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Access Control and Integrated IP Video Surveillance Security Solutions for Nursing College


Athlone Nursing College located in the suburb of Athlone in Cape Town, is the hub of the Cape Peninsula Universities Nursing Programme. The facility is a sprawling complex of lecture halls, administration blocks, workshops and student hostels. The hostels house approximately 2000 nursing students ranging from first to graduate year students.

FS-Systems was appointed by the Department of Public Works to address a number of security issues within the college hostels that had been raising concerns.

PRODUCT: Access Control and Integrated IP Video Surveillance Security Solutions.

CLIENT: Department of Public Works - Athlone Nursing College, CPUT.


After an in-depth discussion with our client and analysis of the state of the Nursing College’s security concerns FS-Systems identified two key security factors;

1. Unregulated Access:

The Nursing College hostels had no method of limiting access to the hostels and there was generally unregulated access to any of the four hostels.

2. Visitor Management:

Visitors to students at the hostels where not being managed and it was difficult to enforce visitor hours.


The solution identified by FS-Systems was to implement an Integrated Access Control and IP Video Surveillance Solution.

Access Control Solution

The Access Control System would limit access to the hostels as well as manage and monitor visitor access to the hostel buildings. It would also prevent unauthorised entry to the hostel complexes by only allowing authorised staff and student’s entry to these buildings. Access to the Main Entrance of the college hostel area would be controlled and increase security by limiting initial entry to the main building complex.

A key component of the proposed access control system would be a Visitor Management Software “plug in” which would control visitor access to the hostels, monitor visitor access and allow the college to implement proper control of visiting hours to the hostels. Visitors who wish to see a student within their dormitory must first register at the Main Reception Desk and have their details captured on the Visitor Management System. Once the visitors fingerprint have been captured on the system, they will be granted access only to the turnstile governing the specific hostel they wish to visit.

In the evening, approximately 30 minutes before curfew, the VMS generates an alarm and report, which details student visitors still within the hostels. Security can then proceed to the relevant dormitories to begin asking visitors to leave before the curfew. The Gallagher access control system will also lock any visitors out of the hostels after the college curfew comes into effect.

To prevent students from letting in visitors to the hostel without being registered on the access control system, ‘’anti-passback’’ will be setup which will not allow a person to tag at the same entrance or exit reader twice. In the event that a student illegally swipes a visitor in through a turnstile or gate, the same reader would then not allow the student to gain entrance or exit from that specific zone. The student would then have to call security and explain their access was suspended due to anti-passback. Additional access control monitoring was proposed for the fire escape and other remote doors located throughout the college campus. In the event of a monitored door being opened, an alarm will be activated locally at the door as well as in the Security Control Room to notify security to further investigate.


Access to the hostel dormitories needed to be more secure. Installing galvanised steel single turnstiles and gates at each hostel entrance created a strongly regulated entrance and exit. This allows the access control and visitor management system to keep a record of people entering and exiting the buildings.

To increase security, FS-Systems chose to install Sagem™ biometric readers, which are mounted on the turnstiles at each of the hostel entrances and exits. The biometric enhancement prevents illegal entry using lost cards or passed on cards. Similarly, the biometric readers would also then tie into the visitor management system by adding a duel card and fingerprint tag at the turnstiles. This would leave a record of a hostel resident allowing a visitor entry\exit to the hostel dormitories.

Gallagher™ was selected for the access control system. The Gallagher™ system offers an IP Addressable Controller System which allows for easy integration into existing IT infrastructure. The use of Ethernet also allows for the system to cover small to very large areas, either wired or more increasingly via Wi-Fi.


The access control system comes with several add on features which enhance its functionality. The Visitor Management System (VMS) is a software plugin which allows the college to setup a visitor reception for the hostels. The VMS registers a visitor onto the system but then monitors visitors within the college area by tracking access tags. When the hostel curfew is about to begin, the VMS notifies security and staff of the number of visitors still within the hostels and the dormitories they should be in.The improved reporting structure makes customising and generating reports a straight-forward task whilst reports can be e-mailed to college management.

IP Video Surveillance Solution

To reduce incidents of violence, vandalism and crime as well as to create a safe environment for all students, staff and visitors; the Department of Public Works has deployed the Avigilon™ IP Video Surveillance Solution at their facilities across the country. Avigilon offers the most advanced camera and recording backbone on the market. The Video Management System (VMS) has advanced recording features and the entire system is integrated into Gallagher Access Control System creating one Integrated Security Solution.

Avigilon was able to leverage Athlone Nursing College’s 120 existing analogue cameras and transition them to IP using Avigilon encoders, while simultaneously adding more advanced high-definition surveillance cameras and software. The existing analogue only monitored selected areas of the campus because of budget constraints. We have learned through experience that it is very important to cover the corridors and lobbies to effectively track student, staff and visitor movements.

FS-Systems installed more than 160+ Avigilon HD cameras ranging from 1MP to 5MP throughout the campus all of which are monitored 24/7 and managed using the Avigilon Control Centre (ACC) software with High Definition Stream Management (HDSM) technology. With more cameras monitoring a larger area, users have more opportunity to capture a clear image of an individual or incident. Avigilon have an excellent online training course on offer; free of charge to assist with training operators.


The department now has a reliable way to clearly capture data in its facilities to lower criminal activity, monitor students, staff and visitors and to improve onsite safety. With the user-friendly Avigilon Control Centre Software, security can now easily find the right information for quick incident resolution, leading to improved processes, procedures and convictions when necessary. The department has also saved tens of thousands of Rands in theft and damage.

The Avigilon Control Centre Software, designed with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface, gives users complete control over video playback – ‘’a key selling feature. ‘’


The combined Gallagher™ and Avigilon™ Systems provide and effective solution to the security issues that were being experienced at the Athlone Nursing College. The Gallagher access control system is extremely effective in monitoring and managing entrances to college dormitories and main entrance whilst the visitor management system provides efficient methods for monitoring and enforcing visitor hours within the college dormitories. The Avigilon video surveillance system enhances the security's ability to see around the campus and the automated alarm function will ensure that security staff are quickly informed of any security risk.


"Avigilon delivers the best search and playback functionality I have ever seen and the software could not be easier to use,’’

Mr. C Brown, Assistant Director: Infrastructure and Support, Western Cape College of Nursing.


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