Assessors are trained that policy/directives and supporting evidence must be signed, dated or otherwise authenticated.
Policy/Directives: If training organization policy authorizes the use of electronic signatures, then a /s/, //s//, “signature on file”, or other electronic signature, deemed appropriate by the organization, 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 government website (internal or external), it may be accepted as authentic. It is not up to the assessor whether they approve how the training organization authorizes policy/directives, but that the organization 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 organizational 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 a government 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 that the training organization follows its own procedures.
- Protection of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) may require the training organization 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 organization’s 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, screenshot, etc.).