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ID Centre FAQs

Joining the Airport ID Pass scheme

How can my company/organisation join the ID pass scheme?
Companies who have been awarded a contract to provide services or undertake works at Heathrow may be eligible to join the ID pass scheme. In the first instance you will need to complete Form 14 which should then be sent to the department detailed on the form.

Once we receive your enquiry, you will be contacted and advised of the next step.

The following information will be needed as part of your application (this information will be required at the next stage when your enquiry has been approved):

  • The name and address of each company that has awarded you a contract to undertake work at the airport
  • Written confirmation of that contract from each of the awarding companies
    Which areas of the airport you will require access to
  • The approximate number of ID passes you will need in the first instance and for each year of your contract or operations at the airport (please consider employee turnover within your answer).

If you currently have ID passes to work at the relevant airport you must provide details of the company that currently sponsors those passes.

You will need to nominate an Authorised Signatory to manage your applications made under the terms of the scheme.

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What is the role of the Authorised Signatory?
Authorised Signatories manage the ID pass scheme within their own company or section of the business:

  • For new ID pass applications, Authorised Signatories have a responsibility for obtaining references and other documents (for example criminal record checks) relating to the applicant. They are also responsible for verifying aspects of each ID pass application. Authorised Signatories do not necessarily have to carry out each and every task themselves. They may have help from those responsible for referencing and other processes within their company.
  • For existing pass holders, Authorised Signatories have a responsibility for ensuring that passes are used in accordance with the scheme rules and are returned to the ID Centre when no longer required.
  • Authorised signatories become a vital link in the communications between their companies and the airport ID Centre. They should always ensure that relevant communications are passed to other appropriate people within their own businesses – for example HR departments, senior managers, etc.

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How do I become an Authorised Signatory?
Your company or organisation must be a member of the ID pass scheme and you have to be nominated using Form 6

Once your nomination has been accepted, you will be invited to attend a training session at the airport ID Centre. On completion of this training, you will be able to apply for airport ID passes on behalf of your company or organisation.

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Types of ID passes

What are the different types of pass available?

Temporary ID Pass

Temporary ID passes allow escorted short term access to the Security Restricted Area, other airside areas such as cargo and maintenance areas, and landside areas. Temporary passes are issued for 1-5 days or 1-30 days, depending on the requirement. Temporary passes are normally photographic passes but in exceptional circumstances, paper passes may be issued. 

A 1-5 day pass is suitable for an airport visitor, a person attending an interview or undertaking work experience, or someone making a collection or delivery or undertaking unplanned maintenance or emergency cover. Consecutive 1-5 day passes will not normally be issued but it is possible for a person to have more than one temporary pass if they visit the airport on an irregular basis, subject to a maximum of 60 days access on temporary passes in any 12 months period. 

A 1-30 day temporary pass is suitable for persons working on a temporary basis at the airport. Only one 30-day temporary pass per person will normally be issued. In exceptional circumstances, the ID Centre Manager may be able to obtain authorisation for a second 30-day temporary ID pass to run consecutively. Temporary pass holders must be escorted by a nominated permanent ID pass holder at all times when in the Security Restricted area.

Does a temporary pass give automatic access to areas such as offices or staff car parks that have controlled access readers?
No. Temporary pass holders must be escorted in any area controlled by access readers. The appropriate building or facilities reception may also require a visitor’s pass to be issued and worm whilst on the premises.

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Permanent ID Pass giving access to the Security Restricted Area

Permanent ID passes are available for employees and contractors who have employment contracts for work at the airport. These passes are valid for up to five years and permit access to the areas authorised by the card on an unescorted basis. There is an extensive referencing process and criminal records check for all Restricted Area pass applications.

The areas authorised for the pass holder can be identified by the colour of the ID pass and the access numbers shown on the card.

 

ID Pass colours

ID Pass colours

The colour of the pass determines the access level.

Colour key

Red: All areas
Blue: External and Internal Airside or External Airside only
Green: Internal Airside
Yellow: Landside
Blue/hatched yellow: Aircrew
Purple: Diplomatic
Grey: Cancelled

 

ID Pass numbers

  1. Internal area(s) of the restricted zone (departure lounges, piers and the interior of other buildings) with the exception of 2 and 3 below
  2. Baggage reclaim halls
  3. Baggage make-up areas
  4. Ramp
  5. Aircraft and their footprints
  6. All other external areas of the restricted zone (eg runways)
  7. All areas

Please note that only those who have a specific need to enter the baggage make-up areas will be allowed access. Those who have been given access have a red "B" on their pass, next to the access numbers.

All permanent passes must be on display at all times whilst the holder is in the Security Restricted Area.

Permanent passes are suspended (parked) after 60 days of non-use for security reasons.

