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09.06.01 – Key Control Policy

Section: Facilities

Area: Access Management System

PDF version 


This document establishes the guidelines for the University of Houston key control process which is designed to help protect the life, property, and security of each facility and its occupants and users. The Key Control Policy establishes a recorded chain of accountability and access for all credentials and key holders for the University of Houston campus, UH at Sugar Land and UH at Katy ("University"). Implementing a proper key control process preserves and restores University security and helps in a timely manner.


This policy determines key issuance authority and defines the procedure of issuing the appropriate level of keys to individuals.


A. Certifying Signatory – Authorizer who may approve keys for spaces directly under his/her control/management. 

B. Hard Key (Key) – A physical key which allows access into a room or building. Hard keys do not have history or tracking capabilities. Hard keys are University property.

C. Key Access Services (KAS) – The team of individuals assigned to maintain the issuance of keys while abiding to the guidelines and procedures related to key management. KAS is authorized to propose necessary changes to key policies and procedures.

D. Key Holder – The individual that will keep the key in their possession in order to access assigned areas. Individuals are responsible for returning keys no longer needed in order to maintain an accurate record.

E. Lock Shop – A Facilities Services shop responsible for making hard keys and maintaining locks and cylinders.

F. UHPD – University of Houston Police Department, part of the UH Department of Public Safety (713-743-3333 is the non-emergency phone number).


A. Facilities/Construction Management's Key Access Services (KAS) is delegated the authority to implement all guidelines and procedures related to the University's key management system and is charged with executing and enforcing key control guidelines and procedures found on Key Access Services website.

B. KAS will set guidelines and methods for issuing, auditing, and returning of all keys including temporary, vendor and keywatcher key requests.

C. KAS shall utilize and maintain an effective key control management process.

D. KAS shall utilize key issuance authorization levels determined by the type of key. The general rule shall be that an authorizer may only approve keys for spaces directly under his/her control/management. In some cases, more than one authorizer may be required.

E. The Lock Shop, unless otherwise directed, is responsible for making keys, plus installing and maintaining locks and cylinders.

F. All keys found without a known key holder shall be turned in to KAS.


A. KAS and the Lock Shop stores all keys in a secured locked cabinet.

B. KAS will perform weekly physical inventory of the remaining keys on-hand in the KAS office.

C. All keys are the property of the University.

D. A key holder's requirement for access alone, when access can be accomplished by other means (such as unlocked doors, request for entry, intercoms, timers, card reader, etc.), shall not convey automatic entitlement to a key.

E. Keys shall be serialized or numbered.

F. All Student and Residential Life keys are handled using the procedures found in the Student Housing and Residential Life (SHRL) Housing Resource Guide.

G. Types of keys and approval authorities are in the following table.

Certifying Signatory

Assoc. VP IT

Asst. VP Facilities Services

Assoc. VC/VP F/CM

Chief of Police

Dean or Assoc. VC/VP


Individual - key that will only operate the door(s) assigned to it.







Security - key that will access secured area(s) to limit access.







Bypass - key that will operate a key override cylinder.







IDF- key that will operate the doors to the intermediate distribution frame (IDF) rooms.







Mechanical/Maintenance -key that will access rooms serviced by facilities personnel.






Exterior Door - key that will operate exterior doors.






Sub-master - key that will operate more than one door in specific areas.





Building master - key that will operate all doors assigned to individual and sub-master keys in a given building.





Grand master - key that will operate all doors assigned to individual, sub-master and building master keys.

































A. Key holders shall only use their keys to access their assigned work areas and should lock doors when leaving.

B. Once a key is issued to an individual, it is their responsibility to keep the key in their possession and ensure it is properly used and safeguarded at all times.

C. No person shall knowingly alter, duplicate, copy, or make a facsimile of any key to lock(s) of the University.

D. Keys shall not be transferred from one individual to another.

E. The unauthorized possession, use or reproduction of a key may constitute theft or misappropriation. Any key holder who violates this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

F. Persons entering locked buildings or spaces are responsible for re-securing all doors and shall not prop open any doors.

G. All keys shall be returned to KAS by the key holder of record.


A. All lost or stolen keys should be reported immediately to KAS using the Lost or Stolen Key Report Form. Stolen keys will need to be reported to UHPD and key holder will provide the case number to KAS.

B When any keys are lost or stolen, KAS shall investigate and make a recommendation to the Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President for Facilities/Construction Management if a rekey of the locks is necessary.

C. If rekeying is deemed necessary, the department/college responsible for losing the key is required to submit a billable service request by logging on to AccessUH and choosing the FIXIT icon.

D. All rekeying charges will be processed through the work order system.

E. In order to remove any lost or stolen key from the key holder's record, a report, using the Lost or Stolen Key Report Form, must be submitted to KAS. UHPD Case number must be submitted for stolen keys.


A. KAS will conduct the annual key audit for the University with the help of the primary certifying signatory or designee to ensure proper accountability of keys.

B. Each primary certifying signatory or designee has the ability to conduct key inventories for each key holder as necessary throughout the year.

C. KAS will audit key data weekly to ensure data accuracy in the Key Control Management Software System.


FIXIT Customer Service Center
Key Access Services
Lost or Stolen Key Report Form
Student Housing and Residential Life (SHRL) Housing Resource Guide
University of Houston Police Department


Issued: 02/23/2017
Last Reviewed/Revised: 04/09/2021
Responsible Office(s): Facilities/Construction Management