Communicating and tracking acknowledgment for newly published documents, or changes to existing documents, can be a challenge when done manually. Fortunately, there are software tools that can automate this process and provide reports to help ensure documents are read and acknowledged.
Whether you’re publishing an employee handbook, new policies, or updates to critical procedures, it’s important that employees are kept up to date with the latest information. In regulated industries, where you must provide proof of acknowledgement, obtaining objective evidence and digital traceability (via logs and timestamps) can be crucial when it comes time for an audit.
Acknowledgement can be challenging if you don’t have the right tools. Email is often used as a communication method, but lacks the ability to prove that documents were read and understood. Administrators or document controllers can use spreadsheets to manually record who has acknowledged, but there’s still no way to verify the document was truly read, and there’s no way to provide verified proof in the event of an audit. Plus, manual tracking is time consuming and error prone.
If you want to automate the tracking and recording of acknowledgment, it is best to use a document control system with acknowledgment capabilities built in. For example, with Document Locator’s document control software, you can ensure that documents are acknowledged by individuals, groups of individuals, or the entire organization using Required Reading or Read and Acknowledge workflows. An automated workflow notifies each person that they are required to read a document and electronically confirm that they have done so. Built-in intelligence determines if the user has opened and viewed the document, how long they reviewed it, who has and has not confirmed acknowledgment, and much more.
Many Ways to Track Acknowledgments
There are different approaches you can take when recording acknowledgment. For some documents, simply asking users to confirm they have read the file by clicking a button and creating a timestamped record of acknowledgment may be enough. For other documents, you may want to capture a digital signature and store it as a file. In Document Locator, both options are available. The Required Reading workflow captures acknowledgement after the document has been opened and marked as read. That digital confirmation is recorded in the system, which can be viewed via reports. The Read and Acknowledge workflow goes further by creating a digitally signed confirmation page that is added to the employee’s folder and held securely as a record for future validation.
Keeping Acknowledgement Tasks Organized For Users
When users are faced with several documents that must be read, it can be difficult for them to sort out what they have and have not acknowledged. That’s why it’s important that the document control system makes it easy for users to quickly view what they have completed, and what is still required. In Document Locator, when a document is submitted to users for acknowledgement, an email is sent notifying them of the requested task. They simply click on a link and read the document. Or, they can go inside Document Locator’s Web interface where they can quickly view a list of files awaiting acknowledgement, allowing them to complete each task in a quick and organized manner.
Reporting Tools for Tracking Acknowledgment
It is crucial for administrators to know who has and has not completed acknowledgment, how long documents have been waiting for acknowledgment, how much time someone spent reviewing a document, and more. That’s why it’s important for a document control system with acknowledgment capabilities to include reporting features. In Document Locator, reports can be generated that give administrators access to the information they need to quickly review acknowledgement. In the event of an audit, the ability to generate reports will save you and the auditor a great deal of time and hassle.
Quick and Easy Acknowledgement
Proper communication and acknowledgement is crucial for any organization, especially those with regulatory requirements. A document control system with acknowledgment capabilities goes a long way to ensure important files have been read and that people are up to date and on the same page. Document Locator provides the tools required to easily request and obtain acknowledgment for any document. You will quickly become aware of which documents still require confirmation, and you can objectively verify that acknowledgement was obtained and recorded.
Watch a short video demonstrating Document Locator’s Required Reading solution