Why Should Your Employees Sign a Policy Acknowledgement Form?

by Sarah Harvey / January 6th, 2020

What does it mean for your employees to acknowledge your employee policies and procedures? To comply with information security standards, it’s required that all employees have expressed acknowledgement of the policies in place within your organization, specifically through a policy acknowledgement form for things like your information security policies and employee handbook. Having policy acknowledgement forms is an important piece of the puzzle when it comes to policy development and meeting information security standards.

What is an Employee Policy Acknowledgement Form?

An employee acknowledgement or policy acknowledgement form is a simple form employees are asked to sign to acknowledge that they have reviewed and understood the company’s policies as expressed in onboarding material, the employee handbook, or documentation announcing policy changes. Acknowledgement forms help organizations track who has been informed of policies and policy changes and whether employees are happy to confirm that they understand them. Acknowledgement forms are useful for all policy areas, but they are particularly important for policies that affect information security and regulatory compliance.

Why Should You Develop a Policy Acknowledgement Form?

It’s a smart idea for your organization to require employees to sign a document that acknowledges they have read and understand your policies. At the very least, a policy acknowledgement form is helpful in determining which individuals claim to have read through your employee handbook or information security policies.

Any time your organization creates a policy or expects a new procedure to be followed, you should distribute that documentation and attach a policy acknowledgement form. It’s your job to keep your employees informed, and this will aid your compliance efforts. It’s just another layer to make sure you’re practicing due diligence in your organization.

When it comes to the audit process, you can expect an auditor at KirkpatrickPrice to confirm that you have policy acknowledgement forms regarding any information security policies you’ve given to your employees. This shows an auditor that you not only have policies in place, but you require your employees to express their understanding of those policies. What’s the point of a policy if your employees don’t implement the practice?

What to Include In a Standard Policy Acknowledgement Form

You know you need a policy acknowledgement form, but what should it include? We’ve put together an example to show the main areas you need to hit on in your policy acknowledgement form. Start by addressing the party you are requiring to have read your policies, explain which document they are acknowledging, share your expectations regarding the implementation of the policies, and include an area for a signature.

It’s not as complicated as you may have thought, but it’s important! Developing a policy acknowledgement form that covers all the bases is a sign of an organization working diligently to create a secure environment. Make sure you’re the type of organization that focuses on implementing information security policies and procedures that help mitigate your risks and address your vulnerabilities. If you’re looking to learn more about the basics of compliance or policy development, contact KirkpatrickPrice today!

More Policy Resources

SOC 2 Academy: Expectations of Policies and Procedures

Privacy Policies Built for CCPA Compliance

Guide to PCI Policy Requirements