive offices. Distribute grand master keys to top personnel or highly trusted employees (for example, the pastor, principal, or custodian).

Sub master key – This key opens all locks in a specific building. Distribute this key to employees who have responsibilities which require a sub-master key for each building.

Common keys – These keys are for individual interior doors like offices, classrooms, or storage rooms. Distribute these keys to employees for their own offices or classrooms.

Stamp all master keys, “Do not duplicate,” to prevent copying. Unfortunately, this stamp is not always effective, as some unethical key duplicators will copy any standard key.

In order to prevent your keys from being duplicated, Catholic Mutual recommends purchasing restricted keys. A worldwide Swedish organization, ASSA, produces keys which cannot be duplicated anywhere other than where the key was purchased and then, only by the original purchaser. By using restricted keys, if all keys are returned when employees terminate employment, one is assured there are not extra keys in the wrong hands. This could save re-keying the entire physical plant. Information about restricted keys should be available from your local locksmith.

Another positive step is establishing a key log. Each key in a key log can be checked out by authorized personnel when required. The log should include why the key is being used, who is using the key, and when it will be returned. Keep all keys in a locked cabinet and controlled by one person.

Lastly, Catholic Mutual recommends installing a card access system. With this type of system, you can control access to any part of a building without worrying about extra keys floating around. Each employee/volunteer/student is simply given a card which will limit access to areas on an “as needed” basis which is predetermined by management. You can also control when an individual would have access to the building based on the time of day, day of the week, etc.

While Catholic Mutual notes that the costs of these systems can vary depending on the type of system installed, the number of doors involved, and the number of users, the initial investment is often well worth the increased security it provides for your facility.

More information can be found on Catholic Mutual’s website after logging in under risk management/sample policies/security policy. For login information, contact Catholic Mutual directly at 800-228-6108.

Other Resources

The Diocese of Lafayette Office of Risk Management has researched alternative resources of key control that fit between a traditional hard key system and advanced electronic access control systems. These solutions involve a combination of electronic keys that use your existing cylinder lock system. Two companies in particular that offer a solution are Cyberlock and ECylinder Solutions by Medeco.

CyberLock is a key-centric access control system designed to increase security, accountability, and key control throughout your organization.

ECylinder Solutions by Medeco (ASSA/ABLOY): Offers services including lock replacement and repair, access control systems and master key systems for large buildings with multiple entrances or multi-tenant buildings.

For more information on these alternative solutions, please contact Ryan Fitzgerald at 337-735-9449.