Do permanent passes give automatic access to gate rooms or entry to controlled offices?
Where access is required to the terminal gate rooms or offices where card reader access is fitted, the pass-holder will need to visit the relevant terminal to have access rights added to the pass.

Terminal 1: Tel: 020 8745 6003
Terminal 3: Email: idcentresurgery@heathrow.com
Terminal 4: Tel: 020 8745 7918
Terminal 5: Tel: 020 8757 2039

Can a pass be used at more than one airport?
Access to other airports owned and operated by Heathrow Airport Holdings Ltd may be requested on the ID pass application form or at a later date by completing Form 5. This form, properly completed and signed by the Authorised Signatory, should be sent to the ID security department in Scotland (details contained in the form).

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Landside-only Pass

Landside-only passes are available for employees who never require access to the Security Restricted and Airside Areas but otherwise work in the airport campus. Landside-only passes may be programmed to grant access to certain car parks and controlled buildings access areas within landside offices or administration areas. The extensive referencing process and criminal records check is not required for landside pass applications.

Does a landside pass give automatic access to areas such as offices or staff car parks that have controlled access readers?
No. The relevant access can be granted by the appropriate building or facilities manager. The procedure will vary at each location. Advice can be obtained from the ID Centre.

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Applying for temporary ID passes

How can I obtain a temporary pass for visitors or short-term assignment staff?
The Authorised Signatory should download Form 8 and complete sections 1, 2 and 3. Temporary passes are normally issued at the terminals and no appointment is necessary. To obtain a temporary pass from the Heathrow ID Centre, an appointment is required. The applicant is required to bring along the application form when attending the pass issue station, with acceptable proof of identity. The applicant is required to sign section 4 in the presence of the pass issuer.

The Authorised Signatory should advise the applicant that they must carry their proof of identity document and present it to the security officer when entering the Security Restricted Area, along with their temporary ID pass. The applicant should also ensure that they keep their escort within sight at all times when in the Security Restricted Area.

What is acceptable proof of identity for a temporary ID pass?
For British nationals this must be a current full passport or a British photographic driving licence with counterpart (both full and provisional acceptable).

For EU nationals a current valid passport or national identity card is required.

For other nationals, a full valid passport together with an original document confirming the individual's right to remain in the UK and evidence of the right to work in the UK will be required: in some cases a visa should be presented.

Only original documents will be acceptable at the pass issue station and these must be the same documents as those presented to the Authorised Signatory and recorded on the application form.

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Are any other checks or documents required for temporary passes?
Unlike other passes, there is no need for criminal record checks or references to be provided. Authorised Signatories must ensure however that the applicant is given a copy of the general security awareness leaflet if security awareness training is not provided. Copies are available from the ID Centre

Applying for permanent ID passes

The Authorised Signatory should download Form 1 and complete all sections except section 5 (applicant declaration). A security interview has to take place with the applicant and proof of identity and background checks must be completed. The application form, and copies of references obtained, must be sent to the ID Security department in Scotland for audit and verification purposes. When the application is cleared, the Authorised Signatory will be contacted and notified that an appointment can be made for the applicant to attend the ID Centre for the pass to be issued.

The Authorised Signatory should advise the applicant that they must carry their proof of identity document and present it to the pass issue officer when attending their appointment. There is normally no need for the applicant to carry any further paperwork as the application form will be sent to the ID Centre by the ID Security department separately. The applicant is required to sign section 5 of the application form in the presence of the pass issuer.

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What is acceptable proof of identity for a permanent ID pass?
For British nationals this must be a current full passport or a British photographic driving licence with counterpart (both full and provisional acceptable).

For EU nationals a current valid passport or national identity card is required.

For other nationals, a full valid passport together with an original document confirming the individual's right to remain in the UK and evidence of the right to work in the UK will be required: in some cases a visa should be presented.

Only original documents will be acceptable at the ID Centre and these must be the same documents as those presented to the Authorised Signatory and recorded on the application form.

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What other background checks or documents are required for permanent passes giving access to the Security Restricted Area?
Authorised Signatories must provide:

  • Satisfactory references covering the last five years' employment history of the applicant must accompany the application form. Only original documents will be accepted.
  • A valid and current criminal record check (basic disclosure certificate) will also be required. This certificate lists any prior unspent convictions that may be held by the applicant. Certain convictions will disqualify the applicant from holding a permanent pass. It is the responsibility of the Authorised Signatory to ensure that the certificate is free of all disqualifying endorsements and that it is submitted to us within ten weeks of the issue date. Applicants who have resided outside the UK for more than six months within the five years preceding the date of application will be required to obtain a criminal record check for the past five years in all the states they have resided in. Some types of employment may require a counter terrorist check (CTC) which is a more detailed security screening.
  • A copy of the GSAT certificate as evidence that the applicant has undertaken General Security Awareness Training (GSAT). There are certain exceptions for control authorities, airline personnel and those engaged in aviation security duties. This is because the training they receive is more extensive and detailed than GSAT.

