Must the Signature on a Quality Record be Legible?

leftoverture

Involved In Discussions
#1
Simple question I suppose, but when a signature is part of a quality record must the signature be legible? Section 4.2.4 of ISO 9001-2008 says quality records must be legible, and I have always taken that to include the signature, but I wanted to see if this is more of my own pet peeve or do most of you see it as a requirement?
 
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Tara Monson

#2
Re: Signatures

In my experiences, asking someone to sign their name "legibly" is not really signing. People sign the way they sign. I simply refuse to request people to sign a certain way.

We simply keep a signatures log. Everyone who is employed signs their name next to the typed name. They also write their initials, as sometimes it can be hard to decipher.

That was our workaround. I'd be interested to hear other people's ideas.
 

sagai

Quite Involved in Discussions
#3
Re: Signatures

My recollection is that you can run an ISO9001 system without any human signature.
Legible for me is not about signature, it is about to be easy to read and to understand, that's all and it is for records.
Cheers!
 

Ajit Basrur

Staff member
Admin
#4
Simple question I suppose, but when a signature is part of a quality record must the signature be legible? Section 4.2.4 of ISO 9001-2008 says quality records must be legible, and I have always taken that to include the signature, but I wanted to see if this is more of my own pet peeve or do most of you see it as a requirement?
Good question - no the "legible" aspect leaves signature out of scope. Signatures and initials are unique to the person and its controlled usually through a signature log within an organization.
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#5
We sign and use a unique stamp (company initials followed by a number). This gives us a record of who the individual is. We keep a stamp/signature record on file.
 
#6
Simple question I suppose, but when a signature is part of a quality record must the signature be legible? Section 4.2.4 of ISO 9001-2008 says quality records must be legible, and I have always taken that to include the signature, but I wanted to see if this is more of my own pet peeve or do most of you see it as a requirement?
It's going to depend upon the significance of the purpose of the signature, isn't it? For example, a doctor signing a drug prescription is of significance - they are the ONLY person authorized to prescribe drugs, legally. And, even then, what doctors wrote/write is often illegible!

Are you trying to prove some specific signature is linked to a person with authority for something? Do you suspect forgery? Was something authorized which shouldn't have been? Bearing in mind we're not signing checks here, what are you looking to achieve and once you step through it, you'll have your answer...
 

leftoverture

Involved In Discussions
#7
So I see three examples of using a signature log. Interesting. So I take it that you who have the signature log find it necessary to at least have the ability to decipher who signed a document.

It seems to me that I should be able to show that the signature is, in fact, that of a person with sufficient authority to sign the document (ECO, MRB, etc).

But Andy makes a good point about a doctor's signature...
 

Steve Prevette

Deming Disciple
Staff member
Super Moderator
#8
I saw (on US Submarines) the use of a cross-reference signature log. In a torpedo maintenance shop I was in, each inspector had three stamps with unique serial numbers on them to identify the inspector - Accept, Reject, and N/A. You'll be surprised how much stuff was getting N/A'd and then it would be - did QA really agree it was not applicable?
 

somashekar

Staff member
Super Moderator
#9
Simple question I suppose, but when a signature is part of a quality record must the signature be legible? Section 4.2.4 of ISO 9001-2008 says quality records must be legible, and I have always taken that to include the signature, but I wanted to see if this is more of my own pet peeve or do most of you see it as a requirement?
The signature can totally be a complex puzzle, as long as you have a means to direct it to the correct responsible manager.
 

dgriffith

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
We ran across this recently on a non-conformance sign-off document, where the user, calibration rep, and QA/QI all sign. Only one was legible and the directorate chief didn't like it one bit (I made sure he knew mine was the one he could read...).
On his 'recommendation' I added Print blocks next to the Signature blocks. Since the forms are .pdf, they can also be electronically signed with a traceable printed signature.
Personally, a signature is your own whether legible or not, so why not legible?
And signature files for 500 people sounds like a pain in the ass.

don
 
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