* About: Physical security systems

Service overview | Who can use it | How to request & access | Cost | Availability | FAQ | Best practices | Training & documentation | Support

Service overview

IT Services, in conjunction with McGill's Security Services, delivers and maintains a centralized security system for both the downtown and Macdonald campuses. The LENEL OnGuard system covers most aspects of physical security, from the generation of staff and student ID badges to access levels and intrusion alarms. Genetec VMS (Video Management System) provides video surveillance in critical and sensitive areas and is integrated to the OnGuard platform.

IT Services is responsible for the deployment and maintenance of security installations on both platforms including:

Security Services (Downtown and Macdonald campuses) is responsible for managing card reader access, monitoring alarms and arranging response protocols with end users. Security Services will also perform security surveys for departments interested in evaluating their vulnerability to unauthorized access and criminal activity. 

Special programs are developed by IT Services and managed by Security Services to ensure that students registered in certain faculties, programs or courses are automatically granted access rights to the associated labs and buildings they may need during a semester.

Similarly, students in residence buildings are automatically provided access to their dormitories for the duration of the leases of their rooms.

A new staff or student can have their ID badge generated within 24 hours. Access privileges can be revoked as soon as students or staff members depart from McGill.

ID Carding is controlled by Human Resources, School of Continuing Studies, Enrolment Services and Security Services. There are five permanent carding centres on McGill's campuses:

Access to restricted areas: Card readers control access to many building areas and rooms. For more information including a list of who to contact to get access to a restricted area visit the Campus Public Safety, Security Services Access Control webpage.

Who can use the service

Surveillance and Security Systems applies to the entire McGill community students, faculty and staff. Department administrators may request installation and maintenance of new security systems or components.

How to request, access the service

To request a security device, you must apply through Security Services. They will evaluate your needs and recommend the best solution for your area. No security device connected to the LENEL OnGuard or Genetec VMS can be installed without their approval.

All requests for information or new device installations can be addressed to Security Services:



Pricing is available when you submit a security device request or covered as part of a project request under Facilities Management and Ancillary Services.

Prices for new installations include a maintenance fee to cover any post-warranty labour for maintenance on systems installed by IT Services. There are no monthly fees associated with any of the IT security installations.

See the Service Level Commitment, on the Security Services web page for additional information on costs.


The OnGuard security system is active 24 X 7 except during scheduled and unscheduled maintenance:

IT Services provides 24 X 7 emergency support in cases where a building perimeter door is unsecure. We do not provide 24-hour support for any reader within a secured building. These are handled the next business day.


Best practices

Training & documentation

Security Services provides personal training on intrusion alarm systems and Video Viewer applications when these systems are installed. They provide Area Access Manager training, and are also responsible for providing reports to users of the system.


For information and new security service requests, see the How to Request/Access section, above.

To report emergencies (break-in, fire, chemical spill), call Campus Public Safety at 514-398-3000.

To report malfunctions of the OnGuard central security system, contact Security Services