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How many references does an applicant for an airside pass require?
One or more employment references must cover the previous full five years' employment or education history. Any gaps in employment must be verified by references from the appropriate agency (for example JobCentre Plus for periods of unemployment, or an accountant or the HM Revenue & Customs for periods of self-employment).

In cases where the applicant has neither worked, nor claimed benefit during the previous five years (for example, a carer or a previously non-working partner returning to employment), then a gap reference will be required.

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What about self-employment or periods of unemployment?
Periods of self-employment must be validated by a confirmation from the applicant's accountant, solicitor or HMRC office. The JobCentre Plus or other appropriate government agency must verify periods of registered unemployment.

Any gaps of over 28 days must be covered by a reference from an individual (gap referee) who should be asked to confirm in writing how long they have known the applicant and, to the best of their knowledge, what the applicant was doing during the gap period in question. The recommended pro-forma reference request for employment should be used.

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What information should gap references include?
A recommended pro-forma reference request for gap references is available. This letter/form should be used and should be generated on your own company's letterhead.

References will be checked and verified by the ID Security department in Scotland, who may contact the referee who issued the reference. It is particularly important that all contact names, addresses and telephone numbers are clearly legible and accurate.

All references should be requested so that they are addressed to and sent direct to the prospective employer at his or her company.

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How do I obtain criminal record checks for our employees and new applicants?
Further information and the procedure for making applications can be obtained from Disclosure Scotland. For guidance on obtaining overseas criminal record information is available on both the CPNI website and SIA website.

It is recommended that employers adopt a procedure whereby the application form should be completed by the applicant and sent direct to Disclosure Scotland. On return of the basic disclosure certificate (which will be sent to the applicant direct), the applicant should give the original certificate to the Authorised Signatory. The basic disclosure certificate must be enclosed with the application form sent to the ID Security department in Scotland within ten weeks of the date of issue. 

Disclosure Scotland also operates an online service for applications which may be used by participating companies. Companies that require a number of applications to be made should consider registering with Disclosure Scotland.

Arrangements can be made for presentation of the disclosure certificate direct to the ID Centre by the applicant if required.

The basic disclosure certificate always remains the property of the individual applicant.

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GSAT security training

GSAT stands for General Security Awareness Training.

All permanent pass holders must gain a certificate before a pass can be issued to them.

There are a variety of training providers listed by the Department for Transport. Your authorised signatory will be able to tell you how the training is delivered in your organisation.

Temporary pass holders are recommended to familiarise themselves with the security information contained in the GSAT leaflet, which can be downloaded below.

Where can I find a GSAT leaflet?

Copies can be obtained from your local ID Centre

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Can I appeal against a decision to reject an application?
Appeals may be made in certain circumstances.

  • To Disclosure Scotland where you or the applicant believe that the information on the Criminal Record Certificate is incorrect or inaccurate – for example, when an offence should be "spent". Your appeal must be made direct to Disclosure Scotland.
  • To the ID Centre where the decision to issue a pass is disputed for some other reason (eg references where the applicant claims it is not practical to obtain a reference and has submitted other evidence to substantiate what he or she was doing at that time). Appeals must be in writing – original documents should be submitted.
  • To Transec (DfT): In certain circumstances, appeal can be made to the Department for Transport against a failed criminal record check on the basis of the recency and seriousness of the conviction. A special form is available.
  • Details of the appeals process can be found in the application standard.

Download our ID Pass Application Standard (618KB PDF)

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Where do I send my completed application pack?

Courier to:

ID Security Department Carlson House
Mossland Road
Hillington Industrial Estate
Glasgow
G52 4RX

Post to:

ID Security Department
PO Box 5577
Glasgow
G52 4RX

Free collection service:

You may leave your application at the ID Centre. We have arranged for applications to be collected on a daily basis so they can be safely sent to our Business Support Centre in Scotland for processing.

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How can I make contact if I have a question on an application that I have submitted?Authorised Signatories may contact the ID Security department in the following ways:

Tel: 0844 395 0380
Fax: 0141 570 4222
Email: id_security@heathrow.com

How do I make an appointment at the ID Centre?
The Authorised Signatory may make an appointment here.

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Applying for a landside-only ID pass

How can I apply for a landside-only pass?
The Authorised Signatory should download Form 1 and complete sections 1, 3 and 4. The Authorised Signatory can then book an appointment for the pass to be issued to the applicant at the ID Centre. The applicant is required to bring along the application form when attending the appointment at the ID Centre, along with acceptable proof of identity. The applicant is required to complete and sign section 5 of the application form in the presence of the pass issuer.

