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Accreditation planning

The event accreditation process provides key stakeholders, participants, media and guests with their first impressions of an event.

From the initial event accreditation application to the presentation of the pass itself, the process has a significant bearing on how the professionalism and conduct of the event is judged.

Accreditation is used for:

  • determining venue access privileges
  • accurate identification and verification
  • allocating entry for limited numbers for capacity reasons.
  • Accreditation processes may also be used to help with the security screening of employees, volunteers, contractors and other parties that require venue access.


The key factors driving major event accreditation systems are:

  • identification and screening
  • security
  • safety
  • access control
  • effective working environments.


Accreditation zones

Accreditation zones must be planned and clearly mapped out at the venue.

Each accreditation zone should have clearly marked separate access points.

Accreditation zoning must ensure that access is strictly controlled to priority security locations such as dressing rooms, the field of play at sports events, VIP areas and media and broadcast areas.

Accredited zones should be assigned for areas including:

  • Media
  • broadcast
  • athletes & officials (field of play/tunnels/changing rooms)
  • operational
  • public
  • VIP
  • hospitality



The accreditation system

A successful accreditation system will work on several levels:

  • gathering and storing personal information about each accreditee
  • ability to grant appropriate access rights and privileges to every applicant
  • generating control, management and authorisation reports by any number of search criteria
  • generating personalised correspondence for groups or individuals
  • producing passes displaying a variety of personalised information.


Accreditation databases should also be used to provide a detailed analysis of participant information for a range of uses including control and marketing.

Planning for accreditation processing is an important part of the reception of participants. The accreditation environment must include:

  • space planning
  • queuing systems
  • computer workstations
  • waiting areas and signage.

These all have a role to play in determining the optimum solution for speedy accreditee processing while maintaining maximum efficiency.



Accreditation passes

Accreditation passes must be clear and concise, they must include all appropriate information so that security can easily identify the access rights of an individual.

Accreditation passes must be big enough so that they can be clearly read at all times of the day and night and during all weather conditions. As a general rule passes should be approximately A6 size.

Accreditation passes should include appropriate security measures in order to make them extremely difficult to forge.


Stewarding and control

No accreditation system succeeds unless the security staff understands its aims and objectives.

The most sophisticated pass system is only as good as the control mechanism on the access door. This is invariably a person.

Given the temporary nature of the work, simplicity is the key.

  • Simple manual checks are sufficient for the vast majority of events.
  • Stewards must be trained on the overall accreditation and security access control system and specifically the relevant information on each pass.
  • In most instances this should be no more complex than:
    • a. verifying personal details, such as a photograph, against the bearer,
    • b. checking that the correct access privilege has been granted.


Accredited access can help prevent congestion problems.

  • Accreditees who understand their access rights and limitations are less likely to attempt to enter restricted sites.
  • Stewards who know exactly what to look for can quickly and politely deal with each accreditee, even when they are under pressure.


Last updated 3 January 2013