What is the purpose of security procedures for handling mail or packages? Essay
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1.1 Explain how to deal with ‘junk’ mail.
Junk mail is unwanted emails. These can include posters, flyers or competition entries. Junk mail can easily just be recycled. However, if you want to lessen your chance of receiving junk mail, one way would be to contact the organization who has sent it directly. The data protection act allows you to do this as they’re using your personal details for marketing purposes. Another way in which you can minimize the junk mail you receive is by signing up to the Mailing Preference Service.
This is supported by the Royal Mail and stops organizations from contacting you for marketing
1.2 Describe what to do in the event of problems arising when dealing with incoming or outgoing mail.
When getting the post in, an admin will deal with it and sort through what goes to who. When sending the post out, it gets franked and sent off to the addresses it needs to go to. Potential problems that could occur when dealing with both incoming and outgoing mail are as follows:
Deadlines/ appointments could be missed. This means that you need to ensure that post is dealt with promptly and efficiently by making sure it is being sent to the right person at the right address. If a post is damaged for whatever reason, it is usually checked before it is sent out and therefore means that whoever deals with the post will see the damage that is done to it and will hopefully fix it before being sent out to the receiver. Banking of cheque delays can become a problem if they aren’t received/ sent out on time because missed payments can cause issues. In order to minimize the chances of this occurring, companies could request for it to be done electronically as it is usually a more secure and quicker way of receiving money.
1.3 Describe how to operate a franking machine.
A franking machine is something that franks (indicates that the letter has been paid for) outgoing mail with the price and date.
On the franking machine you usually weigh the letter then it gets automatically fed through and franked. To do this you select whether the letter is small or large, weigh the letter and then select whether you want it sent out as first class or second. This then gives the letter an appropriate price to send out to which you then feed it through the franking machine. Sometimes, letters are too big to fit through the franking machines so to overcome this you weigh the letter like you would usually and then just send a sticky piece of paper through so you can then stick that onto the letter after. You have to always make sure there is sufficient amount of credit on the franking machine otherwise the items won’t be franked.
1.4 Explain how to prepare packages for distribution.
After being franked, for distribution purposes, the letters/packages are put into different bags appropriate for their class and where they’re going etc. We have to make sure that packages are wrapped in appropriate packaging before sending them out in order to keep them from getting damaging or easily accessible. Once this is done, Royal Mail will come and collect it.
1.5 State organizational policies and procedures on:
a. Mail handling
c. The use of courier services
Procedures that have to be done when both handling incoming and outgoing mail are:
When handling with incoming mail, the letter is usually opened by admin or reception to see what it’s about and who it’s for and separated into whether it’s junk mail or not. Then the letter has to be stamp dated (unless it’s an official letter, then you stamp a post-it note and stick it to the letter). Letters then get sent out to the correct person in order for them to attach it to the front of the relevant file.
Outgoing mail is usually just checked it’s in the right tray for what it is and if its tracked or recorded then made sure the correct details are noted down with the right tracking number. It’s then collected by the postman.
At Parkinson Wright, our security procedures are as follows:
Visitors must be accompanied by one of the firm’s personnel at all times when on the premises.
Making sure that when you leave all windows and doors are secured properly
Appropriate electrical appliances are switched off
The intruder alarm is set
Both internal and external doors are locked when the office is empty
The use of courier services.
1.6 Explain the process for reporting suspicious or damaged items in accordance with organizational procedures.
Ways in which to identify suspicious items would be if the stamp location didn’t match the return to sender address, or no return to sender, misspelling of simple words. Another thing that indicates suspicion is discolored or uneven packaging. If anything like this occurs, the first thing you should do is report it to your manager. They will then record necessary information about it such as time and date that it was received. If they then believe that there is more suspicion than there should be they can report it to someone higher or to the local authority if needs are.