Stamps vs Signatures - Stamps as inspection/approval sign-off vs. Initials

THamlett

Starting to get Involved
#1
I am new to the company I work for and have learned that some of our divisions use stamps as inspection/approval sign-off while others use initials/signature. I would like to get every division using the same system. I would like to solicit your input on the pro's and con's of stamps vs signatures. I personally don't see any pro's to a stamp system. You need a procedure, control issuance, purchase stamps and replacements when they become unserviceable, and individual control of the stamps to prevent fraudulent use. Except for a procedure and a log, none of these problems exist with initials or signatures. I thank you for your opinions and insights.
 
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Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
Staff member
Super Moderator
#2
I am new to the company I work for and have learned that some of our divisions use stamps as inspection/approval sign-off while others use initials/signature. I would like to get every division using the same system. I would like to solicit your input on the pro's and con's of stamps vs signatures. I personally don't see any pro's to a stamp system. You need a procedure, control issuance, purchase stamps and replacements when they become unserviceable, and individual control of the stamps to prevent fraudulent use. Except for a procedure and a log, none of these problems exist with initials or signatures. I thank you for your opinions and insights.
My opinion on this:

Stamps are a good way of determining responsible person(s), however, stamps get lost, and better control needs to be established. Signatures, as long as you maintain a list of approved signatures/initials, it sometimes is easier to control than stamps. Our company uses stamps, and it seems to be ok. I have had issues with stamps being lost, but it is a matter on how fast we are notified, so we can remove that stamp from use, on a specific date.

It really is matter on how much control you want. I hope this helped a little.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#3
I am new to the company I work for and have learned that some of our divisions use stamps as inspection/approval sign-off while others use initials/signature. I would like to get every division using the same system.
Why? Is that really where you want to start as the "new guy?" Has there been major issues with the stamps?
 

THamlett

Starting to get Involved
#4
Why? Is that really where you want to start as the "new guy?" Has there been major issues with the stamps?
Why?... I don't mean to be rude but why are you asking me these questions? None of them are relevant to my request about the pro's and con's of stamps vs. signatures.:confused:
 

optomist1

A Sea of Statistics
Trusted Information Resource
#5
did some good time with Florida Aerospace concerns....in a QA capacity.....we used both stamps were issued and tightly controlled, but each stamp was accompanied by the persons signature.....in light of the unfolding Nissan (Japan) QA debacle this is an especially timely and worthy discussion.....thanks for bringing it up - Optomist1
 

Coury Ferguson

Moderator here to help
Staff member
Super Moderator
#6
Why? Is that really where you want to start as the "new guy?" Has there been major issues with the stamps?
I believe they were just asking for opinions on the pros and cons.

Why?... I don't mean to be rude but why are you asking me these questions? None of them are relevant to my request about the pro's and con's of stamps vs. signatures.:confused:
Yes you were asking for pros and cons of stamps vs. initials/signatures. Each of them have various advantages and disadvantages. Each will still need to be maintained and controlled some how.

Stamps can be left out of the owners hands and could be used to accept something that may not be right. Signatures are less likely to be used without the original person's signature.

The Organization will need to determine which best fits their practices and how much control they want to use.

Just my opinion.
 

Golfman25

Trusted Information Resource
#7
Why?... I don't mean to be rude but why are you asking me these questions? None of them are relevant to my request about the pro's and con's of stamps vs. signatures.:confused:
Then you could have just asked the pros and cons question without the background info. But if you got to the balance of my post -- any problems with the stamps. Those are your cons. Good luck.
 

Mark Meer

Trusted Information Resource
#8
... I personally don't see any pro's to a stamp system. ...
Me neither...except for the convenience, I guess - especially if there are a lot of items that need the "signature" all at once.

In generally, I think the handwritten signature/initial is the better way do go due to the stamp shortcomings you mentioned (control, loss, replacement...), and the fact that they are generally universally accepted as valid endorsement.

For example, does anyone know if the US FDA accepts stamps in lieu of signatures? In 21 CFR Part 11, the definition of "handwritten signature" doesn't appear to encompass stamps...
 

THamlett

Starting to get Involved
#9
Golfman,
Like I said, I wasn't trying to be rude. There are no serious issues with the stamps... That I know of. I'm responsible for 9 worldwide locations and no one in the 8 satellite divisions that work directly for the quality department. So control is my major concern. And the fact that I want one system fro everyone. One QMS is difficult enough... imagine dealing with 9 QMS's.
 

Candi1024

Quite Involved in Discussions
#10
I just don't see how a stamp could be proof of acceptance. Anyone can grab a stamp off a desk. Unless you have to enter a code before the cover comes off the stamp..... ? lol

Back in the day when I was the one signing, I never understood why we couldn't use a stamp. I do now!
 
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