Guidelines for Electronic Signatures

The University allows electronic signatures to be obtained via a web form as long as several requirements are met.  The University’s main concern is to ensure that there is a mechanism in place for the long-term storage of electronic signatures.  Specifically, the department requesting the electronic signature must keep:  1) a copy of the form and 2) a record of the person’s acceptance of the terms.  This will act as a record of what terms the person accepted should this information be requested at a later time. 

Request an Electronic Signature for a Behrend Web Form

If you require an electronic signature for your form, please indicate this when you complete the Request for a Form.  You will also be asked if you understand your responsibilities regarding electronic signatures as given here.

About the Electronic Signature

Signatures for Youth Programs

Contact Melanie Ford, University Youth Programs Compliance Specialist, to obtain the University's approved statement for e-signatures involving youth programs.

Signatures for Other Uses

It's recommended that you receive approval from the University for any e-Signature statement you wish to use on your form.  Here's an example a statement for an electronic signature.

By signing this form, I affirm that the information shared on this form is true and correct. By typing and entering my name below, I authorize my electronic signature to carry the same weight and legal effect as my written signature.
 
Electronic Signature (Type first and last name)*
 

Maintaining Records of Electronic Signatures

The department requesting the electronic signature must keep a copy of the form along with a record of the person’s acceptance of the terms.  Specifically:

  1. Notify the director of Business and Operations (Randy Geering, [email protected]) via email that you have a web form that requires an electronic signature.  Provide him with the name of the form and its complete URL. 
    1. Keep this email for archival purposes.
  2. Once the form is ready to be used for the first time, make a copy of the form.  (This could be a PDF, a screenshot, etc., but it must include the entire form.)  
    1. Include the date and time within the saved document. 
    2. You may want to include the date (and time) as part of the file name as well.  
      Example:  FormXYZ-ORIGINAL-08-20-2016-01-30-PM.pdf
  1. Prior to making any revision(s) to the form, be sure to do the following:
    1. Make a copy of the form prior to the revision(s).  (This could be a PDF, a screenshot, etc., but it must include the entire form.)
      1. Choose a unique file name that will make it easy for you to associate the form with the associated data for that form version.  (Also, see item #3c.)
      2. Include the date and time within the saved document. 
      3. You may want to include the date (and time) as part of file name as well.
        Example of file name:  FormXYZ-10-20-2016-10-00-AM.pdf
    2. Save a record of the persons' acceptance of the terms.  To do so, download and save the form data. 
      1. Choose a file name that will make it easy for you to associate the form data with the associated version of the form.  (Also, see item #3c.)
      2. Include the date and time within the saved document. 
      3. You may want to include the date and time as part of file name as well.
        Example of file name:  FormXYZ-10-20-2016-10-00-AM.xls
    3. Store the copy of the form and the downloaded data together so that you can tie a particular version of the form with the appropriate data.  (This needs to be done so there is a record of what terms the person accepted if this information should be requested at a later time.)
    4. You will need to keep all versions of the form and data, so do not overwrite the existing files.
  • The data collected by WebForms does not remain permanently on the server.  Typically, form submissions from the previous cycle are deleted when you re-open the form for the next cycle of data collection.  (That way you start fresh with an empty database.)  So don’t forget to download the form data once the form is closed for that cycle.
  • The date and time of the form submission is automatically included in the data download.
  1. Make the revision(s) to the form.  
  1. Each time that you wish to revise the form, you need to repeat steps 3a through 3c (to save a copy of the web form and download the submissions).
  1. Refer to the University’s General Retention Schedule to determine how long you need to keep the form and the associated form data.