Assessors are trained that policy/directives and supporting evidence must be signed, dated or otherwise authenticated.
Policy/Directives: If agency/academy policy authorizes the use of electronic signatures, then a /s/, //s//, “signature on file”, or other electronic signature, deemed appropriate by the agency, is acceptable. The assessor may ask to see a document that authorizes a specific type of signature or authorizing mark (such as a stamp, seal, /s/, or any other mark). Further, if a policy is on an official agency website, it may be accepted as authentic. It is not up to the assessor whether they approve how the agency/academy authorizes policy/procedures, but that the agency/academy has a process and follows it consistently.
Supporting Evidence: Authentication will depend on the type of evidence, how it is generated, and any formatting or agency/academy procedures for generating the evidence. Authentication can be demonstrated through various methods such as, but not limited to: title on a document, date in the footer, database screen shot, printout where document is located on the agency/department website, copy of log book entries, photos of facilities/training, printouts of rosters, evaluation analysis reports, emails, and etc. Assessors are trained to use a realistic approach to how supporting evidence is authenticated. Some general guidelines include:
· If forms are used, the forms must be completed to demonstrate compliance with agency/academy procedures.
· Protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) may require the agency to redact information. This is acceptable and the assessor should accept the form as completed.
· If the evidence has a signature block on the form or document, then it should be signed according to the agency/academy policy for signatures.
Some evidence will not have a signature/approval block and the assessor is expected to use a common sense approach when reviewing the material to determine authentication (via type of document, date on document, screen shot, etc.).