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What is acceptable proof of identity for a landside only pass?
For British nationals this must be a current full passport or a British photographic driving licence with counterpart (both full and provisional acceptable).

For EU nationals a current valid passport or national identity card is required.

For other nationals, a full valid passport together with an original document confirming the individual's right to remain in the UK and evidence of the right to work in the UK will be required: in some cases a visa should be presented.

Only original documents will be acceptable at the ID Centre and these must be the same documents as those presented to the Authorised Signatory and recorded on the application form.

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Are any other checks or documents required for landside only passes?
Unlike other passes, there is no need for criminal record checks or references to be provided. Authorised Signatories must ensure however that the applicant is given a copy of the general security awareness leaflet if security awareness training is not provided.

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How can I obtain a vehicle pass to allow a vehicle 'airside'?
Companies that need access for their vehicles must first obtain a licence to operate vehicles at Heathrow.

Contact details:

Postal address:

Airside Operations
Airside Suite
Building 820
London Heathrow Airport
UB3 5AP

Prefixes AA to KZZ: Tel: 020 8745 7810
Prefixes LA to ZZZ: Tel: 020 8745 2129

Permanent vehicle passes are issued for a duration of one year. All vehicles entering the Security Restricted Area must have aviation insurance cover of not less than £50 million.

Limited duration vehicle passes carry the same insurance requirements and are only applicable for vehicles that require occasional or very irregular airside access.

All vehicles must be identifiable either by means of company livery or by removable transfers/signage on the side of the vehicle.

Detailed vehicle emission standards are operated at Heathrow and stringent MOT or safety inspection certificates are enforced. All drivers will require an airside driving permit or be accompanied at all times in the vehicle by an airside driving permit holder.

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How can I obtain an airside driving permit?
All members of staff undertaking driving duties in the Security Restricted Area will require an airside driving permit. Further details can be obtained from the airside driving unit of the relevant airport.

Authorised signatories are responsible for ensuring that all staff that are required to drive a vehicle in the Security Restricted areas are aware of the security and safety requirements when leaving vehicles unattended at any time for any reason.

Contact details:

Postal address:

Airside Driving Unit
Airside Suite
Building 820
London Heathrow Airport
UB3 5AP

Tel: 020 8757 3075
Email: caroline_lloydheathrow.com or jo_morley@heathrow.com

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Ongoing management of Airport ID passes

What happens when a pass-holder's details change?
The ID Centre must be informed of any changes to an individual's pass or ID record. A reissue or revalidation form should be completed for any of the following reasons – change of appearance; company name or logo change; change of company prefix (normally for internal company transfers); change of name or job title; change of home address or telephone number. Requests for changes of access requirements should also be submitted on Form 4.

The Authorised Signatory must sign a declaration confirming their agreement and consent to the changes to being made.

What happens if a pass-holder’s pass is suspended (“parked”)?
A pass can be "unparked" but only by completing and submitting a Form 7 signed by the Authorised Signatory. If the pass has been parked for more than 12 months and less than 24 months, we will also need you to provide a letter to certify that the holder has remained in your continuous employment since the pass was issued. Authorised Signatories should note that a justification for unparking a pass may be required at any time, particularly where a pass has been subject to repeated unparking.

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What happens if an ID pass is lost or stolen?
The loss of a pass is a serious matter and must be reported immediately to the ID Centre (Tel: 020 8757 0990).

If out of hours please report to the STAR or the Airport Control Centre (Tel: 020 8745 7216). We will immediately cancel the access rights of any pass that is reported lost or stolen. You must then complete Form 6 to begin the process of replacing your pass.

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Tools of the Trade pass

Tools of the Trade pass ID pass holders who need to carry or use articles for essential airport services that would normally be prohibited in the security restricted area of an airport are required under European Union law to carry authorisation.

For this reason, any Heathrow ID pass holder in possession of tools required for essential airport services must carry a Tools of the Trade card issued by the Heathrow ID Centre. This card does not have to be displayed but it needs to be presented upon request of a security officer at any time.

The card will indicate the categories of tools that the pass holder is authorised to carry.  A Tools of the Trade card can be obtained for both full pass holders and temporary pass holders.  For all full pass holders a Form 4B must be completed in full indicating which tools are required and this must be signed by an authorised signatory.  For temporary passes this can be requested on Form 8, when applying for a temporary pass.

For all new ID pass applicants you will be able to apply for a Tools of the Trade card if required by completing the relevant Tools section on Form 1A. The Tools of the Trade card will then be issued to the applicant along with the full ID pass at the ID Centre. You will also need to complete the relevant section on Form 4A when applying for an existing ID pass renewal.

On the attached  list you can find all the different categories of tools. Categories A, B and F will require written authorisation from the ID Centre. Please contact us prior to the pass being issued on idcentresurgery@heathrow.com.

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