Sick of queuing? The Registration Service has the answer

At the beginning of the year, CERN's Registration Service, in its fully renovated premises, launched a new initiative to save you time and to optimise the work of its staff.


One free-to-download application, two ticket printers and three screens: behind this simple-looking system sits an ingenious process (see the slideshow) that will enable you to avoid long waiting times at CERN's Registration Service. The Service delivers some 22 000 badges each year, reaching a peak of 700 per week, and is therefore one of the few places at CERN where queuing is the norm. 

But that could all change thanks to Qminder, an app that allows users to monitor the waiting times in Building 55 from their smartphones. From today, you can take a virtual ticket using your device and see how long you will have to wait before your case is handled by the next available member of staff. 

“The system can also provide statistics on waiting times in the various registration services. That will help us to optimise our resources according to the needs of CERN's employees and contractors," explains Didier Constant, head of the Registration Service. 

Try out this new system the next time you need to visit the Biometrics Service, the Access Cards Service or the Registration Service. Thanks to Queuing Theory, a mathematical theory based on the laws of probability that was developed in 1917, it will be no trouble at all to reduce to zero your chances of having to wait more than three seconds (the minimum allowed by the system) to get your documents.

by Antonella Del Rosso