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Automatic Access Control Systems

Automatic Access Control Systems (AACS) provide detection and audit to limit who can go where.

Last Updated 03 December 2020


Automatic Access Control Systems  (AACS) provide detection and audit to limit who can go where. They can be combined with assured physical barriers to provide delay into a secure site or can be used with demarcation barriers i.e. half height gates, to provide only detection.


An AACS cannot easily be fooled, socially engineered or threatened as a security officer could be.

AACS can control access at the perimeter and also movement within the building.

CPNI assured AACS systems will always consist of at least two separate components:

  • AACS control system - the “brains” of the system
  • Token and Reader - the pass you will ask staff to carry and the reader

Each of these components need to be assured products to offer a robust level of security - having a weak lock on the door is as bad as having a weak door.

Token reader being used to enter building

Tokens and Readers

Tokens, readers and keypads are evaluated under the CPNI evaluation programme. There are three separate evaluation standards and have been produced in conjunction with NCSC. A manufacturer may present any one or any combination of products for evaluation.


AACS can be combined with an assured biometric device to offer a greater level of security, ensuring that the correct person is entering the secure area, not just the correct pass.

For further information of biometric systems see the resources below.

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